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Publisher's Summary

The greatest mystery of the ancient world remains the identity of whoever set fire to the Great Library in Alexandria.

One hundred years later, Heron of Alexandria - the city's most renowned inventor and creator of Temple miracles - receives coin from a mysterious patron to investigate the crime. Desperate to be free of the debts incurred by her twin brother, she accepts and sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the Roman Empire and change the course of history forever.

©2011 Thomas K. Carpenter (P)2012 Thomas K. Carpenter

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Michael
  • Groton, NY, United States
  • 11-08-12

A fun way to get into this time of history.

What made the experience of listening to Fires of Alexandria the most enjoyable?

Listened to the audio version. This book has plenty of intriguing action-- definitely an impossible revision of history, but does make you aware of the some of the tensions of the day. Very good desert chase scenes and excellent creativity with respect to the inventiveness of the protagonist. She invents basically the forerunner of a steam locomotive.

A little bit far-fetched, but fun and interesting. This book is more for adults--- though not too bawdy.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Heron is one gutsy woman! She perseveres in extremely painful difficult impossible circumstances.

What about Elizabeth Klett’s performance did you like?

Elizabeth is a really good reader! Her pace allows you to be creative with the emotions and she doesn't try to over engineer it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Awesome!

This was a phenomenal book! The history, inventions, mystery, and intrigue were amazing! I've always been intrigued by this time period and the technological advances of in this area of the world. This was everything I could've asked for and more! A must read! Narration was excellent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 02-12-16

Ancient Rome & Egypt, Inventions, & a Genius

An early inventor and mathematician, Heron of Alexandria, born in 10 AD, lived and worked about 100 years after the reign of Alexander the Great . . . in this fictional tale of the "creator of temple miracles", Heron is a woman, who has assumed the identity of her dead twin brother, an interesting twist on a real historical figure . . . as I listened to the story, I became more and more enthralled with the characters and the strange and mysterious beliefs of the ancient Romans . . . steeped in idolatry and pagan worship, and always seeking the next "miracle" . . . which Heron worked to give them by way of her ingenious engineering skills . . . ancient Alexandria was both a fascinating and a sad place . . . women had no place in the ancient world . . . but to be used by men . . . thus Heron's disguise . . . the investigation of the fires that had burned Alexandria more than 100 years prior, during the reign of Alexander the Great was very interesting . . . as was the history of the Library of Alexandria . . . all in all, some of the book was far fetched, bordering on fantastic . . . the war machines and some of Heron's other inventions stretched the imagination . . . but it made me like the story all the more . . . the next book is Heirs of Alexandria . . . and I can't wait to see what Heron is up to next!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Elaine
  • MIDDLETOWN, NJ, United States
  • 06-01-15

Great novel with strong heroine

This is the start to a great series. The author imagines that a real person, the brilliant inventor Heron of Alexandria, was actually a woman in disguise. This is a great premise, and Elizabeth Klett is the perfect narrator to voice this exciting story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wisdom / Power: Longevity and Value

Loved the balance of science and learning within the political constraints of ancient Alexandria. Somewhat philosophical approach to politics, religion, slavery, sexism and learning. All the problems weren't resolved - the characters still lived within the constraints of their world but progress was made.

Enjoyed the characters and the plot. You have to pay attention to catch the more subtle points. Would have enjoyed more. Very good read.

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Substandard narrative, Substandard narration

The narrator's habit of enunciating EVERY letter of a word became old very quickly and seemed unrealistic for the characters. The narrative itself dragged on and on and on with a lot of details that were ultimately unnecessary to the plot, which in the end left me wondering, "What was this even about?" The author should stick to historical narration and leave the mysteries for the experts.

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Why is this narrated by a robot?

I have no idea whether this book is any good, because after two minutes, I turned it off. The narration sounds like Siri did it. With so many truly gifted narrators out there, there is no excuse.

Read this book in paper form if it appeals to you, but do not waste your money on the robotic audiobook.

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VERY ENTERTAINING!

Enjoyed it very much. The author held the listener's attention throughout the story.

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worst narration! Ruined Book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I think the writing was interesting, but the narration was so bad that it distracted from the book and made listening painful. The story is much like those in the new steam punk category because of all the mechanical devices, automatons and reference to Alexandria as the clockwork city. It was interesting to know that these mechanical devices that seemed other worldly were actually made hundreds of years ago. I also enjoyed the characters; but be forewarned, there is violence and the ongoing threat of rape.

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  • Jan
  • LAGRANGE, KY, United States
  • 11-19-15

Excruciating

What would have made Fires of Alexandria better?

Another narrator and a better writer. Not to be flippant but this book is a mess.

What was most disappointing about Thomas K. Carpenter’s story?

Pretty much everything. The writing is very amatuerish and awkward.

Would you be willing to try another one of Elizabeth Klett’s performances?

NO!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I can't think of one. This could have been a good historical novel and I thought it would be. Instead the book is filled with inconsistency and is an narrative nightmare.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful