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Guardian of the Flame ~ T. L. Higley

October 1, 2009

Genre: Adult Fiction

Publisher: B&H Publishing Group

400 pages

ISNB: 9780805447323

It’s 48 BC and two great fronts are about to collide. Rome has arrived in Egypt intertwining all of the combined glory of Caesar’s West and Cleopatra’s East. High atop the lighthouse of Alexandria, Sophia, a graying scholar keeps watch over a city she knows is doomed to change. Her life’s work, not to mention the work of her family and friends over generations, is at the doorstep of extinction, due to the growing rumble of international politics and national debts unpaid.

Three of Higley’s characters (Sophia, Cleopatra and a fictional Roman soldier) are shown in detail by alternating chapters. There is much of the expected political intrigue given the setting and players but there is also great detail in the personal relationships. Themes of love, abandonment, loss, and faith are well explored.

I adored the concept. I love history and when it’s done well, also love historical fiction. In terms of pure fact, Higley, I’m sure, is on point but I don’t think her writing style is quite in my court. It had all of the right makings of something I would devour but it seemed just too dry and slow for a real adventure. I can’t exactly pinpoint the issue in detail; I just found the reading slow going and I think I only noticed it because I wanted to eat it up but just couldn’t. That is not to say that the writing is thick or unmanageable, just that I think there was a bit too much emphasis on repeating the already mentioned inner thoughts of each character and basic other cheesy devices that slowed things down. It had the effect of making it seem a lighter read as ideas were repeated rather than explored more deeply.

I did enjoy the overall concepts, both light and deep, though. The themes of power and romance played well within in the intimate connections as well as on a larger stage. This is one of a seven book series and while I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to grab the others in a hurry, I would not be opposed to seeking out the rest in time when I need something lighter.

One Comment leave one →
  1. stacybuckeye permalink
    October 1, 2009 6:52 pm

    Sounds interesting, it’s too bad it was disappointing.

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