The white limestone walls of Alexandria once rose from the Mediterranean Sea like a beacon of light. The most intuitive people and the most amazing minds throughout history sat in Alexandria's famous libraries and museums, speaking to the crowds of people about the past, present and future, and making monumental discoveries that are still in use today. Ptolemy was one of the greats, as well as The Lady Philosopher, Hypatia.
In this book, we meet Selene, a young (fictional) character, who is being readied for a suitable marriage but wants nothing more than to become a physician. She shears off her hair and dresses as a boy to meet Hypatia. The Lady Philosopher sees in Selene parts of herself--the will, longing, and brilliance to help people--and becomes Selene's champion.
At this time, Cyril, the Patriarch of the Christian Church, does all in his power - through pain, prejudice, and tyranny - to terminate all other gods and goddesses. Selene becomes embroiled in an all out war, as she sees her beloved Alexandria fall down around her ears. For anyone who does not know the story of the fantastic Hypatia, I will omit some of the more fearsome facts about this time period--because, trust me, you will not be disappointed in her story. The woman was, and still remains, one of the most revered female philosophers in the world.
I am blown away and completely enthralled with Ms. Justice's work. For seventeen years she 'hit the books' and studied every piece of information that is available from this time period. The rioting factions of church versus state; the romance between children who have grown up in an unstable world--each piece of their lives has been studied and recorded with beauty, brilliance, and brutal honesty.
Run to the bookstore and buy this for yourself. This is a 'must-have' after-Christmas present for you readers. In these pages, you will walk down Canopic Street, sit in the shaded colonnades with geniuses, and stare at the bright painted statues carved into the limestone niches that line the fantastical world of ancient Alexandria. You will walk up the steps of the immense Pharos Lighthouse and stare off at the ships in the harbor. And, best of all, you will sit in that grand library and meet the most remarkable people from a time long past. What more could you want? --BookPleasures.com, December 26, 2009
Praise for Selene of Alexandria:
"Readers will be captivated. Fans of Gillian Bradshaw’s classic The Beacon at Alexandria may especially enjoy Selene and find a promising new historical novelist who shares the same gift for wonderfully researched, vividly evoked, good old-fashioned storytelling."–The Historical Novel Society
"Selene of Alexandria is pure fiction magic…I couldn't put this book down. I love the way Justice mixed historic facts with her fictional character's lives, dreams, loves, and aspirations. Selene of Alexandria made me laugh and cry, hope and despair. I can't wait to see what else Faith L. Justice has in store for us." –Story Circle Book Reviews
"I am enthralled with the work of this author… [She writes] with beauty, brilliance, and brutal honesty. Run to the bookstore and buy this for yourself." –BookPleasures.com
"The author has weaved a brilliant tale that brings to life this fascinating era, complete with never-to-be-forgotten characters, unrequited love, and the desire of one woman to overcome adversity.It is a story that picks up momentum with each page until it reaches a very explosive ending. Highly recommended."–Women and History
"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. The level of authenticity is remarkable. No doubt, Faith has done her homework. I recommend Selene of Alexandria." -Historical Novel Review
"I couldn't put it down. Or if I did, it was under extreme protest. I took my reader with me everywhere, pulling it out to read a few more sentences even when I knew I would only have a few spare moments. I needed to know what happened. And there were a few times in the book I teared up because I was so into the story. I'm quite the history nerd...but I honestly think this book will appeal to anyone and everyone."–Novel Addiction
"Selene of Alexandria is an entertaining and enlightening novel of the classical era, and a fine read through and through."–The Midwest Book Review
This story of ambition, love, and political intrigue brings to life colorful characters and an exotic time and place. In A.D. 412 Alexandria, against the backdrop of a city torn by religious and political strife, Selene struggles to achieve her dream of becoming a physician—an unlikely goal for an upper class Christian girl. Hypatia, the famed Lady Philosopher of Alexandria, and the Augustal Prefect Orestes offer their patronage and protection. But will it be enough to save Selene from murderous riots, the machinations of a charismatic Bishop and—most dangerous of all—her own impulsive nature?