Monday, February 11, 2008

The Heretic by Andrew Feder

ISBN: 9781434330543 - AuthorHouse (2007)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/07)

"The Heretic" is the sequel to "When Angels Have Risen."  Not having read the first one, I can easily say that this book stands well alone.  This story begins in the life of Jerry Fletcher.  He is a United States Senator during the time after The Second American Revolution.  This is a time when the government is promoting: "personal growth, enlightenment, healing, respect, and, of course, freedom."  Jerry is not married; however, he is living with Kelly whom he refers as his savior and the love of his life.
Jerry has been having dreams that take him back in history to times of strife.  When he is at a museum one day, he discovers that he can read Greek.  He finds this discovery amazing, however, somewhat troubling because he has never studied Greek.  Following the advice of an ex-lover, Jerry consults a psychic who regresses him into his past lives.  Through this path, he discovers that he was the Spartan Aias, who was Alexander's mentor.  Aias also felt a brotherly closeness to Alexander. 
Aias and Alexander go to battle together. During particularly brutal campaigns, Aias became known as "The Decapitator."  This was for a good reason.   Also for a good reason, he was known as a great lover among women.  In this book, the majority of Greek males engaged in homosexuality.  Aias has no interest in this.  The women at the time were more than willing to let Aias make up for the lack of attention that they were receiving from men.  Aias was also known as "The Heretic" because he didn't follow the religious beliefs of his people.  He did not worship statutes, nor did he believe that they were God.  He believed in one infinite God. 
When Aias met the priestess Nefertiti, he immediately fell for her.  They were married and enjoyed their lives together when he wasn't away at war. Nefertiti also shared his religious beliefs and introduced him to the scrolls written by heavenly bodies referred to as "The Celestials."  These are enlightened beings whom we have derived a great deal of knowledge.
I enjoyed "The Heretic."  It was written in a modern voice, which might detract a little from the historical value of the story, however, it makes it much more interesting and easy to follow.   Aias is a man who stands on his own two feet.  In spite of his foul language and lusty pursuits, he also has deep spiritual beliefs.  I loved that this was incorporated into the story with Nefertiti.  I highly recommend, "The Heretic."

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