Line of Ascent
The sixteenth century was one of the bloodiest eras of history. But one man changed it all for the love of a woman.
American ornithologist Jake Keller is in France, studying the legendary white storks of Strasbourg. He’d heard the ancient myths about this rare breed of bird — that they carry souls into different realms – but he was a man of science, not legend. But as time changes around the storks, Jake is suddenly swept into three different decades of the dangerous sixteenth century where he—and history—are changed forever
In his new world, Jake falls in love with the beautiful, intelligent Katharina Schultz. But as the storks sweep him through time, he also sees her death. To save her, as well as hundreds of thousands of other victims, Jake must find a way to stave off the suffering that is to come during the Protestant Reformation.
Jake and Katharina enlist the help of the scholar Erasmus, and their mission takes them to the court of volatile Henry VIII, the dangerous Vatican of Pope Leo X, and the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition. But five hundred years later, will the new world they create be a better one?
LINE OF ASCENT kept me completely enthralled from beginning to end. Alison Taylor-Brown is a natural storyteller who brings an intelligent and captivating voice to fiction. Her characters are so real and poignant and mesmerizing, the reader will hold onto them long after the story ends. Each chapter, each scene, each page is magical.
– Diane Les Becquets, Author, Nat’l Bestseller, Breaking Wild
More on Line of Ascent
Two men, two woman and the dangerous questions that cross centuries.
Dr. Richard Wiederkehr is at the pinnacle of a stellar career as a biochemist when he creates an organism from synthesized DNA, and so, is the first man to create life. But his discovery forces him to question conclusions long held sacred by the scientific community. His doubts endanger his research, his teaching career, and his marriage to the beautiful but fiery microbiologist, Dr. Sarah Coopersmith.
Because his atomic watch is mysteriously slow, Richard is in the right place at the right time to overhear the story of Michael Sattler, a Benedictine monk who forsook his order, became a hunted outcast, and was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1527. Sattler’s wife, Margaretha, was also executed.
Mired in his own difficulties, Richard is curious to understand how a man so radically changes course. He researches and then becomes obsessed with Sattler, following the heretic’s life through peasant revolts, plague, and reformation. As Sattler’s story unfolds before Richard, so does his own. The ending, a result of both DNA and chance/destiny closes the circle.
Like Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs, this literary novel explores the question of whether there is anything other than physicality. Artificial Life is a novel about faith: faith in God, faith in Science, both dangerous to find, both dangerous to lose.