The Risen: A Novel of Spartacus

David Anthony Durham. Doubleday, $28.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-385-53566-3
This powerful and harrowing depiction of Roman oppression is also the uplifting story of a two-year slave revolt against Rome that began in 73 B.C.E., led by Spartacus, an imprisoned gladiator of legendary strength, charisma, and resolve. After a mass escape, Spartacus leads a slave army of myriad nations, clans, races, and faiths through what is now Italy, collecting 40,000 combatants and many noncombatant followers along the way. They call themselves the Risen and seek alliances in an effort to attack and destroy Rome and its tyrannical political system, but Roman allies are not forthcoming. Spartacus leads his army south to (what is now) Italy’s “toe,” intending to cross to Sicily, but discovers they are trapped due to the betrayal of opportunists and a massive, coast-to-coast, hastily built wall. They begin a long, arduous trek in freezing temperatures over snow-covered mountains toward Brundisium, with Roman soldiers shadowing their march. Monumental in scale and rich in intimately portrayed characters, Durham’s (Pride of Carthage) brilliant rendering of slavery and the horrors of war gives the novel its emotional impact. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
MP3 CD - 978-1-5159-5603-7
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-307-94855-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5159-0603-2
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