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Grass Crown

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Rise of Sulla

    I enjoyed the first book of this series (First Man of Rome) but this way much better! It covers roughly 10 years (99 - 88 BC) and is centered around Sulla's rise to power and Marius' fall. The thing I love about the way she portrays these historical figures is that no one is utterly adored or despised. One can see both the good and bad in everyone, and even see good reasons for horrible actions. It is, in my opinion, the most fascinating period of Roman history. Called by historians The Roman Revolution, this period is plagued by civil wars and various leaders stepping forth to restore order and claim power for themselves as the Republic dwindles away with every step taken to prevent it. My favorite story line in this book, though only present in the first half, is the career of Marcus Livius Drusus. An incredible figure who was assassinated as he tried to prevent the Italian War, he was truly an incredible figure that not many people know about. Overall, though, Sulla was by far the most complex character of this chapter of the saga, as much of the book revolves around him (he did get the Grass Crown, after all). Again, I'm not sure how much someone would get from these books without an understanding of the period. Perhaps someone could inform me either way, as I most definitely have a background in the area with my degree.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    Hitorical Fiction at it's best

    Real History with some fiction to fill in the blanks. This is a great way to become familier with Roman History. Then read Rubicon for the real history.

    Ciao

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005

    Just as good as the first...

    While it is every bit as good as the first, the Grass Crown does have a rather sad ending though McCullough dealt remarkably with the tragedy of Marius and his death. I won't reveal the details here but it's a pity Marius and Sulla fell out (though you saw that coming). It's full of the same intrigue and historical goodies as the first (The First Man in Rome) is. Her knowledge of the Roman Republic is extensive and you can tell she is interested in the subject. The same characters develop and new ones are added, and they 'look' like real people with real problems. The machinery of the Republic is brought to life in a way that you will never capture just by reading a history book. I never was interested in the Romans until after I had read the First Man in Rome and the Grass Crown.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2002

    The Saga Continues

    This second novel in Ms McCullough's Roman series is every bit as good as the first. What a wonderfully greedy, avaricious and self-centered lot the upper echelons of Roman society were - strike any familiar bells with govt circles in D.C.? How little human nature has changed with the passing of time and how relevant the study of history is. A shame we don't sometimes learn more from it. The death of Gaius Marius is particularly poignant, a Consul six times and a national icon, by the time of his seventh and his death, already forgotten by those around him, how ephemeral is life in the fast lane! It would be difficult to imagine a more interesting read with more relevancies for today's world than these glimpses into our past. McCullough deserves her own triumph!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2002

    The Saga Continues

    This second volume of Ms McCullough's Roman series of novels is every bit as good as her first. Every level of Roman society is involved and comparisons with modern society are inevitable. The scheming, machinations of the senators are well worthy of their beltway contemporaries today! The death of Marius of particularly good, for most of his life an icon, only to end up as a half crazed madman, neither the first of his kind or the last!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2000

    Excellent Historical Fiction

    To understand most of this novel you will, of course, have to of read 'The First Man in Rome.' But it will be well worth your time, trust me. Although Mrs. McCollough can get a bit wordy/long-winded at times, she definitely knows how to dive the reader into a society that was lost to us long ago. Her character descriptions are sharp and her understanding of Roman culture uncanny. I must admit, I almost gave this five (5) stars, but stopped short because of a few items that annoyed me. Mainly was the portrayal of Gauis Marius' death. For a man who had been Consel seven times, even if he had lost his mind at the end, his death would have been much more widely grieved I believe. But that is neither here nor there, simply a matter of literary taste on my part. I can see the development of Cornelius Sulla into a MAJOR player for future events in Rome and I have already began to read the next book in the series---Fortune's Favorite. These books are addicting! Be careful. I do applaud Colleen McCollough's work--she has done some incredible research and found her niche in the literary community. All in all, I say, WELL DONE! Bravios!

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted November 2, 2008

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    Posted October 25, 2010

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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