No Roads Lead To Rome

( 3 )

Overview

Amazon 2011 Breakthrough Novel semi-finalist!

It's AD 123. On the edge of the Roman Empire, a dead governor leaves behind the opportunity of a lifetime.

Mysteriously promoted, a senator’s son finds himself in an ancient world of trouble. Within days of taking office, Hispania’s taxpayers are in open revolt, all legionaries depart to build Hadrian's Wall, and the once-sleepy province is rocked by slave revolts,...

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No Roads Lead to Rome

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Overview

Amazon 2011 Breakthrough Novel semi-finalist!

It's AD 123. On the edge of the Roman Empire, a dead governor leaves behind the opportunity of a lifetime.

Mysteriously promoted, a senator’s son finds himself in an ancient world of trouble. Within days of taking office, Hispania’s taxpayers are in open revolt, all legionaries depart to build Hadrian's Wall, and the once-sleepy province is rocked by slave revolts, bread riots, and fad religions.

A quixotic saga steeped in humor and history, "No Roads Lead to Rome" chronicles the clumsy schemes of the new governor and his shadowy adviser, a superstitious centurion's struggle to save his faith in the faded ideals of the Republic, and a young rebel's reluctant vow to change the course of history. All are pitted against the Gods, the Emperor, and the decline and fall of nearly everything.

It's AD 123--a time not unlike the present--and No Roads Lead to Rome.

From Publishers Weekly:

The Roman Empire is at a crossroads, and Emperor Hadrian, realizing that continued expansion will make the empire's borders indefensible, decrees consolidation to a size the legions can better guard. That story is told here in a confusion of the historical, the comical, the metaphorical, and the adventurous that mostly (and surprisingly) holds together fairly well. In the province of Hispania, the governor, Festus Rufius, has just taken over for his murdered predecessor, veteran Centurion Marcus Valerius.

Surviving on graft, plots, kickbacks and bribery, the Empire lurches on while Hispania is beset by slave revolts, food riots, uncollected taxes, and bad wine. And so the province's leadership must resort to a series of desperate illusions to disguise its failings.

All this is recounted swiftly, with verve, panache, and a light tread that makes for a delightful, well told tale.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982582909
  • Publisher: Via del Prat
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    Laugh Till You Cry

    Here's a link to independent review of "No Roads Lead to Rome"

    http://www.vanvoice.com/article/21006-laugh%20till%20you%20cry

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Strong Writing Undone by Story

    I really wanted to like this book. The premise is strong: In the reign of Hadrian, an aging Roman warrior seeks an end to his army career; an uncaring and cantankerous governor of a Roman outpost takes control of his new post; a mysterious box contains a secret and politically explosive document. This self-published book was also attempting to take a novel approach to the sand-and-sandal epic by introducing a light and more humorous voice and approach.

    Author R.S. Gompertz writing is, at times, very strong. He does a wonderful job with exposition, and his powers of description bely the fact that this is his first novel. An example as Centurion Valerius walks through the Roman province of Hispania: "The misty silhouettes of trees reached over the path like bony arms of death...The gray gloom infiltrated every wet breath that Valerius suck through his teeth." I truly enjoyed Gompertz' mood and scenery setting.

    Where Gompertz fails is in the cohesiveness of the story, the dialogue and an ability to draw the reader into his characters. The story doesn't have the strong connective component from chapter to chapter, or as one transitions between scenes, that one finds in more polished work. The dialogue is stilted and I found myself re-reading conversations to try and get a comprehensive grasp of motivation and understand the base meaning of an exchange between characters (let alone trying to identify what deeper meaning there may have been).

    In the end, I suspect the novel would move from a 2-star rating to a high 3 or 4 with some professional editing. Gompertz is a genuinely good writer and has a fine sense of humor. Those components alone aren't able to make up for a fractured and disconnected story.

    I look forward to Gompertz securing a publishing contract and the services of a strong editor.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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