Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome

Steven Saylor, St. Martin's, $25.99 (608p) ISBN 978-0-312-38101-1
Saylor, well known for his Roma Sub Rosa historical mysteries, switched gears for his bestselling Roma and now continues the history of ancient Rome from A.D. 14 to 141 with a hefty tome of the Pinarius family as its members serve a succession of Roman emperors as soothsayers, senators, and artisans, while trying not to get killed in the slew of conspiracies that marked the Roman political scene. The patriarch, Lucius Pinarius, grooms his son, also named Lucius, to be a member of an ancient priesthood of soothsayers who interpret natural phenomenon to divine the future. Young Lucius is particularly skillful, earning the emperor's praise and confidence. Succeeding generations of Pinariuses will enjoy the favor of Trajan and Hadrian, but will suffer from the cruelty of Tiberius, the madness of Caligula, the depravity of Nero, and the murderous paranoia of Domitian. Saylor also vividly describes how the family survives the volcanic destruction of Pompeii, the burning of Rome, and the persecution of Jews and Christians. Though the ending is disappointingly abrupt, it does signal another volume to come in this grand series. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/05/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
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FORMATS
Ebook - 608 pages - 978-1-4299-6499-9
Paperback - 704 pages - 978-1-84901-602-5
Paperback - 704 pages - 978-1-84901-962-0
Compact Disc - 19 pages - 978-1-4272-1091-3
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