In the Shadow of Vesuvius

Classics, General Fiction, Young Adult

By Liz Carmichael

Publisher : Daimhin Books

ABOUT Liz Carmichael

Liz Carmichael
Writer, editor, illustrator, and avid reader - especially of historical fiction.Although born in Scotland and spent time on other countires, Liz is now settled in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia


Vesuvius is awake.

Mira, a fifteen-year-old slave has seen what’s coming. To save her life, and that of her young charge, she must escape her stubborn owner and flee from Herculaneum.

The day Mira became the child's nursemaid, the promise made to his mother was to protect the child with her life if need be. To fulfil that promise she must now convince the slave set to guard her to her her slip away with the baby boy, or talk him into going with them.

Time is running out. But Dominus decides sacrifice must be made to the gods, even though others have already run for their lives. Mira must leave now, or share the town’s fate when Mount Vesuvius sends its searing death and burial raging down the mountain.

It was written after reading about a young slave whose skeletal remains, holding a child wearing gold chains in her arms, were uncovered when ancient Herculaneum was uncovered. It touched me so deeply I had to give her back her life.

This is a tense story of a young slave girl trying to escape the coming devastation of Herculaneum during the 79.CE Vesuvius eruption. It’s well-paced, with great characterization and believable situations. It’s well-researched with a lot of elements of the time period which gives the reader an authentic picture of the era. Mira knows what's coming and her goal is to save her young charge, Remy. The whole book takes place in less than twenty four hours and keeps the action flowing from the first page.
If you're looking for a good fast read with some history and adventure, I highly recommend this book. Although a YA book, it's appropriate for all ages from Middle Grade to Adult. It has something for everyone.


 Liz Carmichael has a very unique ability to transport the reader into history, putting us right in the middle of a catastrophy.
Mira, a fifteen year old nanny, knows what is going to happen but trying to tell her master and those around her is next to impossible. Who is going to believe a slave about the destruction of an entire city? Mira sticks to her guns (which you'll love, because she grows - not only in maturity, but also some guts to stand up against others).
A hint of love interest will also keep you reading.
I enjoyed the story, the characters and excellent plot line. I'd recommend the read.