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A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  933 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
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 heir
Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Knight Media, LLC (first published October 31st 2014)
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Judith Starkston
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Day of Fire is a collection of six interconnected stories set in Pompeii on the day Vesuvius blew up. The stories immerse us into a variety of strata of Roman life in this iconic city. They build a rich palette of characters despite being in the format of short stories, and we genuinely care what happens to each of them: senators and other officials, whores, a pregnant lady of privilege, an insecure but appealing young man, and more than one determinedly independent woman.

Despite the setting,
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Confession: I’ve read A Day of Fire twice. The first time, I breezed through the pages, gripped by each individual storyline, their multidimensional characters, and the collective whole. For the second round, I paid more attention to the structure, thinking about what a detailed process it must have been to put together. Because it really has been very carefully assembled, and the result is impressive.

Six well-known historical authors – Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Q
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I have a hard time with anthologies and collaborations, but Grand Central proved such a wonderful experience that I swore I'd keep an open mind if another struck my fancy. Four months later A Day of Fire caught my eye and here I sit, once again amazed at the result.

Taking their cues from the graffiti littered walls of its ruins, these six authors set out to tell the story of a city's final moments, to chronicle the tragedy o
twelvejan [Alexandria]
5 explosive stars!

Review to come.


Like a petulant child...


Something of Kate Quinn's to nibble on while I wait to devour Lady of the Eternal City. And a great opportunity to check out the other authors!
Deborah Pickstone
Absolutely fabulous, brilliant collaboration and excellent editing by one of them! Now I want to write my own Pompeii story - there is no greater compliment to anything than that it makes me want to create something too!


I re-read this 18 months later and it's just as good. My imagination was inspired by this book and I have read and looked at almost everything about Pompeii that is on the net; to me, it proves that people have never changed - what was going on the is going on now. All that
Stephanie Thornton
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What could be better than six fabulous novelists collaborating on the destruction of Pompeii?

Answer: Not a whole lot.

I've been enthralled with Pompeii since my freshmen geography class, where for the instructor required that we watch a documentary on Mount Vesuvius, and have been fortunate enough to visit the modern day archaeological site. A Day of Fire brought me back to the mean streets of the Roman resort town and, even better, fleshed it out with prostitutes from the lupinar hawking their
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I love the idea of collaborative novels but find that unless it's a duo, anything more is usually a bit of a disaster ( Naked Came the Manatee or Hotel Angeline ). But I wasn't going to pass up this hist fic, which features six standout historical novelists all writing about Pompeii's deadly explosion -- and to my delight and great relief, this was a knockout.

Set on, or a few days before, the day of the destructive Mount Vesuvius eruption -- the novel follows seven interconnected characters. E
Tara Chevrestt
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
The first story...I was afraid I would have to take Ms. Moran's advice in the foreword and skip to the next. The premise given on the back cover is a simple sentence. "A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets." And considering the story opens with a boy excited about visiting a tavern wench for some skin action, you can see why I was reluctant. Unless you're into erotica.

Boy, was I pleasantly surprised and glad I didn't skip it. The author is a genius for making us think one th
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic compilation novel! With each chapter you get deeper into the story and it gets so intense that you can feel the earth quaking and yourself gasping for breath with the characters. I loved the intertwining of the characters and how my feelings for some of then changed as they evolved because of their circumstances. The book had something for everyone; passion, violence, love, sex, shame, and power. The authors layered their tales flawlessly and I am now finding myself eager to ...more
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-ancient

Warning: the book is very blunt about the ancient Roman Empire’s thriving industries of sexual slavery and entertainment murder.

That said -

This. Was. Awesome.

I laughed a lot and cried twice and was utterly enthralled the whole time.

This isn’t an anthology – it’s a collaboration between several authors, sharing characters and each writing separate stories about the same cast, stories that both stand on their own and come together to chronologically follow them throughout the disaster, gelling in
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rome
A beautifully written novel by five authors I've never read and one I have. It was no surprise that Ben Kane was part of this brilliant story about the people of Pompeii. The novel is written in six parts, each part by a different author. My favorite story was "The Mother" by E. Knight about a pregnant woman and her family that choose to stay in Pompeii. I loved them all and didn't want it to end. I look forward to reading more from all of these talented authors. Thank you for such a great read.
Derek Birks
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that when I received an early copy of this book I was a little apprehensive about it. It's a brave endeavour because you have six writers putting themselves out there. Six writers and one story - that sounded fraught with difficulties. I had heard of all six writers but had only read Ben Kane’s work before. Well, I can tell you that I shall be exploring the work of the other writers very soon, for this book is an excellent read.

The story plays upon our ongoing fascination with the p
Sarah u
I have been interested in A Day of Fire ever since I read that it was being written. I enjoyed Sophie Perinot's novel The Sister Queens, and Stephanie Dray's novella The Princess of Egypt Must Die, which increased my initial interest. I did have reservations, though. I wondered if the book was going to tell the same story repeatedly from different perspectives, if Vesuvius was going to erupt over and over, or if character crossovers within the narrative would be jarring.

Fortunately, none of my r
Sonja Arlow
This was my first experience with collaborative fiction and was blown away. The book consists of 6 stories by 6 different authors and they complemented each other beautifully. Each story is perfectly crafted and the collection never felt like short stories, each flowing seamlessly into the other.

Everyone knows about Pompeii but I have never actually read any historical fiction about this and loved every minute. The imagery is rich and vivid similar to what I experienced with Memoirs of Cleopatra
A superb compilation! These are six separate stories by different (and hugely accomplished) writers but they are all linked, not just by the events of Vesuvius's eruption but also by characters who come and go through the stories. The result is powerful, dramatic, intensely moving and terrifyingly real.

