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Fires of Alexandria Paperback – July 7, 2011
The Secret Healer
In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited. But spirited young Madlen can't resist her gift for healing, even if it puts her life in danger. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
There are also a couple of places where key transitions are made, the main characters figure something out, and it's not clear what they base their insight upon. Again, you stop and say to yourself, what made them see that.... And, of course, a few problems with commas and apostrophes scattered here and there.
In spite of the writing, the story is excellent and carries the reader through to the end. Each character has his/her own voice and is memorable, even the bad guys.
But please, Mr. Carpenter, hie thee to an editor! It distresses me greatly to see a good book ruined unnecessarily by poor composition.
From a bit of study Heron (or Hero) of Alexandria was a genius and did create a large variety of the wonders ascribed to him in the novel. I can even accept a German prince in Egypt though I really do think the Romans would have been a little more vigilant. Still this is an alternate history.
What is really annoying is that a talent is about 17 lbs of silver or gold. You do not carry that in your purse and lenders do not lend you that amount of money to someone who is not a prince or owns a lot of land.
So could the author please get your standards and measures right. The coinage of Alexandria would have been the silver drachma since it was a Greek city.
As we get into the book we find Heron who was one of the greatest inventors and mathematicians there was is a woman. Taking on the role of Heron after her twin brother died she also took on his debts that he left behind. As she is called upon to find out who was the cause of the great fire she knows that this money will pay off the debts to Lysimachus as long as she can hold him off before he gets any ideas about her niece.
This is quite an enjoyable read that takes the reading back into the historical archives of history back to the years 350 BC to 10-70 AD. Back to when the Roman Empire ruled. If you are a historical buff and like to read fictional novels based on actual happenings, then you will enjoy this new saga. This book can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or on Smash-words either as a e-book or paperback.
I would like to thank the author for giving me the chance to read his book. I found this to be an enjoyable read.
The prose is not very skilled; it lacks editing, which took away from the interesting story. Don't even get me started on editing—it's what I do for a living. If the errors had been made during ebook conversion, that is a different situation and somewhat more forgivable.
There was a lot of repetition and the story dragged for me. The plot involved several elements that were too disparate to reconcile, and the "mystery" couldn't really be solved. However, the characters were well-drawn and interesting, which made up for a lot.
The main premise surrounds the mystery surrounding the cause of the fires that burned down the Library of Alexandria...but the novel takes us through numerous other political intrigues happening at the time, as well as other historical figures Heron interacts with. There is also an interesting (fictional) character in the form of "the barbarian" from the North, who hires Heron to fashion for him a mechanical army from her "miracle" technologies, and in the process she prematurely invents the steam engine. Speaking of steam, in terms of the miracles themselves, there's a bit of a steampunk flavor the book at times, even without the actual steam power.
Overall, a huge recommend for strong characters, a believable alternate history (and interpretation of real history) that is completely fascinating and compelling. Add to that strong action, mystery and intrigue throughout the course of the novel, and it's a tough one to put down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. It was exciting, full of adventure and intrigue. It was historically interesting. It's well written, and I highly recommend it. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Keren F Willcox
A well written story with complex character development. Not truly a historical fiction, but more an alternate history fiction, it was still a great read. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Daniel Cox
what he seems. A woman posing as her deceased twin brother, adventurous without adventure, sleuthing without arriving at clear answers, creating miracles that sometimes –... Read morePublished 9 days ago by pjburn
Having read about the destruction of the library in Alexandria drew me to the book initially. I'd known about the "mystical" displays put on by the temple priests to... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Janet Cooper
Struggled to finish the book myself. Very slow and drawn out made it hard to keep my interest and in some parts slightly confusing. Read morePublished 20 days ago by cartmanny
Liked the plot and the characters. It held your interest till the end.Published 1 month ago by Megan Fry