Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Tour Review: Written in Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

Written in Ashes by

Amazon Product Description:
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. . .

My thoughts:
     Wow!  Fabulously written.  The characters are remarkable and wonderfully developed.  The storyline is intriguing and compelling.  The language is vivid and descriptive.
     As a librarian's assistant and book hoarder I was thrilled with the opportunity to read this story and learn more about the famed Library at Alexandria and its history.  I was impressed with the way the author weaved the story.
     I have long been a historical fiction fan, but have gotten away from it in recent years.  This wonderfully written book was a fantastic way to jump back into the genre.  
     This is not a light read, but it is a great read.  It makes the reader stop and reflect upon the words on the pages and what they mean.  A truly fascinating tale.