Book Tour Review: A Day of Fire by Stephanie Dray

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Title: A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii
Author: Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter
Series: N/A
Pages: 315
Published: expected November 4 2014
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for review
Rating: 4/5

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?

 "Vesuvius has claimed us for its own, and created a tomb of my once beautiful villa." 
-page 211

A series of stories about various people living around the infamous city of Pompeii -- from the rich to the poor, the aedile to the prostitute -- A Day of Fire is a compelling and interesting collection of individual tales sourced from one of history's most infamous tragedies. Featuring several well-known and popular historical authors, using both real and imagined people from Pompeii, each story is distinct and complete. They also can be read out of order, though the overall effect will have more of an impact when you read them in the order presented.

I normally have an issue connecting to characters in historical short stories. Fifty or sixty pages is not usually enough to forge a real connection or a sense of empathy for new characters, but nearly all of these stories surprised me with their emotional depth and personal characterization. Be it Prima's anger or Diana's independence, I was sucked into the stories being interwoven by these authors. It helps that people from different stories crop up in others (Prima is in the first, the fourth, the sixth. Diana of the Cornelii, Marcus Norbanus, Capella, etc. appear in various author's additions), serving to flesh out both the character development and the ever-more-dangerous plot.

Despite knowing what happens in Pompeii and to the majority of its citizens, A Day of Fire is a book full of suspense, fear, and unexpected bravery. Not everyone featured makes it out alive, but there were far more survivors from the core group than I had expected to see by the time the lava flowed. Some die by design, others by being unable to flee to safety in the nearby Roman towns of Nuceria/Neapolis/Stabiae. Each story has a unique feel to it, but each has the same sense of desperation and determination before it's over.

A carefully cultivated collection of such excellent short stories, A Day of Fire is a detailed and well-written piece of historical fiction. While I found the works by Dray, Perinot, and Quinn to be the most finely-tuned and crafted additions, the entire novel is to be recommended and eagerly read. We may never know definitively what happened on that fateful day, but these six authors have offered up versions that are satisfying, original, and engaging.


Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 6th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Day of Fire Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 30
Review at

Monday, November 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, November 5
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, November 10
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 12
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, November 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Reading the Past

Wednesday, November 26
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, November 28
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 1
Guest Post at From the TBR Pile

Thursday, December 4
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, December 5
Review at Let Them Read Books

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.