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A J Dormaar (Author of The Chronicles of Aridayn series)
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
For anyone who is not familiar with M C Scott's "Boudicca" series (written under her other name of Manda Scott), this book may be a little hard going, as there are many threads from the previous quadrilogy that extend into this new series. But for those who appreciate first class historical research, this new "Rome" series of books promises to be another first rate journey into an ancient past not usually revealed in conventional literature or movies.
M C Scott is a thinking person's writer, and there are many undercurrents of meaning beneath much of her prose that can take the reader a little while to get used to. Her characters are in-depth and complex, and her books are not ones the average reader can readily skim through. A deep spiritual element (or lack of it with some of the more sordid characters)forms the basis of much of her character development, and for those who are familiar with her previous work, they will know how the author has deftly re-created in detail the lost world of the highly spiritual ancient Britons to life and the deep connection they had with nature and the higher workings of the human mind. Rome by contrast is a soulless mechanical monster of insatiable greed and cruelty, and upon reading Ms Scott's works, one is left questioning who were the true barbarians. In this latest novel the events take place three years after the Boudiccan revolt. Sebastos Abdes Pantera, a Roman spy newly back from Britain, has paid a high personal price for his divided loyalties during his time among the British tribes, whom he came to love and honour before Rome. Scarred, bitter and broken, he makes to settle in Gaul (now France), determined to live a peaceful life and never to spy again. But his life is disrupted by two wildly different individuals - the first, Math, is a young chariot driver's apprentice of budding talent, whom Pantera, despite himself, takes a fatherly interest in; the second is Nero, the megalomaniac emperor of Rome. Nero has been informed about a prophecy regarding the exact time and date of when Rome will burn, and is desperate to recover the full prophecy details, including the identities of the culprits behind the plot. Nero discovers Pantera's whereabouts and urges him to accept this one last mission. Aware of what is at stake, Pantera has little choice in the matter.
The depiction of Nero throughout this book makes a refreshing and far more realistic change from the popular belief, which, incidentally, is now known to be wrong. Far from "fiddling" while Rome burned, Nero was well aware of keeping his good standing with the common people and was eager to portray himself as their divine father and benefactor; by most accounts he did everything he could to stem the blaze when it happened. The Nero depicted in this novel shows a young man who is sick in mind more than he is in body, and while he has generous, even honourable, character traits, his vices tend to squash any shred of decency he has. In this case, Nero selects Math's promising chariot team for further advancement in Rome not solely for their ability - he has conceived a lustful interest in the young, promising Math (this is where Nero's fiddling really comes in!) and it takes all of Pantera's skill and dedication to try and shield the boy. Math, incidentally, has no idea of his true identity, just that the adults in his life seem to be unusually protective of him...but for a more full idea of the background of Math, one must really read the "Boudicca" series.
If you are a reader who likes to take time to understand a book and who likes to fully immerse his/herself in the often brutal, gritty but always interesting ancient world, this book is well recommended.