Would you enjoy being pursued by a determined ghost?

Historical novelists generally seem to all into two camps ~ those who do impeccable research, but fall short on their story-telling skills. Or those who are wonderful storytellers, whose research brims over with errors, often in the form of anachronisms which jar the reader out of the Fictive Dream she is trying to immersive herself in..

Rare is it to find someone who combines storytelling with impeccable research. In Laura Amy Schlitz, we find a gem. And this book is astonishing.

Ms. Schlitz is one of those authors who make the mundane interesting. What could be more boring or disgusting than reading about a stable hand shoveling turds day in and day out? But Ms. Schlitz’s sure pacing gives us enough room to imagine we are 5-year-old Rasko, abandoned by his parents, at the bottom of the food chain.

A young woman in Ancient Greek dress, with Delphi in the background.

But what is so wonderful about AMBER & CLAY is how it gives a modern reader a glimpse of the Ancient Greek mind, populated as it is with ghosts (which most people believed in) chatty gods, and imperious goddesses. Oh, and the Afterlife, which the Greeks had elaborate myths about. In this novel, you will spend about half of it in the company of a Shade, a 10-year-old girl who happens to be dead, but still holds the Threads of Destiny in her hands.

And then there are all the descriptions of clothing, wall-paintings, occupations. Even a Celebrated Philosopher becomes an important character!

If you are curious about what it was like to live in Ancient Greece during the height of the Classical Period, when Plato, Aristotle and Socrates walked the streets of Athens, then this novel is for you. Five stars. 

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