Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review: THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN - Michael Livingston

Michael Livingston
Tor / A Tom Doherty Associates Book
Historical Fantasy

Only in my older age (and not for one second calling myself old), have I learned to appreciate history. And only recently have I even taken an interest in non-fiction. THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN is fiction, but is historically accurate.  The era covered deals with Rome, and Egypt.

THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN opens with the assassination of Julius Caesar. And from there the tension just builds. Like any good novel there are multiple stories unfolding, and a host of intriguing characters involved. The intertwining of tales, and paths is perfectly executed, and the pacing intense.

Caesar’s death has brought unrest across the lands. Everything is up for grabs. Cleopatra and Marc Antony want more than just Egypt. They have Lucious Vorneus, and Titus Pullo fighting in their corner.

Octavian, Caesar’s adopted son, wants more than just Rome. Destined to rule over everything, and everyone, Octavian plans on attacking Egypt. Marc Antony has already proved himself a traitor to Rome with his Donations. War is inevitable.

Juba, Octavian’s adopted brother, knows he will never rule. Regardless, he feels as if he’s been treated unfairly all of these years. When God died, his power was splintered into shards. How many shards exist, no one knows for sure, but Juba knows of a handful. And he wants them all. Revenge against Octavian is finally within reach.

Unfortunately, the shards are not a secret. Others are also on the hunt, as desperate to uncover the magical items as the next. In some cases, the relics are so powerful that generations of families have been installed to ensure the safety of the shard.

With a crisscross in family trees, and everyone after power, little good can come from the result of a war. With magic involved, the results of war could prove more disastrous than anticipated. Can winning be decided by magic, skill, or the size of one’s army? What is the cost of losing the war? Can anyone walk away unchanged by the tumultuous course of events?

Livingston writes clear, concise prose. The dialogue is crisp. The tension is constant, and the action intense. I enjoyed meeting the different families, the characters were so well-drawn, I saw them clearly inside my head. THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN was an impressive novel, and although I finished it, I am thankful to know I have THE GATES OF HELL on my nightstand, ready to go!

Phillip Tomasso

No comments:

Post a Comment