Title: A Day of Fire: a novel of Pompeii
Authors: Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter – with an introduction by Michelle Moran
Publication: November 4th 2014 by Knight Media, LLC
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . . and these are their stories:
A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets.
An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.
An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.
A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.
A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.
A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.
Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others’ path during Pompeii’s fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?
Part one: The Son by Vicky Alvear Shecter
I’m a big fan of this author and I was thrilled when I saw that the first part was her story. The Son is about a young man discovering the joys and disappointments of first loves and acceptance. I really liked this story because I soon discovered about who exactly (historically speaking) the story is about. But more than that, Vicky Alvear Shecter is a great writing and she pulled me right into the middle of Pompeii.
Part two: The Heiress by Sophie Perinot
Sophie Perinot is a unknown author to me but I loved her story. All the stories and characters in this book are connected but yet they’re all different. I liked this story because it showed the struggles of marriage in ancient Roman times and how women didn’t really have a show there. It also showed how people are not what they seem at first. Although Aemilia and Sabinus were very different, in age as well as personality, I still really liked Sabinus because he really wanted to take care of Aemilia and in the end he certainly did.
Part three: The Soldier by Ben Kane
Ben Kane is also a first time author to me. Just like the previous stories, I loved this one. I think it’s impossible for me to hate a story about Pompeii but still, the story was great, the writing was excellent and it had a great pace. This story was a bit different from the other because it featured Rufus, an ex-soldier with debts. I really liked reading this point of view because it was more about the gladiators and the rougher side of Pompeii.
Part four: The Senator by Kate Quinn
This part was yet another amazing addition to the book. Definitely a favorite one of mine. Why? Because Diana (who appeared in the second story first, if I’m not mistaken) came in it, though it mainly focuses on senator, Marcus. Diana is a fantastic character because she’s so different from the other women. She’s fierce, independent and loyal. So how could I not love her? I liked her interactions with Marcus a lot and admire her so for not abandoning him in all the craziness. Marcus was a totally different story. Due to events happening in his lifetime he became a bit suicidal and didn’t want to leave Pompeii when hell broke loose until Diana came to his rescue.
Part five: The Mother by E. Knight
I had expected this part to be sad because I anticipated where this story would go but I hadn’t expected it to completely destroy me. It simply brought me to tears. Not many stories can do that so I applaud E. Knight for being able to do that with this story. It was beautiful in a tragic sort of way. The characters where this part focuses on were fantastic to read about, I loved them all and felt so badly for them. Heartbreaking but it was absolutely intriguing at the same time.
Part six: The Whore by Stephanie Dray
This part was excellent (just like the others) but I think I liked this one the best of them all because it ties everything up in the end and some of the other characters appear in it and what ultimately happens to them. This story is about Prima and Capella, two prostitues that are also sisters. They were definitely one of the more interesting characters, both very different but I thought reading both their points of view was so good. This story was also kind of sad but wonderfully told.
I’ve always been fascinated by Pompeii but in the last year or so my fascination has grown even more so when I found out this book was happening I was so excited about it. The authors are all insanely good, though I had only read books by one of them. I heard a lot of amazing things about the others. Obviously, I wasn’t wrong about it at all. The authors all delivered greatly and the book is one of the best I read this year. I might even call it the very best book I have read this year. Although these are stories written by seperate authors, all the parts and characters are connected. Characters from one part appeared in others and so on and on. I can’t say enough how much I loved this. Because of this, this amazing collection of stories read as a full book. I can’t express enough how much I loved this book.
A Day of Fire: a novel of Pompeii is one absolutely stunning book with such excellent and colorful writing, full of history about Pompeii, its citizens and the disaster that struck everyone there. I completely recommend this brilliant read!