Thursday, January 24, 2013

REVIEW: The Seed of Mankind by Sabrina James Riley

TITLE: The Seed of Mankind
AUTHOR:  Sabrina James Riley
GENRE: Ancient Historical Fiction

There are the people, and then there are the gods. At least that is what our written history would have us believe. But what if the story we were told was written by the wrong person?

4000 years into our past, a wrongfully exiled man named Zenuah starts on a journey that begins when he learns the truth about the gods his people worship.

The lies of the past threaten to destroy their world, and it falls to Zenuah and Aiya, the powerful woman he's falling for, to build their own truth and use it to save the seed of mankind.


This book caught my attention for several reasons but the most important one was that it was about the Ancient Sumerian myths, some of which were to do with the Creation, but most prominently, this was a new take on the Flood Story.  Not the flood of the Old Testament – there was another flood…did you know that?  Or maybe it’s the same flood, but the dates don’t quite match up.  This is part of what intrigues me about Ancient Sumeria and Babylon.  Some of what they tell is very VERY similar to the Old Testament, yet it’s never really talked about.

The Seed of Mankind tells the story of the Eridu Genesis, a flood story that ends up wiping out most of the people on the Earth except for a select few who were privileged to insider information about the coming flood, and then the seeds of mankind were planted afterward.

Sumerian mythology is convoluted because it morphs into other mythologies as time progresses – Inanna becomes Ishtar, becomes Isis  becomes Aphrodite.  Nimrod becomes Marduk, becomes Ashur, becomes, Poseidon and so forth until new religions move in and take over the old gods and goddesses.

The Eridu Genesis is your basic Noah’s Ark story and The Seed of Mankind takes this story and puts a new twist on it – gives it life through two young adults named Zenuah and Aiya and the whole tale is told through the eyes of these two points of view – Zenuah – as one of the slave people who are destined to die in the flood; and Aiya – one of the “gods” destined to be saved.

I enjoyed the story of Zenuah and Aiya – the descriptions were very visual and could easily imagine the setting of ancient Mesopotamia.  I especially enjoyed that Aiya had a magpie as her “pet” and I enjoyed her spirit.  Zenuah was industrious and hard-working and together I think they make a great pair.

I would definitely recommend this book to teens studying the myths and history of ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babylonian cultures and if you or your teen has never read through the Epic of Gilgamesh, I also highly recommend that.  It’s a fascinating tale – much like other Hero's Quest myths (Hercules, for example) and is filled with some pretty cool stuff.


I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember; I still have a few stories I wrote in crayon on construction paper that I had stapled together to make a book that my mother saved for me.

Luckily, I've come a long way from crayons and construction paper, and have been able to type up stories almost as fast as my mind can create them.

I'm also an insanely avid reader, and along with all the award winning literature and classics on my shelf, I also have a penchant for the stories of other Indie authors...some of my all-time favorite books were self-published, and I believe that the ability to self-publish is one of the best things to happen to the world.

Can you imagine all the great stories we'd probably not have access to?

I live in Florida with my family, which includes but is not limited to: a pre-teen girl, a feisty just-on-the-brink-of-walking baby, and a 14 year old cattle dog who still thinks she is a puppy.

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