September 5, 2012

Written in the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

Come join the Virtual Book Blog Tour for K. Hollan Van Zandt's new book Written in the Ashes

Title: Written in the Ashes
Author: K. Hollan Van Zandt
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: asked to review
Published: Balboa Press - July 13, 2011
Type:  e-book
Synopsis of Book: Who burned the Great Library of Alexandria?
When the Roman Empire collapses in the 5th century, the city of Alexandria, Egypt is plagued with unrest. Paganism is declared punishable by death and the populace splinters in religious upheaval.
Hannah, a beautiful Jewish shepherd girl is abducted from her home in the mountains of Sinai and sold as a slave in Alexandria to Alizar, an alchemist and successful vintner. Her rapturous singing voice destines her to become the most celebrated bard in the Great Library.
Meanwhile, the city’s bishop, Cyril, rises in power as his priests roam the streets persecuting the pagans. But while most citizens submit, a small resistance fights for justice.
Hypatia, the library’s charismatic headmistress, summons her allies to protect the world’s knowledge from the escalating violence. Risking his life, his family, and his hard-earned fortune, Alizar leads the conspiracy by secretly copying the library’s treasured manuscripts and smuggling them to safety.
When Hannah becomes the bishop’s target, she is sequestered across the harbor in the Temple of Isis. But an ancient ceremonial rite between a monk and priestess inside the Pharos lighthouse ignites a forbidden passion.
Torn between the men she loves, Hannah must undertake a quest to the lost oracles of Delfi and Amun-Ra to find the one thing powerful enough to protect the pagans: The Emerald Tablet.
Meanwhile, the Christians siege the city, exile the Jews, and fight the dwindling pagan resistance as the Great Library crumbles.
But not everything is lost. . .
Why I Read This Book: I was asked to review this book for the book tour and I enjoy historical fiction. So I decided to give it a try as it looked like a book that would be right up my alley and I am glad I did.
What I liked: I liked all the historical references in the book and that it made me feel like I was there at times. I also liked how the author wrote the book to really get your interest going.  I also liked how descriptive she was so I could really see things that were happening and what it would have been like to be in that time period.
What I didn't Liked: I did not like that the library was burned as it would have been and was a great place. Other than that I can’t really think of anything that I did not like except too that now we have to wait for the next book.
Overall Impression: Since I am a fan of historical fiction I was immediately drawn to this book. This ws the first I have heard about the Library of Alexandria until I read this book so it was nice to learn something about a part of history I knew nothing of. Now I want to know more. I would suggest if you are a fan of historical fiction to give this book a try. There was a lot of history to be learned here the auther did a very good job of it and kept you wanting more. I also enjoyed the little tidbits at the end where we were told what was true. 

I have to say I felt for Hannah being ripped from her family and sold as a slave, can you imagine how horrible that must have been. She was a strong girl and I thought it showed in her character. I also enjoyed reading about the quest for the Emerald Tablet and the legend behind it. I also liked learning a little about Hypatia of Alexandria. I have not heard of her before, she is now another person I must find out more about. I am glad I took the time to read this book.  5 stars

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