While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Selene of Alexandria by Faith L. Justice

Thank you to Faith Justice for letting me read her story.

About the Book

Set in AD 412 Alexandria, Egypt and based on historical events, this story of ambition, love and murder brings to life colorful characters and an exotic time and place. SELENE is bright, impulsive, stubborn, and a little spoiled by her father, a city councilor. Since her mother’s death, she longs to forgo the privileges of her class to become a physician—an impossible dream for rich Christian girls who never engage in a profession. But Selene perseveres and gains a powerful champion—HYPATIA, the renowned mathematician and Lady Philosopher of Alexandria.

The old Christian Patriarch dies and the city splits in support of two candidates. After days of rioting, the Patriarch’s nephew CYRIL is proclaimed Patriarch and sets about consolidating the Christian sects and purging Alexandria of pagans and Jews. ORESTES, the new Augustal Prefect, struggles to keep the peace and also seeks the advice of Hypatia. He finds her a woman of enormous personal charm and astute political insight and places her first among his advisors, to the humiliation of the new Patriarch. These events set the stage for a contest of wills between Church and Empire.

Selene struggles in her new life. Under Hypatia's guidance, she takes classes and apprentices in medicine. She gives up security and the love of a young man for the danger of poor neighborhoods and the hostility of her classmates. It's not long before Selene is unwittingly drawn into the deadly rivalry between Cyril and Orestes. She comes of age amidst riot, plague and political intrigue . But will Selene survive the consequences of her own ambitions and impulsive actions?

To find out more about Selene of Alexandria please visit Faith L. Justice's website.

My Review

This book has everything... It was such a great story.

I LOVED Selene, she was such a great character. I'm really finding it hard to describe her. There were times when she was so strong, emotionally, and yet other times when she would let her emotions take over. She was so strong-willed and yet still understood her place in her world and did as she was supposed to do. I guess the best way I can think to describe her would be, she was a real woman.

I was very attached to Selene. She was just so real. While the story focused around Selene there were so many other things that were going on around her. Even when the story didn't focus on Selene she always managed to get herself right there in the middle of what was going on. There were times when I wanted to knock some sense into her, but I knew that she could handle whatever situations she was placed in.

The ending was great. While not everyone had a happy ending it was very realistic. There were a few unexpected twists that really added to the tension of the story, but they made for great reading.

The story was so great, it had everything. It was exciting, endearing, suspenseful, and emotional. There was a very tense felling around everything. The fight for power in the city, the fight for Selene to get what she wanted out of life, the fight of religion in the city. Everything was marked with tension.

This one did take me a while to read. I spent many hours with Selene, Hypatia, Phillip, Rebecca, and Orestes. I'm not sure why it took so long for me to read it, as it was a fairly fast-paced story.

Despite the time it took me to finish it was well worth the read. It was beautifully written, it was an intelligent story, and it was easy to escape into Selene's world.


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