Island of Ghosts: Gillian Bradshaw

★★★★

Hot on the heels of The Beacon at Alexandria, I turned my attention to the other Bradshaw novel I had lined up, and I’m delighted to say that Island of Ghosts proved to be equally enjoyable. Like Beacon it has a classical setting, this time in Roman Britain in 175 AD, and it’s written in the same easy, engaging style. Indeed, its protagonist is thoughtful and self-contained, much like Charis, and there are familiar themes of displacement and the difficulties of finding one’s path as an outsider.

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The Beacon at Alexandria: Gillian Bradshaw

★★★★

In one sense, of course, the title refers to the Pharos: that great lighthouse in the harbour of Alexandria which became one of the Wonders of the World. But it has another meaning too. Alexandria is a place of possibility and hope: a vast melting pot in which different cultures and religions have coexisted for centuries. It’s a place of ideas. And Charis of Ephesus hopes it’ll be a place of freedom.

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