Book: Written in the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 2011
Source: From Premier Tour for review
Summary: Hannah, a Jewish slave with a beautiful voice, finds herself in Alexandria at a tumultuous time. As Rome falls, religious and political turmoil threaten Egypt and the supporters of the Great Library, including Hypatia, the great female philosopher and mathematician.
Thoughts: To a librarian, the Great Library of Alexandria is what Verrocchio’s Florence workshop is to a painter or Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is to an actor — a time and place when the profession reached a height that, as an imagined ideal, it will never reach again. That ideal is romantic and unreal, but it serves a purpose in elevating the purpose of day-to-day operations.
What a treat, then, to spend time in this fictional recreation of the Great Library with Hypatia, who I think of as something of a patron saint for librarians, and the fictional singer Hannah. Alexandria, Egypt comes alive at the time when Rome is collapsing and the Western world is about to enter an age that is darker because of the loss of the Great Library.
Watch tomorrow for an interview with the author of Written in the Ashes, K. Hollan Van Zandt, and a chance to win your own e-copy of the book!
Appeal: for history lovers!