S.J.A. Turney
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The benefit of such a tale being told in six different stories by six different people is that it bears a certain resemblance to the good old-fashioned disaster movie. These days they tend to be released as love stories or thrillers or suchlike against the background of a disaster, but you remember the old ones? The Poseidon Adventure? Airport? The Towering Inferno? Even Volcano, I suppose. Part of the joy of those movies was that the story was not one plot but a basket of inter-weaved plot-line ...more
Stephanie (Bookfever. ♥)
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 Perino
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
What's that you say? Six historical fiction authors are getting together and writing stories about the fall of Pompeii. Oh and author Michelle Moran( who I just adore) is going to give the eloquent introduction. I am going to fully embrace the book nerd in me and say that I have been waiting with relish to get my hands on this book. Gotta love March Break! Get ready because I am about to gush about the love that I feel for this book. It is also a great book to read as I am eagerly anticipating t ...more
Susan Spann
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up for two reasons:

First and foremost, it's a novel about Pompeii, and the eruption of Vesuvius has fascinated me since I read a National Geographic article about it over twenty years ago. It's the personal elements of the tragedy that fascinate me most, probably due to the unique nature of the event, the scene, and the remains and ruins found there.

A DAY OF FIRE promised to tell "a novel in six parts" - and to fictionalize the story of the horrific eruption and disaster through t
Rio (Lynne)
I recently visited Pompeii, so when I saw this book I was excited. Several authors came together to weave a story about characters who lived the devastation. It doesn't matter if you have visited there or not, all you have to do is look online to see the destruction caused by Mt Vesuvius and see the casts of the bodies to feel for this city and it's victims. The first 2 stories started strong, but the book went downhill after that. The authors had an opportunity to take the real victim's whose c ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mostly the stories kept me engaged despite the impending doom. Well-drawn characters, and the interconnection of the stories was very well done, with the characters moving in and out of each others' stories naturally. As the stories progress, the time moves forward as well. As such, the first couple of stories, The Son and The Heiress, take place mostly before the eruption even begins, and are only tangentially connected to the eruption. The latter stories have their action more and more taking ...more
Faith Justice
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
A lively anthology by some of our best historical fiction writers. Stories feature a wide range of people: tavern whores, senators, gladiators, pregnant mothers, priests, proto-mafia money lenders, and more. The stories are linked by characters who show up in multiple stories--sometimes just as background, others in crucial plot twists--as well as the inevitable volcanic explosion. Most anthologies I read are uneven in quality: there are a couple of stand-out stories, a couple which could have b ...more
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
In Pompeii there were only the dead, the dying and the desperate.

3.5 stars. A quick, interesting introduction to Pompeii - I was amazed by how much I learned about life in Pompeii, but also about the volcanic eruption itself. I liked the idea of the six authors doing overlapping and interlinking stories as they all focused on different aspects, but it also meant that I had problems really connecting to a specific character. It has convinced me to try a few new authors though.
The Story: This book
Vicki Cline
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: roman-fiction
6 stories written by 6 authors about what happened to various people living in Pompeii on the day Vesuvius exploded. Some of the characters are real, like Pliny the Younger and some are mentioned in graffiti on Pompeii's walls. The stories are somewhat intertwined by having people featured in one story show up peripherally in others. The book gives you a really good look at what it must have been like to have been there on that day. Sadly, not all of the stories end happily, but some of the char ...more
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was a fantastic read, I really didn't want it to end. All of the writers that created this book were excellent. I will definitely read it again in the future :)
You might think "a novel of Pompeii" is a little misleading, since this is not a full length novel but rather a collection of six short stories or novelettes, all set in the days leading up to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. But this is more than just a bunch of independent tales, each story is pulled together by overlapping characters. A side character in one story might wind up being a main character in another, so you're not left wondering what happened to this person or that (except Ben Kane ...more
I LOVED this collection! Let’s just start with that fact. I have noticed a new trend lately of authors getting together to write a collection of short stories that tell a cohesive narrative, and I find this to be a really exciting trend! This is the first of these types of collections that I have had the chance to read, however I am also looking forward to reading Grand Central.

The stories told in this collection each would hold up as a stand-alone short story, however when read together you get
Reeda Booke
This is a tale made up of 6 inter-connected stories taking place during events leading right up to the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius, as seen through the eyes of several people from different social backgrounds. You have a wealthy senator, a privileged pregnant woman, a prostitute, a 17 year old who has become a man, a woman on the verge of marrying a man she doesn't love and several others.

The authors did a tremendous job in writing a seamless story, picking up where the other has left off, to form
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even though I love historical fiction, I rarely read novels based in Roman times. The whole gladiator/slave thing doesn't appeal to me at all. I purchased this book on my kindle app a few months ago because it was on sale but just got round to reading it. To my own surprise I really enjoyed it. I liked the format of this book, in which six different authors tell a story about a single event, with characters carrying over from story to story. It worked well. I liked several of the characters, and ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Stunning view of Pompeii. This amazing book breathes life into Pompeii and the eruption of Vesuvius.I loved learning about the everyday lives of these people and their heroic efforts to escape the disaster.
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BookClubFiction: A Day of Fire: a novel of Pompeii - Full Discussion 3 14 Feb 16, 2015 05:00PM  
review 1 11 Jan 08, 2015 12:11PM  
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STEPHANIE DRAY is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. She lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.
More about Stephanie Dray

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