A Star’s Legacy: Volume One of The Magdala Trilogy

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It is a time of great change and unprecedented prosperity in the Middle East. Romans are settling across the land, raising conflicting feelings of hope and hatred within the Jewish population that they rule over. King Herod’s reign is waning, spurred on by his debilitating illness and the intrigues of his weak offspring. And in the heavens, a strange star sets the night ablaze while soothsayers and mystics prophesy downfall, redemption and the coming of the Messiah. Under this heavenly talisman three strangers are born, whose lives take them across the shores of Galilee, to the heart of the Roman Empire, to the holy city of Jerusalem, and even further afar as their destinies slowly come together.

In A Star’s Legacy,—the first book in the Magdala Trilogy—Peter Longley sets out to weave the tale of one of the most familiar, yet least-known women of history: Mary Magdalene. In much the same way that Marion Zimmer Bradley reconstructed the Arthurian legend in The Mists of Avalon, Longley blends a fantastic mixture of historical and fictional figures and events to narrate the early lives of Joshua, (also known as Jesus of Nazareth,) Maria, (also known as Mary Magdalene,) and Linus Flavius, (son of a high-ranking Roman official.)

Using simple, effective prose, Longley tells an engaging tale that offers plausible explanations of those well-known stories of the miraculous, such as the virgin birth and the turning of water into wine. A warning: be ready for the abrupt descriptions of some events, with months or years passing within a single paragraph, and beware the sometimes oblique motivations of certain characters, which leave you slightly unsure as to why they believe what they believe. Yet, overall, Longley tells an intriguing story in a setting that is both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 555 pages
Publisher iUniverse
Publish Date 10-Jul-2009
ISBN 9781440142543
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2010
Category Historical Fiction


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