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Posted April 15, 2013
This book is the fourth volume in the Marching With Caesar series and Part 2 of the fictionalized account of the rivalry between Julius Caesar's adopted son, Octavian (later known as Caesar Augustus) and Caesar's close friend, Mark Antony. This rivalry effectively came to an end with the Battle of Actium, with Octavian the victor, having vanquished not only Mark Antony, but also the latter's supporter and wife, Cleopatra.
The entire series is conceived as an autobiography of the legionary Titus Pullus, who recounts his military life, serving first in Julius Caesar's favorite legion, the 10th, and subsequently finding himself enmeshed in the struggle between Octavian on the one hand and Antony and Cleopatra, on the other. Part 2 of this narrative especially highlights Cleopatra's role in this titanic clash.
From the first volume of this series to this most recent one, I have been completely captivated by the the level and the quality of historic detail this author lavishes on his subject. Every volume has provided me with an education about the reality of Roman military life as much as it has entertained me, and this book is no exception! The plot is developed with so many surprising turns that it's hard not to pull an all-nighter and finish it in one sitting. And this despite the fact that we all know the actual history and know how it all comes out! One of the many outstanding characteristics of the "Marching with Caesar" series is that the author is scrupulous about maintaining fidelity to the historic record! For those of us who value an author who respects the historic persons as they were, this is evidence of authorly integrity!
The author's writing style is conversational and sprinkled with a multitude of terrific turns of phrase, so that the reader is pulled along without ever losing the plot's momentum. In all four books of the series, I have also appreciated the author's great talent for dialog and often droll sense of humor. If you love historic fiction, historic accuracy, and exciting writing, this series is for you!
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Posted May 24, 2013
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