30 April 2006

Review: A Time of Angels by Patricia Schonstein

I just finished reading A Time of Angels by Patricia Schonstein, and what a disappointment it was! This story was supposed to be based around two characters:

Primo, a soothsayer and magician raised on a rich diet of astronomy, philosophy and storytelling. 

Pasquale, an exquisite Italian chef, making fruited breads and salamis. He owns a bar and delicatessen. Both characters are Italian, but moved to Capetown, South Africa, after the Holocaust. Disjointed chapters, and far too many main characters thoroughly spoiled what could have been a nice little novel.

Not recommended.

My rating = *

Carpe Librum!
17 April 2006

Review: Spartan by Valerio Massimo Manfredi

Spartan by Valerio Massimo Manfredi book coverI just finished reading Spartan, by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, and it was brilliant!  Set in 504BC - 464BC in ancient Greece, this historical fiction novel was a thrilling read. The story begins in Sparta, and follows a young man born to a noble Spartan family, but abandoned due to his deformity. The boy is found by a Helot and raised as a servant to the Spartans. He later travels the world, and is torn between his upbringing and his heritage and the mystery surrounding his purpose.

An amazing story of courage and bravery and a fascinating look at the culture and laws of this period. Plenty of politics, intrigue, prophecy and war kept me engrossed for the duration of the book.

Highly recommended. 

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!