Chants to Persephone

by Jennifer Macaire

Alexander lives, but his soul has been stolen by the mysterious Thief of Souls, a druid with the power to change time. Now Ashley and Alexander must find Alexander’s soul and somehow get history – or rather, the future, back on track.
In book V in the Time For Alexander series, the Oracle of Amon tells Alexander he must go to the Land of Ice and Snow, so they leave their home in Alexandria and head north, to Gaul. But the Thief of Souls not only captured Alexander’s soul. He also wants Paul and the druids have raised an army to capture him. In the heart of winter, in ancient Gaul, a terrible sacrifice is made to Persephone, goddess of the Underworld – and Ashley finds herself taking part in a deadly ceremony.

 I’d brought my map with me and we looked at it every evening to see how far we’d gone. Maps, back then, were very rudimentary, so mine was like a television. Nearchus and Axiom would ask me questions for hours. The men and Paul would pore over it, tracing routes with their fingers, asking about the different mountain ranges and deserts.
Alexander frowned. ‘I could have conquered that,’ he said haughtily.
‘That would have been interesting,’ I said reflectively. ‘I’m not sure it would have changed the Europe as I knew it. The Romans are very like the Greeks in many ways, but it would have spread Persian civilization much further. I wonder …’
‘I was just wondering how that would have changed the story of Jesus.’
‘Do you mean the man who died when he was my age? Who changed the world even more than I did? And who never led a single army, nor killed a single man? That one?’
‘That’s him. He was born in a country under Roman occupation, and the Romans were less tolerant than you were about religion and things. They will try and force their gods on everyone else, and the Christians will become martyrs, thrown to the lions and all that.’
‘Ah yes, the entertainment.’ He tilted his head to the side. ‘Do the Romans invent television as well?’
‘No, you’re getting your history mixed up.’
‘It’s not history yet,’ he told me.
I made a face. ‘You’re right. What else do you want to know?’ He was so curious that once he got started on his questions, he could go on all day. ‘Why don’t you come with me in the wagon?’ I asked him.
‘All right. I want to find out more about these barbarians.’ Alexander had picked up the Greek habit of referring to anyone who didn’t speak Greek as a barbarian. It was a form of antique snobbery.
That afternoon, Alexander and Paul rode in the wagon with me, and we talked about the future. I was in charge of Paul’s future education, and Alexander took care of his reading, writing, and history. Axiom helped him with arithmetic, and Nearchus gave lessons in navigation, geography, and astronomy.
Millis loved to listen. As a slave, he’d never had any schooling. I was astounded that one of Darius’s sons could be treated so badly: enslaved, castrated, and made mute. Persians had their own terrible rules applying to their royal family. Poor Millis, his father had been one of the most powerful men in the world, but his mother had been a lowly slave. Babies of slaves were slaves, no matter what.

 Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All


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