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The Last Ember by Daniel Levin
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The Last Ember (edition 2012)

by Daniel Levin

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176867,448 (3.69)3
Member:growling529
Title:The Last Ember
Authors:Daniel Levin
Info:Penguin (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Read

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The Last Ember by Daniel Levin

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A fast paced and interesting book going into depth on the subject of Jewish and Roman history. A well developed plot and "alive" characters made a sometime implausible story live a bit more believable. It will be interesting to see what the author does in succeeding books. ( )
  labdaddy4 | Oct 8, 2012 |
Daniel Levin has concocted a wonderful blend of biblical history, interesting characters, and an intriguing plot in The Last Ember.

Fans of The DaVinci Code will appreciate this story about the quest for the Tabernacle Menorah, the menorah with the eternal flame.

Two groups of seekers--one group dedicated to preserving the menorah--the other to destroying it--lead the reader through Israel and Rome in search of the artifact.

Ancient cities below existing cities, through aqueducts and synagogues, Daniel Levin takes us on a journey and gives us the opportunity to experience a rich taste of history.

A recommended read. ( )
  cmeilink | Dec 23, 2011 |
Daniel Levin writes like he's sitting next to you telling you a story around a camp fire. The characters are very genuine and belivable. My only complaint is that it took so long to understand what was going on. ( )
  brian_irons | Nov 12, 2011 |
If you enjoy thrillers that include history, culture, and religion, set in stunning locales of both Italy and Jerusalem, I highly recommend Daniel Levin's The Last Ember.
Daniel Levin has created an anxious page-turning thrill ride through legends and rumors, faith and culture, and it's one that I absolutely could not put down. The Last Ember -- it will not disappoint. ( )
  coffeeandabookchick | Jan 2, 2011 |
What a journey. I was pulled along through over 2000 years of history in the most exciting, non stop manner! ( )
  theportal2002 | Jun 8, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 159448872X, Hardcover)

Product Description

An Italian antiquities squad discovers a woman's preserved corpse inside an ancient column. Pages torn from priceless manuscripts litter the floor of an abandoned warehouse. An illegal excavation burrows beneath Jerusalem's Dome of the rock, ground sacred to three religions.

Jonathan Marcus a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among antiguities dealers. But when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client's fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secert: a hidden message carved inside the stone itself. The discovery propels him on a perilous journey from the labyrinth beneath the Colosseum to the biblical-era tunnels of Jerusalem in search of a hidden 2,000-year-old artifact sought by empires throughout the ages. As MArcus and a passionate UN preservationist, Dr. Emili Travia, dig more deeply into the past, they're stunned to discover not only an anicent intelligence operation to protect the artifact, but also a ruthless modern plot to destroy all trace of it by a mysterious radical bent on erasing every remnant of Jewish and Christian presence from the Temple Mount. With a cutting-edge plot as intricately layered as the ancient sites it explores, The Last Ember is a gripping thriller spanning the high-stakes worlds of archaeology, politics, and terrorism in its portrayal of the modern struggle to define--and redefine--history itself.


Steve Berry and Daniel Levin on The Last Ember

Interview conducted by Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Charlemagne Pursuit.

Steve Berry: Let me say that The Last Ember is a winner. Secrets, history, conspiracies, adventures. Great stuff. Where did the idea come from?

Daniel Levin: First of all, thanks – it’s an honor to hear that from someone like you. As for the story, the level of espionage in Rome and Greece has always fascinated me. I was a classics student and was surprised to discover loads of intrigue around every corner. So I thought, what if some of that came with modern consequences?

SB: Worked for me. You really brought the ancient world alive. What about that corpse you describe in the opening pages of the novel? The one the Italian antiquities squad finds floating inside an ancient column. Great scene. Is that level of preservation possible?

DL: Amazingly, it is. Embalming techniques in the ancient Roman world used amber and preservative oils. What got my imagination stirring was when I read a historical report that some 15th-century Roman masons once found a perfectly preserved ancient woman floating in an oil-filled sarcophagus. Now that’s a powerful image.

SB: The illicit antiquities trade couldn’t be a timelier topic, especially with many museums currently investigating what artifacts in their collections may have been illegally obtained. Did current events affect your writing?

DL: Absolutely. While I was researching in Rome, there was a case brought against the former curator of the Getty museum, which has one of the finest antiquities collections in the world. I attended the trial and listened to the Italian prosecutor’s opening arguments as to why many of the artifacts should be returned. Fascinating stuff to me, both as a writer and a lawyer. I ended up working much of that Italian courtroom atmosphere into the novel.

SB: Did you actually research some illegal excavations?

DL: I did, and the more I researched illegal excavations around the world, the more I started to see a pattern: some of the largest sites of archaeological destruction were damaged for purely political purposes – simply as a way to erase the past. That's when one of the novel’s themes began to take shape. What if someone was politically motivated to control not the future, but the past?

Read the entire interview [PDF]

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:26 -0400)

Jonathan Marcus, a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among antiquities dealers, but when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client's fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secret: a hidden message carved inside the stone itself. The discovery propels him on a perilous journey from the labyrinth beneath the Colosseum to the biblical-era tunnels of Jerusalem in search of a hidden 2,000-year-old artifact sought by empires throughout the ages.--From publisher's description.… (more)

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