I was enthralled from the first page of this book—so many historical facts thrown
together into a novel, with a mystery on top!† Daniel Levin is a very talented young writer,
and yes, you could say it shows that he is young and that this is his first book, but he has
a really great start on his writing career.† This book is a step up from many by authors who
have a lot more experience writing thrillers. He trumps them all through his extensive,
fact-based historical knowledge of the era about which heís writing.
The hunt starts beneath the Colosseum, in the labyrinths of Rome, where a very important
discovery is made.† The author goes back and forth between two places and several different
people, which sometimes gets a bit confusing and might make one have to re-read a prior bit
to make sure it was remembered right; but this is because the bookís topic is so deep and
complex that sometimes itís necessary to split things into several parts to make a whole.†
Overall, I was very impressed by the context and his ability to keep it all together.
Jonathan Marcus is a lawyer and eminent classic scholar whose first love is archeology.†
This is most likely a reflection of the true character of the writer, who himself shows a
very deep understanding of classical church history.
The search that Marcus becomes involved in is for a huge, 2,000-year-old, solid gold
Menorah that came from Herodís Temple.† He runs into a past girlfriend, who coincidentally
is a UN Preservationist and antiquities expert, and almost immediately turns into that kid
again, the one who loved to get his hands dirty while on the hunt for the past.
I love the Mediterranean area and its richness of history and Levin captures all of it in
this book. There is a great greedy treasure hunter in the form of Sheik Salah ad-Din, who
wants to destroy this wonderful and symbolic Menorah and remove any and all references to
Jewish and Christian history and presence from the Temple Mount.† This book has many of the
same attributes as
Code by Dan Brown, and other books in the same genre. However, I personally think
that Levin has it over many of the other writers in terms of factual content.† He has spent
many years researching and studying his subject, and it shows.
The story is fast paced and interesting and the facts bolster any shortcomings of the
basic story. For those looking to have a large dose of reality in their fiction, this is
the book for you.† I loved The Last Ember and am looking forward to more from this
Of course, those of you who read the reviews that I post will automatically know that
this book is going to be one of my favorites, because I love this type of book.† I think
it is wonderful when a writer really knows his subject matter, and makes it of much more
important than lesser parts of the actually story, so that the facts support the fiction.