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Selene of Alexandria by [Justice, Faith L.]
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Selene of Alexandria Kindle Edition


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Kindle Edition, 19 May 2010
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Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

Praise for Selene of Alexandria:



"Readers will be captivated. Fans of Gillian Bradshaw’s classic The Beacon at Alexandria may especially enjoy Selene and find a promising new historical novelist who shares the same gift for wonderfully researched, vividly evoked, good old-fashioned storytelling."–The Historical Novel Society

"Selene of Alexandria is pure fiction magic…I couldn't put this book down. I love the way Justice mixed historic facts with her fictional character's lives, dreams, loves, and aspirations. Selene of Alexandria made me laugh and cry, hope and despair. I can't wait to see what else Faith L. Justice has in store for us." –Story Circle Book Reviews

"I am enthralled with the work of this author… [She writes] with beauty, brilliance, and brutal honesty. Run to the bookstore and buy this for yourself." –BookPleasures.com

"The author has weaved a brilliant tale that brings to life this fascinating era, complete with never-to-be-forgotten characters, unrequited love, and the desire of one woman to overcome adversity.It is a story that picks up momentum with each page until it reaches a very explosive ending. Highly recommended."–Women and History

"The characters are well-drawn, the plot propels us forward, and the writing carries us easily throughout the story. Even the antagonist comes across as a fully fleshed out person. The level of authenticity is remarkable. No doubt, Faith has done her homework. I recommend Selene of Alexandria." -Historical Novel Review

"I couldn't put it down. Or if I did, it was under extreme protest. I took my reader with me everywhere, pulling it out to read a few more sentences even when I knew I would only have a few spare moments. I needed to know what happened. And there were a few times in the book I teared up because I was so into the story. I'm quite the history nerd...but I honestly think this book will appeal to anyone and everyone."–Novel Addiction

"Selene of Alexandria is an entertaining and enlightening novel of the classical era, and a fine read through and through."–The Midwest Book Review

This story of ambition, love, and political intrigue brings to life colorful characters and an exotic time and place. In A.D. 412 Alexandria, against the backdrop of a city torn by religious and political strife, Selene struggles to achieve her dream of becoming a physician—an unlikely goal for an upper class Christian girl. Hypatia, the famed Lady Philosopher of Alexandria, and the Augustal Prefect Orestes offer their patronage and protection. But will it be enough to save Selene from murderous riots, the machinations of a charismatic Bishop and—most dangerous of all—her own impulsive nature?



Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2192 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Raggedy Moon Books; 2 edition (19 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YOSC04
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #538,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Science vs the church 12 July 2015
By Kerry Brunson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Truthfully, I don't recall how I became interested in Hypatia, but after seeing the 2009 movie 'Agora', which covers the latter part of her life, I was even more curious. While this book isn't about Hypatia directly, she is a dominant feature in the life of the fictional character Selene.

This story chronicles a part of Egyptian history full of violence and upheaval and in the midst of it all is Selene - a young woman who bucks convention and wants to forge her own way through life. She doesn't want to be tied down to marriage and a brood of children. She wants to help others by ministering to their physical ailments as the Church ministers to their spiritual ailments. Unfortunately, the Church - and more specifically Patriarch Cyril (an altogether real and very unlikeable individual) - believe that the spiritual and physical are one in the same.

Though the entire book takes us through only a few scant years of Selene's life, we are allowed a glimpse into the growth and blossoming of a young woman faced with many issues as she moves from awkward teenaged years to a mature young adult.

I'm not always the greatest at picturing places in my mind, yet somehow I still manage to feel like I'm there with characters - wherever 'there' is. But in this story, I felt the hot dusty land of Alexandria. I felt that I was there with these people and could've (by God I wanted to!!!) railed against the injustices of every event that happened to and around Selene. I found myself reading when I should've been working; staying up late just to read a few more lines of this incredible story. There aren't many books I have ever done that, but Faith has breathed such life into this incredible story that I truly cared for each of them. (Okay NOT Cyril or any of his ilk. :p ) My heart ached with Selene's as each new death occurred.
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed formatting but great history 23 August 2013
By J. M. Cornwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this book because Hypatia the philosopher and mathematician was mentioned and I thought she would have a central presence in the story. She does and she doesn't.

The new patriarch of the Catholic church was Cyril, a young Reader whose uncle, Theophilus, was dying and determined his nephew should take his place as Patriarch. Had Timothy, a much older and more moderate man, become Patriarch the history of that time would likely have been very different. Selene is the daughter of a council member and a very unusual girl of 14. She doesn't want to be a wife and mother; she wants to be a physician. Women of her class did not become physicians. Freedmen -- and women -- had more latitude than a high born lady.

There were women physicians, medicas, that worked in charity wards and hospitals as what would be seen as nurses in the modern world. Selene is much more. She becomes a physician in the truest sense of the world, studying with young men. She apprenticed to Mother Nut who was an Egyptian medica, a herbalist and local wise woman, who tended to the Jews and the poor. In order to study medicine, Selene must approach Hypatia and ask for her assistance, which is how Hypatia is connected to this novel.

