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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Grey, Christopher: Leonardo's Shadow

  Amazon  

4 stars

Giacomo has been a servant in the house of Leonardo da Vinci for some eight years, since the great artist saved the boy's life after he fell from a cathedral roof. Giacomo doesn't remember his life before the fall, and as the years in Leonardo's service pass, despite his affection for and loyalty to his master, he becomes increasingly interested in finding his parents. While he's concerned with this personal drama, Giacomo also tries to keep creditors off Leonardo's back. Da Vinci, long planning his great painting, The Last Supper, is under pressure from the Duke of Milan to finish the work, and under pressure from scores of local businessmen who have long been extending credit.

Giacomo tells the story of Leonardo's painting and his own roll in its creation in the first person. The prose can feel a bit stilted until you get used to it, and the book sometimes reads like a history lesson. But after a slow start I found Leonardo's Shadow very pleasant reading. Giacomo is a likable character, under-appreciated by his master in particular, and that makes us root for him. (It also probably makes him someone your average teen will identify with.) For the book's intended audience of YA readers, Leonardo's Shadow is an enjoyable way to digest information about Leonardo, The Last Supper, and the 15th century.

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