The beginning of an epic historical fantasy that rocks the foundations of the ancient world
Julius Caesar is dead, assassinated on the senate floor, and the glory that is Rome has been torn in two. Octavian, Caesar’s ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, vies with Marc Antony and Cleopatra for control of Caesar’s legacy. As civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may shape the course of history.
Juba, Numidian prince and adopted brother of Octavian, has embarked on a ruthless quest for the Shards of Heaven, lost treasures said to possess the very power of the gods—or the one God. Driven by vengeance, Juba has already attained the fabled Trident of Poseidon, which may also be the staff once wielded by Moses. Now he will stop at nothing to obtain the other Shards, even if it means burning the entire world to the ground.
Caught up in these cataclysmic events, and the hunt for the Shards, are a pair of exiled Roman legionnaires, a Greek librarian of uncertain loyalties, assassins, spies, slaves . . . and the ten-year-old daughter of Cleopatra herself.
The Shards of Heaven reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle.
Title: THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN
Author: Michael Livingston
Series: The Shards of Heaven #1
Source: eARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: November 24, 2015Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I saw that one of my friends was reading this on Goodreads so I checked out the synopsis and fell instantly in love. This book has magical qualities because it does something that I find a lot of historical fiction can't do: it feels REAL.
I studied "Classical Studies" in university as my minor which means I can now read, write, and speak Latin and Ancient Greek and know way too much information about things from BCE/early CE than you could ever imagine. So I was enthralled by the idea of a historical fiction surrounding the death of Caesar and the campaigns thereafter. And I have intimate knowledge of these campaigns, so I was gung ho about reading this one.
And man, if you know ANYTHING, even the teensiest of of aspects of what happened during this time period, you are going to be so in love with this one. It perfectly blends the "this is what we know to have happened" and "this definitely could have happened" so seamlessly that I started to believe that this was the true version of history.
I did like that only major events and timelines were touched because that is what made it feel so authentic, but I felt like because of this some of the pacing was a bit off. There were times when I had to double check the year at the beginning of the chapter to get a feel for what event we were being lead to or what should be happening next. I think that while it was definitely important that we only were directed to events that did happen, there needed to be a bit more segue between the years and chapters for me to really have a grasp on the story.
Otherwise this was SO GOOD. I have been recommending it to everyone -- and started doing so at about 25% of the novel because I knew it was going to be great. I was also OVER THE MOON to see that there is going to be a sequel! I can't wait for that one now!