Hypatia was important in her time as a counsellor and philosopher of renown hated by the more zealous of the new Christian sect because she was pagan and therefore evil, an agent of Satan. Faith L. Justice describes Hypatia as a petite woman with a powerfully trained voice and a good moral compass. She is respected and adds historical truth to Selene of Alexandria.

Justice uses some of the historical facts of that time in creating a believable background for Selene while Selene is a finely drawn character of flaws and brilliance that is quite memorable. Selene's struggle with following her heart versus the weight of family obligations, the dangerous times in which she lives, and social strictures and expectations illustrates what has been the limitations of patriarchal societies and the often fatal difficulties of being an intelligent woman who wants and reaches for more than she is allowed.

The men in Selene's life are by turns strong and weak, compassionate and emotionally constipated, and as focused on their needs as Selene is focused on her own needs and desires -- to practice medicine and heal those in need. Selene makes no distinctions between the upper and lower classes. Everyone who is ill and needs her help, especially the poor and marginalized, gets her full attention. What Justice does very well is demonstrate how Selene must choose who to help when her resources are limited. Justice sets Selene in an infirmary full of children dying of disease and forces her to choose which ones to help. Although the reasoning is logical, the way in which Selene deals with the wrenching choice is true to her character and adds weight and depth to her character.

Faith L. Justice gives her interpretation of the historical events in the early 5th century Alexandria, especially where the story touches on Cyril, the new Patriarch, Orestes, the governor of Alexandria sent from Constantinople, and Hypatia. Historical accuracy is good even as she chooses how to demonstrate Cyril's actions and thoughts given what is available from the subjective histories. Justice is even handed in her treatment of what was a very volatile period.

Selene of Alexandria is an engrossing story, a fictional novel set in a very authentic 5th century Alexandria. It is an admirable novel.

I would, however, suggest Faith L. Justice take another look at the formatting for Kindle. There are quite a few formatting errors and closer editing for grammar, word choice, spelling, and repetitions would be helpful, hence the 4/5 star rating. None of the errors, however, significantly detract from the story or from Justice's adept blending of fact and fiction.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Faithful to our understanding of Hypatia 15 May 2010
By James McCarron - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"Selene of Alexandria", by Faith L. Justice, is an historical novel set in Alexandria during the fifth century. It concerns a young woman named Selene who wishes to defy her sex and her class by becoming a physician. With some effort, she eventually obtains her father's blessing and the support of another key character, Hypatia, the mathematician and philosopher who lived during this time. The book describes her efforts to achieve her dream of practising medicine, and her adventures as she interacts with various prominent historical characters of the period.

The premise of this book is a clever and effective one. Although it purports to tell the story of the fictional character Selene, the book is really about the historical characters around Hypatia. That is, the author uses the fictional Selene as a device to relate, in dramatic form, the story of Hypatia. The writing is good, and the characters are well developed and interesting. The character of Selene is made to be very likeable, if a bit unrealistically virtuous.

I give this book very high marks for historical fidelity. Among the many fictional works that chronicle the life and, mainly, the death of Hypatia, this one seem to stray the least from the known facts of Hypatias life (few though they be). While any work of fiction concerning the life of Hypatia must employ considerable interpolation, this book seems to have taken a fairly balanced view of events as we understand them. There is no obvious agenda here, as is so clearly the case in most other such works, other than the desire to relate a fascinating story. The use of the fictional character of Selene to effect this goal is successful and results in a very good story.

I particularly liked the portrayal of Orestes and Cyril in this book. Here, although Cyril is no saint - pun intended - neither is he portrayed as the caricature of pure evil that most authors, seeking to attack the church, make him out to be. Ultimately, this makes for a more believable representation of this important historical character. Almost nothing is known about the historical Orestes, but Justice creates quite a believable character here as well.

Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating period-piece 10 December 2010
By Kimberly A Farrell - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"Selene of Alexandria" is a captivating period-piece set in fifth century Egypt. The main character, Selene, was so vivid in my imagination that I'd assumed she was based on a real person from history. She wasn't, but as it turns out, most of the other main characters in the story were real historical figures (notably Hypatia - a widely respected teacher, Orestes - the Roman Prefect of Egypt, and Cyril - the Patriarch of Alexandria).

This book did a great job of capturing the ambience of life in the city of Alexandria during this turbulent time in its history. Unlike several other historical fiction books I've read, this book doesn't set out to invent exciting tales to tell in a historical setting; rather, it let's the historical narrative itself lead the events, and the fictional elements (like the life of Selene and her family and friends) are woven around that historical drama.
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant look into a relatively unknown historical figure - 3 December 2014
By RantingDev - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant look into the life of Hypatia of Alexandria. The author did a brilliant job of capturing the religious turmoil of the time and incorporating as much of the history that is known about Hypatia as possible into the book. Hypatia isn't the lead character in this book (as the name implies), but she plays such a key role to the story. Definitely worth a read.

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