The beginning of an epic historical fantasy that rocks the foundations of the ancient world.
“A brilliant debut. Livingston has spiced real history with a compelling dose of fantasy!” – Bernard Cornwell, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Accurate history, magic, a diverse cast, intrigue and action, all set in ancient Rome. And Egypt. And did I mention the legionnaires?” – Mary Robinette Kowal, 3-time Hugo Award winning author
“This is a top-notch tale. An accomplished nonfiction author and historian, Livingston has a talent for storytelling that will keep readers immersed in the complex tale.” – Library Journal
“This multipronged tale is dense with action and incident; it’s grounded in history, mythology, and religion, but not weighed down by them.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“With such a master at the helm … This story was immensely gripping and enjoyable.” – Dragonmount
“Breathtaking in scope. With the first volume of a planned series intertwining Roman history and myth with Judeo-Christian mythology, Michael Livingston has created something truly epic from beginning to end…. A truly inventive epic fantasy-like novel, a massive undertaking that launches a tremendously ambitious series.” – Barnes and Noble, “Blog Review”
“An ingenious amalgam of history and imagination, told with a scholar’s attention to detail.” – Barnes and Noble, “New Book Roundup”
“The Shards of Heaven is a dazzling introduction to a new historical fantasy series. Livingston clearly knows his Ancient Rome, and he also has a real talent for plotting and writing compelling characters, as evidenced by the effortless way he navigates the genre.” – The BiblioSanctum
“A satisfyingly supernatural back story for the all-too-real final war of the Roman Republic.” – Kirkus Reviews
“It’s an adventure story: part Indiana Jones, part Game of Thrones, all set against the very real backdrop of the rise of the Roman Empire.” – The Wheel of Time Blog
“To give you a hint about what you’re in for when reading The Shards of Heaven, imagine elements of Julius Caesar’s The Conquest of Gaul and Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra combined with aspects of Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and the Indiana Jones movies… Livingston has woven together multiple real-world mythologies into something original.” – Fantasy Faction
“[An] undeniably delectable feast….Livingston uses The Shards of Heaven to explore the nature of religion in a world where empires span thousands of miles and effective rulers must find ways to incorporate and blend a multitude of religions.” – Fantasy Literature
“Livingston is one of those authors who spins words in such a way that you just want to keep reading and going along and get swept up in the world he’s weaving.” – io9, reviewing “At the End of Babel”
“A detailed and delightful historical fantasy…Beyond the magic, the history and the characters, the novel is relentlessly entertaining.” – SF Signal
“A novel sure to appeal to fans of both history and fantasy.” – NY Journal of Books
“I then sat down to read and pretty much didn’t stop until I got to the end, my only complaint being that the book did have an end. Oh and that there is no sequel published yet.” – SF Crows Nest
“The Shards of Heaven is an exhilarating adventure with a fabulous cast of characters.” – 2 Book Lovers
“Definitely one of the most original fantasies I’ve read this year, The Shards of Heaven really does work on multiple levels.” – Beauty in Ruins
“The Shards of Heaven is a historical fantasy with a tinge of Indiana Jones adventure and Dan Brown’s secret conspiracy theories. It is a story that is comes to life and engages the reader from front to back, providing some exciting alternative explanations for stories that we all know.” – Tenacious Reader
“The Shards of Heaven truly is a wonderful book. The writing is superb and has the feel of a seasoned veteran. The story is fast-paced and gripping and the imagery is vivid and imaginative.” – Nerds of a Feather
Julius Caesar is dead, assassinated on the senate floor, and the glory that is Rome has been torn in two. Octavian, Caesar’s ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, vies with Marc Antony and Cleopatra for control of Caesar’s legacy.
But as civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may truly shape the course of history: two sons of Caesar have set out on a ruthless quest to find and control the Shards of Heaven, legendary artifacts said to possess the very power of the gods — or of the one God.
Caught up in these cataclysmic events, and the hunt for the Shards, are a pair of exiled Roman legionnaires, a Greek librarian of uncertain loyalties, assassins, spies, slaves . . . and the ten-year-old daughter of Cleopatra herself.
The Shards of Heaven reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle.
Sneak peak: Read the Prologue at Tor.com!
Sneak peak: Read Chapter One at the Tor/Forge Blog!
- My Favorite Bit, with Mary Robinette Kowal
- The Big Idea, with John Scalzi
- Eating Authors, with Lawrence M. Schoen
- Building the Great Library of Alexandria, with Tor/Forge Blog
- The Challenge of Historical Fantasy, with My Bookish Ways
- Five Amazing Women in Ancient Rome, with BiblioSanctum
- Five Things in Museums in The Shards of Heaven, with MightyThor
- Transitioning from Short Story to Novel, with Black Gate
- Writers, Don’t Fire Your Arrows, with Suvudu
- Page 69 Test, with the Campaign for the American Reader
- My Book, The Movie, with the Campaign for the American Reader
- Interview, with the Quillery
- Interview, with Fantasy Literature
- Interview, with Civilian Reader
- Interview, with Dragonmount
- Interview, with SF Signal
- Interview, with Tenacious Reader