Well, this is one book where I found the supporting characters to be more interesting than the protagonists. Vincent - Carmine's father, Corr...more3.5 stars
Well, this is one book where I found the supporting characters to be more interesting than the protagonists. Vincent - Carmine's father, Corrado and Celia - Carmine's uncle and aunt were the characters who in my view added the biggest value to this story. It's good to see well-represented individuals who are not just good or just bad. There are some pretty heavy themes featured here: human trafficking, slavery, loyalty to a criminal organization and the values that support its existence, good people who do bad things with the knowledge of their loved ones. But foremost this is a love story, so unfortunately these themes were overshadowed by the romantic development between Haven and Carmine. I expected more especially from the human trafficking subplot seeing how this novel started. Good ending I should say, it lefts open some threads for a sequel.(less)
4.25 stars This was such a difficult read! An emotional, sad, angsty and depressing, but nonetheless a hopeful story. Shyro, a boy born in slavery, is...more4.25 stars This was such a difficult read! An emotional, sad, angsty and depressing, but nonetheless a hopeful story. Shyro, a boy born in slavery, is uprooted from everything that is familiar to him, and thrown into the harsh reality of the Roman Empire. It's about his life, or at least the most defining part of it. His hope for a Someday is all that keeps him from not giving up. It's about the survival of a boy who is slowly forced to become a man.
At the end we're left with a few words from the authors that clearly describe best this book's essential message:
Does not the life of one such as he [i.e. Shyro] carry forever a testament to the human spirit? Were not his struggles and his survival, even the depths of his joy in the face of adversity... and his courage... the telling of a larger tale? A tale from a time past that in many ways just keeps repeating and is mirrored in our own world today. Is his story not also our story?
Shyro will not be remembered, but nevertheless, now his story is told, and perhaps, dear reader, during difficult time, you put others before yourself and strive to do what is right, you'll be reminded, for that spirit lives in the heart of all of us. Think then, for a moment, of the past, as tribute to all such as he, for although Shyro may or may not have been real, there were many like him who were.
And perhaps, Someday, somewhere in the great expanse of time before us when those of us here now are nothing but dust, a strangers heart may give thanks for ours. (less)
Great book with a setting where human beings are reduced to propriety, where slavery is a social institution supported by laws and by a disregard for...moreGreat book with a setting where human beings are reduced to propriety, where slavery is a social institution supported by laws and by a disregard for basic rights. For a slave the values of freedom and free will must be replaced by submission and obedience. On this background comes Cor, a man kidnapped and forced into slavery. We assist at his physical, psychological and emotional struggle for survival, his battle with the new identity, the steps that he must take in order to become a "good slave". It's a difficult process, under the direct influence of his master, a slave owner different than the others, but whose actions are often contradictory. The personal boundaries are tested, and the result is something that neither can ignore.