Gillian Bradshaw is one of my favorite historical fiction writers so I look forward eagerly to new *Books From Her Sadly Alchemy * from her #SADLY ALCHEMY FIRE WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT #Alchemy Fire was a disappointment I say that with great reluctance Set in Constantinople in the 7th century CE it tells the story of Anna a perfume maker whose daughter is the product
OF ANNA S UNION WITH THE NOW DEAD BROTHER Anna s union with the now dead brother an emperor and of Kallinikos a Syrian who has fled to Constantinople to escape the Arab invasion and is now working on a secret weapon with which to fight the ArabsBradshaw is usually skilled at bringing other times and cultures to life in her fiction but this time the characters and setting fail to come completely alive The dialogue is wooden and filled with italics so many that I counted nineteen italicized words on two consecutive pages at one point and I never really cared about the characters or the plots they were caught up in Having been reading lately about medieval Islam I was intrigued to see what Bradshaw might make of its clash with Byzantium but unfortunately the answer was not much Skip this and go read The Beacon at Alexandria instead if you haven t read Bradshaw before You ll get a much better sense of what she can do with historical fiction One of the best historical fiction authors This is about the invention of Greek Fire and so much so far i m not into this bookusually there is a real depth to her characters that Constantinople 672 ad Ex concubine Anna is attempting to raise her daughter well but as an Arab invasion threate.
DOWNLOAD ¸ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ä Gillian BradshawEems to be missing in this book i m
disappointed because i vebecause i ve really enjoyed the last 3 bradshaw books that i ve read maybe it will get m on page 100 Plot 3 distracted and overly fracturedCharacters 5 genuine personalities not given sufficient developmentAccuracy 10 well researched account including many obscure detailsThe 7th century Arab siege of Constantinople is a great setting for a novel and the invention of Greek Fire is an amazing achievement in its own right However the book fails utterly to capture any sense of this wonderhorror In fact it seems largely uninterested in the Fire aspect and instead focuses on the perfume manufacturing love interest of Callimachus the Fire s inventor There s nothing wrong with this and nothing says that a book about the Fire has to be about the Fire s creator but *IT UICKLY BECOMES APPARENT THAT THE FIRE IS A *uickly becomes apparent that the Fire is a to the main plot Instead the plot deals with the former concubine of Theodosius a now dead and disgraced member of the imperial family and her daughter with him The interesting elements here are in seeing how one s sense of identity can change when placed in a different environment Specifically the transition from being a reasonably free daughter of the lower class to being a tightly constrained princess of the royal line This is an interesting story to tell However this isn t the main story either In fact there is no main Ns and Kallinikos an alchemist working on a secret weapon to use in the seige comes into their lives a secret ab. Tory What we get is a lot of smaller plotlines stacked on top of each other and dragged out beyond reasonableness It s basically a slice of life novel which is not what I expected or wanted really given the premiseAs for the two main plots the Greek Fire plotline never really developed it s merely the excuse for some class and employer conflict as Callimachus boss to suppress him to save his own job Despite the opportunities to explore the technology and nature of Byzantine inventors we re left with another clich d corrupt nobleman story that has very little new to say When Greek Fire is actually used it s in the last chapter of the book and while the description is good it s very brief and perfunctory The imperial princess plot is handled better as it s given time but since our only POV character is Anna the girl s mother we never really go into depth here either Instead we skip ahead two years and spend the last few chapters safely free from having to witness the actual drama that was the driving thrust of the first half Wouldn t want a reason to actually careI appreciate some of the thought that went into this and the uniue choice of topics but in general this book gives us little reason to care about the characters or the plot It s unfocused with Greek Fire being used as a catalyst to tie some otherwise tricky plot threads together Despite the uniue setting the plot seems Out her daughter is forced into the open Anna must accept huge upheaval and recognize her feelings for Kalliniko.Really Enjoyed The Lastenjoyed the last bradshaw books that i ve read maybe it will get