Set in AD 412 Alexandria, Egypt and based on historical events, this story of ambition, love and murder brings to life colorful characters and an exotic time and place. Selene is bright, impulsive, stubborn, and a little spoiled by her father, a city councilor. Since her mother's death, she longs to forgo the privileges of her class to become a physician--an impossible dream for upper class girls who never engage in a profession. But Selene perseveres and gains a powerful champion--Hypatia, the renowned mathematician and Lady Philosopher of Alexandria. The old Christian Patriarch dies and the city splits in support of two candidates. After days of rioting, the Patriarch's nephew Cyril is proclaimed Patriarch and sets about consolidating the Christian sects and purging Alexandria of pagans and Jews. Orestes, the new Augustal Prefect, struggles to keep the peace and also seeks the advice of Hypatia. He finds her a woman of enormous personal charm and astute political insight and places her first among his advisors, to the humiliation of the new Patriarch. These events set the stage for a contest of wills between Church and Empire. Selene struggles in her new life. Under Hypatia's guidance, she takes classes and apprentices in medicine. She gives up security and the love of a young man for the danger of poor neighborhoods and the hostility of her classmates. It's not long before Selene is unwittingly drawn into the deadly rivalry between Cyril and Orestes. She comes of age amidst riot, plague and political intrigue . But will Selene survive the consequences of her own ambitions and impulsive actions?… (more)
Young, gifted, and strong-willed, Selene longs to rebel against the restrictions of her class to become a physician, But in AD 412, the women of rich Christian families never lower themselves to work in a profession.
Selene perseveres and gains a powerful champion—Hypatia, the renowned mathematician and Lady Philosopher of Alexandria. But the next three years are perilous. Selene and Hypatia are drawn into the heart of a struggle between the ambitious bishop and the new governor for the soul of the city—a struggle that enmeshes Selene in accusations of witchcraft and spirals into a series of bloody confrontations between Christians, pagans, and Jews.
Selene comes of age amidst riot, plague, and political intrigue; but will she survive the consequences of her own ambitions and impulsive nature?