Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Hermetica of Elysium (Elysium Texts 1) by Annmarie Banks

1494 Barcelona. As Torquemada lights the fires of religious fervor throughout the cities of Spain, accused heretics are not the only victims. Thousands of books and manuscripts are lost to the flames as the Black Friars attempt to purge Europe of the ancient secrets of the gods and the bold new ideas that are ushering in the Renaissance.

Nadira lives a dreary life as servant to a wealthy spice merchant until the night a dying scholar is brought to the merchant’s stable, beaten by mercenaries who are on the hunt for The Hermetica of Elysium. To Nadira, words are her life: she lives them as her master’s scrivener and dreams them in her mother’s poetry. She is pursued as passionately as the fabled manuscript for her rare skill as a reader of Ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew that makes her valuable to men who pursue the book to exploit its magic.

Kidnapped by Baron Montrose, an adventurous nobleman, she is forced to read from the Hermetica. It is soon revealed to her that ideas and words are more powerful than steel or fire for within its pages are the words that incite the Dominicans to religious fervor, give the Templars their power and reveal the lost mysteries of Elysium.

As Nadira begins her transformation from servant to sorceress, will she escape the fires of the Inquisition, the clutches of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI and the French king, Charles VIII? And will Montrose’s growing fear of her powers cause her to lose her chance for love?

Reviewe: QueenBee
To be an educated woman in the 1400’s was rare and the author has taken the opportunity to explore this by creating a well crafted book about a heroine who is above her peers. With the ability to speak in 6 languages and write in some of them, she's considered such a rarity that people are willing to kill for her. This is more than a historical story, it is a piece of fiction that has elements of drama, romance, and more, to create a story that will be enjoyed by all.

I have to give four and half stars, because there was no warning that the story was ending, also, there was no warning that we were getting an excerpt of the next book. I received an ARC so it could possibly be changed once its published electronically and in paperback. Otherwise, it was a satisfying and riveting read from the author.

Publishing Date: Dec. 8, 2011
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing


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