Woman on the Wall by Robin Rivers
Robin Marie Rivers Publishing
Trade Paperback; September 6, 2022
ISBN: Hardcover: 978-1778135705;
Trade Paperback: 978-1778135729;
$18; 6×9; 394 pages
For 500 years, the once powerful order of the Sibylline has kept the identity of its future prophetess hidden in the most famous painting in the world. Amid the chaos of post-World War II France, one woman discovers their ancient secret and its ability to transform a fragmented world.
Paris & Amboise, 1945.
A brilliant, devoted, and driven paleographer …
After 480 days as a Nazi political prisoner, Dr. Marie Guerrant returns to Paris to repatriate the Mona Lisa and find her daughter. When a British Colonel arrives claiming he needs her French Resistance connections to find the lost painting, which she helped hide seven years earlier, distrust is high. Tipped off about her daughter’s involvement and the Colonel’s obsessive belief that the Mona Lisa contains the identity of a modern-day Sibyl prophetess, Marie must risk her life to save her daughter and the masterpiece from men consumed by controlling destiny.
Amboise & Fontevraud, 1519.
A brave, bold, and potent prophetess …
On the eve of rising as the Sibyl of Amboise, Aesmeh de la Rose must rely on her visions to find Leonardo da Vinci after he and the Mona Lisa disappear from his workshop at Clos Lucé. The precious painting and its creator cannot be lost or the ancient Sibylline Order faces extermination after more than 1000 years of rebuilding their powerful matriarchy. Torn between duty and love, Aesmeh must tap into an ancient alchemy in a race to keep the Order safe. But, an unspeakable betrayal forces her to make an unfathomable choice to secure the future of the Sibylline.
This rich alternate history binds two women beyond time, each fighting to restore sight to a world blinded by the power and control of men. The fate of the world rests on their courage to reclaim the ancient feminine powers of the Sibylline. Woman on the Wall is a sweeping fantastical tale of intrigue and hope for us all.
Excerpted from Woman On The Wall by Robin Rivers. Copyright © 2022 Robin Rivers. Reprinted with permission from Robin Rivers. Vancouver, BC, Canada. All rights reserved.
MAY 2, 1519
How awkward this must be to have a dead woman about to declare the direction of your life. It is unclear to me, even at this crucial moment, how I should address you. Alas, as time can no longer keep us apart, let us dispense with being strangers and begin.
I am the Sibyl of Amboise.
I died here.
You have arrived in this tiny commune because of a five-hundred-year-old pact to find you and bring you home.
As I write these words, I wonder what you know of my kind. Do you know the names Hypatia and Lubna? Does history speak of Shushandukht and Shajar al-Durr? Or, are the Sibyls little more than mythological prophetesses painted upon the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? In truth, we are ancient, once powerful, and nearly vanished.
Born of the Great Mother’s very womb, each Sibyl’s sight gave men a glimpse of what might come. We predicted wars, warned against the rise of tyrants, shed light upon the fates of many. In the great capitals of Badari, Olmec, Xi, Khemet, the Jiroft, even the wilds of Scythia, we served humanity for more than eleven thousand years. And, then . . .
What do you know, Dear One? It pains me. What kind of world did my failures leave you? In the glimmers of your time, I saw only fire and death. Without the Sibyl, men know not the cost of their acts. Power is a seductive demon. Have I left you with the tyrants?
I must assume the world is well enough that Sister Maurine stands at your side in fulfillment of her vow. My regret is not being there beside you as well.
You are the hope of the Sibylline. I once was that hope, the first to complete training and enter the temple in more than one thousand years. Such care was taken to protect me. However, a malicious enemy lived amongst us. By the time I knew, my throat was nearly slit. It lays upon you now to do what I never fully could—to rise and serve the world.
Yes, Dear One, your coming has been foretold for five centuries. In those fifty decades, such knowledge has hung in the halls of the men who thought us eradicated. They celebrated that sublime smile, all without the fortune of knowing whom they kept safe. You are the oracle they could never burn, lying in state until this very moment.
Listen, Dear One.
Listen without fear.
Your life is an amalgamation of so many others. As you gain the sight, Amboise will return our memories to you. You shall reclaim them as your own. You may feel as if you have gone mad. Know that you are coming alive. This is where your service begins.
In the moments to come, others will attempt to strip your sovereignty. Such war is inevitable. You must prepare for it. Train. Fight as a warrior. Remain devoted to your purpose alone. Do not concede.
Then, call the Sibylline to your side. Step beyond the seven bridges of paradise and into hell in the forest beyond Gaillard. There, in the temple of the Sibylline, you shall rise and take my place at Amboise. That you might watch over humankind in beauty and justice as the Great Mothers before you intended.
Eternally in your service,
Aesmeh de la Rose
Robin Rivers (she/her) is the author of the historical thriller Woman On The Wall, The Sibylline Chronicles Vol. 1. When she is not skulking around graveyards and castles, she is dreaming up worlds full of fierce magical women. A former international award-winning journalist and media entrepreneur, Robin now runs an academy for aspiring young authors. She lives and writes on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, in Vancouver, Canada.
Title: Woman on the Wall
Author: Robin Rivers
Release Date: September 6th, 2022
Page Count: 376
Start Date: September 5th, 2022
Finish Date: September 15th, 2022
Story: Wow! I’m so impressed with this book! It’s such an intense book! I didn’t want to stop reading. This takes place in two different times in history. I’ve never read anything like it if I’m being honest. I felt like I was immersed in this story through every page. I get lost in books all the time. This is different though. I wish I could explain it better without giving every single detail away. I hope this gets adapted into a television series. I’m also really excited to read the second book when it’s released!
Characters: Let’s talk about the names. There were so many unique names. Take Aesmeh. Maybe it’s not TOTALLY unique, but it’s unique to me and I love it. I also loved the name Serah. So beautiful. The only thing that would have made this book better is to have been able to see more “flashbacks” of Marie. I loved her point of view the best.
Critiques: None that aren’t really personal.
Final Thoughts: I am a sucker for historical books. History is one of my favorite things. Aside from reading of course. I’m also never going to be the one to judge historical accuracies of a fictional novel. That’s just now how I am. If I want to get weird about accuracies, I’ll do that with nonfiction novels. I’m rambling. I really loved this book very much. I fully recommend it. I can’t wait to see the rest of the series. I also look forward to seeing other works by this author as well.