This is Carl's Brain
The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston

When I read the back cover of The Shards of Heaven, I found the concept tantalizing.  I’m a big reader of both fantasy and historical fiction.  The combination sounded fascinating, especially when setting it at the time of the Roman Empire with Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

 

I tend to be pretty critical in my reviews, but I can’t find much to criticize.  The writing is exceptional.  The pace was just right, with almost no slow spots to be found.  I also enjoyed the characterization.  The novel is chock full of memorable characters, especially Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, who found themselves in the show Rome as well despite not being particularly well known historical figures.  On both the Roman and Egyptian side, the characters are well drawn from the main protagonists and antagonists to the side characters.

 

I also really enjoyed the fusion of history and fantasy.  It was so well done that it was often hard to keep track of what may have historically happened and where the fantastical elements were inserted.  I like the concept of the Shards of Heaven and how they were part of the staff of Moses/trident of Poseidon and the Ark of the Covenant.  The novel started strong, finished strong, and didn’t sag anywhere in between.  This novel was a winner and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.