Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Hermetica of Elysium

The Hermetica of Elysium (Elysium Texts Series)The Hermetica of Elysium by Annmarie Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published December 8th 2011 by Knox Robinson Publishing Ltd

1494 Barcelona. As Torquemada lights the fires of religious fervor throughout the cities of Spain, accused heretics are not the only victims. Thousands of books and manuscripts are lost to the flames as the Black Friars attempt to purge Europe of the ancient secrets of the gods and the bold new ideas that are ushering in the Renaissance. Nadira lives a dreary life as servant to a wealthy spice merchant until the night a dying scholar is brought to the merchant's stable, beaten by mercenaries who are on the hunt for The Hermetica of Elysium.
To Nadira, words are her life: she lives them as her master's scrivener and dreams them in her mother's poetry. She is pursued as passionately as the fabled manuscript for her rare skill as a reader of Ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew that makes her valuable to men who pursue the book to exploit its magic. Kidnapped by Baron Montrose, an adventurous nobleman, she is forced to read from the Hermetica. It is soon revealed to her that ideas and words are more powerful than steel or fire for within its pages are the words that incite the Dominicans to religious fervor, give the Templars their power and reveal the lost mysteries of Elysium. As Nadira begins her transformation from servant to sorceress, will she escape the fires of the Inquisition, the clutches of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI and the French king, Charles VIII? And will Montrose's growing fear of her powers cause her to lose her chance for love?


The best way I can think of to describe this book would be as the friend* you make when you need to make a friend, so you just randomly choose whoever seems nice enough but still cool enough to further your social status.

The relationship starts off pretty good and you realize you chose wisely; not only is this new friend easy to be with but they also have a great story to tell. But over time change happens maybe it's you, maybe it's them and things get a little uncomfortable between you. You start to realize that they tend to favor one main story and constantly retell it to anyone they meet. Still you hope for the best and stick with them and soon everything is great again. You stick with them until it's time to go your separate ways and decided to just see how things go maybe you'll get together again maybe that's the last you see of each other. Or maybe you wait to see how far they get in life and check back often.

...Yeah that's basically it. The story starts out great and right away, we don't have so many chapters of the main character Nadira worrying about nothing waiting for something to happen. It just happens on page one, the writing flows smoothly you easily get caught up in the story. But like I said after a while something changed, it was mainly that it started slowing down a bit, with Nadira spending a lot of time inside just reading. And I'm willing to take partial blame for not liking those few chapters which kind of took me out of the story.
Besides those couple of chapters it starts off great and ends great, I loved all the characters from the moment they were introduced, the only main flaw I saw in Nadira was that she was maybe a little too accepting with the people who kidnap her. I understand that it was basically her way to survive but it came off a little too willingly. That and she's a perfect example of what power can do to some people. I'm not saying that in a negative way; she just makes it obvious that once she had tried it she needed more.

But all in all she was a fighter and I really liked her.





*If you never made a friend like this in school it could also work as the brainy lab partner.


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