Ah, the Roman times. The political maneuvering and utter brutality...and I thought the Middle ages were bad. I haven't read many historical novels set in ancient Rome, but I will say that this book illustrates David Blixt as an authority on the subject.
The book is centered around the tumultuous reign of Nero, an eccentric man who cared more about his participation in the arts then he did the land he ruled. Foremost in his mind was to always be the center of attention and so, every decision he made had that as his ultimate goal. In the end, his obsession with the arts would be his undoing. After his death, one family that rose to an unsteady favor during his reign, must now deal with the chaotic year of the four emperors.
Although this is the second book, the first being Colossus: Stone & Steel, it reads as a stand alone. The characters are interesting and are written in such a way that the reader cares what happens to them. The settings and historical situations are impeccably detailed. It is obvious that it was thoroughly researched. This is my first novel by Blixt and I am very impressed. I will definitely be adding him to my list of must read authors.
About the book
Publication Date: April 7, 2013
Rome under Nero is a dangerous place. His cruel artistic whims border on madness, and any man who dares rise too high has his wings clipped, with fatal results.
For one family, Nero means either promotion or destruction. While his uncle Vespasian goes off to put down a rebellion in Judea, Titus Flavius Sabinus struggles to walk the perilous line between success and notoriety as he climbs Rome's ladder. When Nero is impaled on his own artistry, the whole world is thrown into chaos and Sabinus must navigate shifting allegiances and murderous alliances as his family tries to survive the year of the Four Emperors.
The second novel in the Colossus series.
About the author
Author and playwright David Blixt's work is consistently described as "intricate," "taut," and "breathtaking." A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS'D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE'S FOOL) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, "Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It's well worth it." Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."
For more about David and his novels, visit www.davidblixt.com.
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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.