Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"The Shards of Heaven"

An award-winning writer and professor, Michael Livingston holds degrees in History, Medieval Studies, and English. In his academic life, he teaches at The Citadel, specializing in the Middle Ages.

Livingston applied the Page 69 Test to his new book, The Shards of Heaven, the first in a trilogy of historical fantasy novels, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Shards of Heaven opens with Juba, one of the many characters in the novel, revealing to his stepbrother Octavian (the future Augustus Caesar) that he may have discovered the Trident of Poseidon:
When Juba finally raised his eyes, he could see the mixture of incredulity and hope on his stepbrother's face. "Juba, I --"

"I know. You don't believe me. I'm young, I got taken in by a trader . . . I know." Juba reached for his wine cup, which he'd set down next to him on the bench, and saw that it was empty. He could use the jug, he knew, but that would make too big of a mess. Octavian's half-filled cup, though, would do nicely. "May I?" he asked, reaching for it.

Octavian handed over the cup, his gesture bordering on something exasperation, and Juba stood, carrying it over to set it down on the floor near the door. He returned, ignoring the confused look on his stepbrother's face, trying to focus his mind as he wrapped his hands around the fragment of the wooden shaft and picked it up.
One of the joys of Shards, I hope, is the process of discovery: the reader is swept along with these fascinating historical figures as they slowly uncover legendary artifacts of the ancient world and begin to understand how to use them. It is this very situation that is playing out as Juba sets the half-filled wine cup by the door: our first chance to see one of the Shards of Heaven being used. It is only the smallest taste of the power of the gods that will be revealed in the novel -- and even more are found in the sequel beyond it -- but like the finest of meals I hope it lingers in the memory.

And page 70 is even better!
Visit Michael Livingston's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Shards of Heaven.

--Marshal Zeringue