After three great wars, Rome has crushed Carthage. Now the undefended riches of Iberia beckon--gold, tin, olives, wine, and healthy young bodies to enslave. Burnt Rocks tells the story of Lavena, last child of the strongest remaining Iberian tribal leader at a time when Rome plunders and loots her land. At times helped only by her father's favorite dog, a special horse, or guided by spirits of the earth and sky, she strives to unite her people and oust the Roman menace. Based on real characters, places, and events, Burnt Rocks recreates that shadowy history--and eternal human nature rubbed raw.
|Publisher:||G. J. Berger|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. South of the Burnt Rocks West of the Moon is a story of historical fiction set during the Roman era in Iberia and vividly portrays the Roman’s vile and hostile methods of conquering and ruling. While some authors choose to portray the Roman’s in a romantic manner, G.L. Berger does not. A young and innocent 11 year-old Lavena, daughter of the village leader, witnesses the horrific death of an elderly farmer by the brutal hands of a Roman soldier. This was just the beginning of Roman brutality in Iberia and for Lavena. A few years later, the Roman army is seeking out gold, slaves and women for their use and monetary gain destroying and killing. Forced to flee her home by attacking Romans, Lavena becomes the Iberian-Celtic she-warrior that legends are made. Lavena becomes a one woman army making a stand against the cruel and mighty Romans that killed her family and friends and destroyed her home. “Gracchus looked at the armed men standing at the tent flap. They seemed to nod gently. They too had been spooked by unseen ghosts cutting down soldiers …” Like locusts, the Roman army is a plague on all villages. Seeking help, Lavena fines one village that knows of her father. Hoping to band together, Lavena remains. During the night the village is attacked by a small contingency of Roman soldiers leaving all village adult males dead and their women vulnerable. Lavena steps into leadership role easily and becomes the she-warrior that Romans come to fear in the months ahead. “Never has our land had such a warrior.” Leading a small army of 5, Lavena begins her crusade of picking the Roman army off – one soldier at a time. Cunning and wit allows Lavena and her small band of warriors to make the Romans take notice and build a strong ally among the Iberian villages for the final battle. Berger builds on lust, greed and desires of an empire that is infamous thus creating a strong story line. Berger has impeccable character development connecting the reader to all characters both main and minor. I found Lavena to be fascinating and very personable. Even with Marcus, a roman soldier, I connected to his pain of having his faith and belief ripped away and his need to find something or someone to believe in. This book will have you looking at women differently, seeing their strength and resiliency. The writing style is fresh and direct but not overwhelming. This author and book is a B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree. WordsAPlenty gives this book a 5 star review.
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite South of Burnt Rocks: West of the Moon by G.J. Berger is the story of young Lavena (a teenager by our definition), who lost her home, her friends, and her family to the invading Roman army. Her father sends her away with his treasure of gold (how he got it is a story that will lead to some conflict, too), and Lavena's mission is to warn other tribes/villages about the invading army, and to either make them flee or to unite them so they can stand as one against the huge Roman army. But who will listen to a young girl who has nothing but some gold to prove who she is? And is her father someone whom other tribes actually respect? At times, while reading South of Burnt Rocks: West of the Moon by G.J. Berger, I imagined that the book would do well as the basis of a TV series, or a mini series. I am a fan of Xenia, and Lavena reminded me of her in a way, i.e. the warrior princess image, and the leader of people believed to have no chance, but who then manage to overcome adversity by following a strong leader. Lavena also is the kind of woman others can look up to. I enjoyed reading her story very much (though I imagined her looking different than on the cover illustration), and wondered what it would be like to be in her situation. It is also a story that tells people about how the Roman armies worked. There are some interesting insights into history, philosophy, and human nature.
We are proud to announce that "South of Burnt Rocks- West of the Moon" by G.J. Berger is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!