SELENE OF ALEXANDRIA'Selene of Alexandria' by Faith L. Justice, is a historical novel, a straight one if you are into genres and subgenres, which is set in Alexandria during the fifth century.
Selene is only fourteen, when she makes a serious decision concerning her life. She wishes to defy her class's expectations by becoming a physician. At those times, this is an absolute No-no. She finds support in Hypatia, the famous female mathematician and philosopher. She convinces her father to allow her pursuing her goal in a time, in which the Catholic Church is torn in sects, and Byzantine is all that remained from the Roman Empire. Soon, Selene finds herself amidst the struggle for power.
Embedded in the history of Alexandria, we watch Selene come to age. We experience the violence and fanaticism, tearing through the young church and the few remaining pagans. Selene is the strong and very independent woman type, maybe a tiny bit too modern in her ways; however, Faith manages to let us forget that Selene’s story is her vehicle to introduce us to Hypatia’s life.
The characters are well-drawn, the plot propels us forward, and the writing carries us easily throughout the story. Even the antagonist comes across as a fully fleshed out person. Especially the depiction of all the historical figures we see through Selene’s eyes and the level of authenticity are remarkable. No doubt, Faith has done her homework very well.
Having enjoyed reading it and being left curious about a sequel, I would like to recommend 'Selene of Alexandria' to the lover of straight historical fiction who cherishes authenticity and wants to learn about the dusk of the classical era and the dawn of Christianity.
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