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Fires of Alexandria Paperback – July 7, 2011
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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.
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.
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.
Second, I confess, I’m not usually a historical reader, so my perceptions may be slanted by my lack a familiarity with the genre. Not being an ancient history buff, my reading wasn’t diminished comparing the story with facts, either. But I appreciated that there were notes at the end of the book indicating what was fact and what was fiction, and I was surprised how much truth was woven into the storyline.
That said, I’m sure historical facts back up the horrible treatment of people in the book, but I found the squalor and abuse so off-putting that I had to take breaks during my reading to distance myself from its realistically historic picture. So I’d say the characters and story drew me in effectively, though I was disturbed by the violence and constant threat overhanging the inventor and her niece. I’m sure bad things happen these days, but it seemed so societally pervasive that I’m very glad that era is past.
I most enjoyed the idea that the great inventor was actually a disguised woman. Her clever creativity and imaginative inventions are among the most absorbing parts of the story.
Fires of Alexandria graphically portrays a slice of ancient life; if that is the sort of historic read you prefer, this one is worth your while. I think I’d rather gloss over the deplorable abusive conditions and stick with sanitized history texts.