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Roma Amor: A novel of Caligula's Rome
     

Roma Amor: A novel of Caligula's Rome

by Sherry Christie
 
How far will a father go to keep an old promise?
And how far will a son go to obey him?

Riding home from the Danube frontier, Marcus Carinna hears a voice whisper, "Your turn," as he passes his family tomb. An unseen presence also startles the Germanic priestess Aurima, whom he is bringing to Rome. But hardheaded Romans scoff at ghosts, and Marcus can't

Overview

How far will a father go to keep an old promise?
And how far will a son go to obey him?

Riding home from the Danube frontier, Marcus Carinna hears a voice whisper, "Your turn," as he passes his family tomb. An unseen presence also startles the Germanic priestess Aurima, whom he is bringing to Rome. But hardheaded Romans scoff at ghosts, and Marcus can't believe it's a warning from his brother, who killed himself three years earlier.

37 AD: To great acclaim, 25-year-old Caligula Caesar has become Rome's new master. No one is more pleased than Senator Titus Carinna, who helped him succeed to the throne. It's a shame the Senator's older son-Caligula's closest friend-committed suicide after being charged with treason. But that still leaves Marcus, his second son.

Headstrong and hot-tempered, Marcus would rather prove his courage by leading legions against Rome's enemies than take his brother's place. Yet when his father calls him home to befriend and steady the erratic Caligula, he has no choice.

Swept into a labyrinth of deceit, conspiracy, and betrayal reaching from elegant Palatine mansions to the city's grimy, teeming streets, he will uncover a dark secret that threatens his family, the woman he desires, even his life... and may bring chaos to the young Roman Empire.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2016-08-09
A historical novel of secrets and betrayal in first-century Rome, the first in an episodic series about the infamous, mad Caesars of the early Roman Empire. Marcus Carinna, an honorable Roman tribune, returns home to find a world turned upside down. He arrives back in Rome in the year 37, a full horde of captured barbarians in tow. His brother Publius was next in line to become the new emperor Caligula’s quaestor, a sort of treasurer. But, according to the official story, Publius was forced to commit suicide after cracking an offensive joke about Caligula’s predecessor, the sinister Tiberius. Soon after his return, Marcus, already burdened with the responsibilities of his wealthy family, becomes the new quaestor as Caligula chooses him to take his brother’s place in officialdom (and in Caligula’s own heart). Marcus has misgivings (“Father knew better: I was not as good as Publius. I was simply all he had left”) but knows it’s dangerous to cross an emperor. Meanwhile, Caligula, a once-decent but weak man “who could not bear not to be loved,” grows increasingly unhinged under the burdens of high office. Marcus soon discovers that he hasn’t been told the truth about his brother’s death. Worse still, the reality of what transpired—and of what continues to transpire inside the palaces of the powerful—nearly breaks Marcus’ spirit. A seasoned writer in the financial field, Christie (Money Harmony, 2015, etc.) knows how to build sentences that are never showy but clearly create the mood and emotional message she desires; at a funeral, for example, Marcus notes that “melting snow ran down my cheek like cold tears.” She’s clearly researched the details of ancient Rome, from the passing smells in the air to the big-picture “hillocky jumble of brown-tiled roofs and treetops that sprawled into the far distance.” As a result, the city comes alive with the long-gone characters who were its lifeblood—and if these people often seem strange enough to beggar belief, so were their real-life models. The first installment in a page-turning saga that revisits the heroes and villains of the grandest city of the ancient world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780692596326
Publisher:
Bexley House Books
Publication date:
04/13/2016
Pages:
500
Sales rank:
914,613
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.11(d)

Meet the Author

Vikings were the heroes of my first historical novel (all 4 pages of it) at age 11. They lost out before long to Romans, who seemed to live more entertaining lives. After earning a Phi Beta Kappa creative award in college for an early draft about a nobly born charioteer, I spent many years of research and revision developing ROMA AMOR into the story about fathers and sons that it wanted to be. It's always a joy to immerse myself in the lives of first-century Romans-and a distinct change from my day job as a professional copywriter. I live on the coast of Maine with a native-born Viking and two cats.

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