I anticipated a great juvenile fiction read when I signed this book out of my library. The story line was interesting: it follows two young Pompeiian girls, Julia and her slave Sura just prior to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Filled with lots of detail about the customs of Roman society and specifically the city of Pompeii, it was fascinating to read.
The reader knows that the eruption will be part of the book, but the ending was exciting and yet sad simultaneously.
I have one very strong criticism of this book which is marketed for ages 9 to 12 years. There were a number of scenes with strong sexual overtones and innuendo in the first half of the book which I felt were completely unnecessary. I was left wondering WHY the author incorporated this into what otherwise was a really great story.
Because of this, I cannot recommend this book for this age group. Unfortunately, older teens my not find the book will hold their interest.