SPQR VII: The Tribune's Curse

Overview

I was happier than any mere mortal has a right to be and I should have known better. The entire body of received mythology and every last Greek tragedy ever written have made one inescapable truth utterly clear: If you are supremely happy, the gods have it in for you. They don't like for mortals to be happy, and they will make you pay.

In his extensive series featuring the detecting feats of Decius Caecilius Metellus the younger, set in the Rome of 70 BC, Roberts achieves a very...

See more details below
Paperback (REV)
$14.33
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$17.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $3.48   
  • New (8) from $3.48   
  • Used (4) from $7.50   
SPQR VII: The Tribune's Curse

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

I was happier than any mere mortal has a right to be and I should have known better. The entire body of received mythology and every last Greek tragedy ever written have made one inescapable truth utterly clear: If you are supremely happy, the gods have it in for you. They don't like for mortals to be happy, and they will make you pay.

In his extensive series featuring the detecting feats of Decius Caecilius Metellus the younger, set in the Rome of 70 BC, Roberts achieves a very believable modern feeling with his well-researched description of the stories' background. This seventh episode, however, combines a familiar view of the demands office-seeking makes on a candidate with a situation that is impossibly bizarre to us today. An entire city, versed in literature, music, and the other arts, ruled democratically, for its time, is thrown into panic by an enraged man's curse.

The Consul Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome, frustrated by the Senate's vote against his leading Rome in a war against Parthia, plans to march his private army to invade the country himself. Almost all of Rome turns out to watch him carry out his threat and lead his troops out of the city. But before he can, a t powerful tribune called Ateius leaps to the top of the city's gate and invokes all the gods to put a curse on Crassus and his army.

Rome is terrified. Ateius has called down a forbidden curse — the worst and most frightening blasphemy ever perpetrated. It seriously threatens the entire populace, and drastic steps to propitiate the gods must be taken immediately. Worse even, someone kills Ateius - perhaps in the vain hope that this will lighten the curse? It will not.

After joining the other men of the city in a daylong cleansing ritual that left every able-bodied male citizen, Decius included, in a state of half-collapse, Decius learns that he has been chosen to uncover the person responsible for the murder. The culprit must be found in order to complete the cleansing, and there is no one better equipped to do that than Decius.

Roberts skillfully blends the playboy and the serious sleuth in Decius just as he combines what we see as contradictions in the Rome of 80 BC. He spices his story with humor and suspense, with characters charming and wise and foolish and very much like we are today. And he presents readers with a look into another world that has them eagerly awaiting more.visits.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Delightful ... Through the engaging, humorous voice of Decius, the author portrays such prominent figures of the Roman Republic as Cato and Cicero, while bringing to life the ancient city with its sights and smells, manners and customs, politics and religion.... Readers will surely look forward to Decius's future adventures."

Publishers Weekly

 

"Smart, brisk writing and abundant historical color."

Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this delightful historical, the seventh of Roberts's SPQR books (after 2001's Nobody Loves a Centurion), Decius Caecilius Metellus has left service in Gaul with his uncle (by marriage), Julius Caesar, and returned home to Rome. As a candidate for the office of aedile, he's busy cultivating voters by paying for expensive games and contests. The murder of the tribune Ateius, after he publicly places a dreadful curse on consul Crassus and his army, stirs up civil unrest. The consul Pompey charges Decius with finding the tribune's killer before the mobs burn the city. Through the engaging, humorous voice of Decius, the author portrays such prominent figures of the Roman Republic as Cato and Cicero, while bringing to life the ancient city with its sights and smells, manners and customs, politics and religion. (Decius confesses that he's confused by the monotheism that exists in the eastern Mediterranean provinces.) Despite a predictable ending, readers will surely look forward to Decius's future adventures. (Mar. 12) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Caesar's Gallic Wars drag on, but narrator/sleuth Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger (SPQR VI: Nobody Loves a Centurion, 2001, etc.) couldn't care less. Caesar has sent the young nobleman back home to Rome, where he plans to immerse himself in culture, canoodle with his new wife, Caesar's niece Julia, and run for his first political office. His calm, and that of the city, is disrupted by the military plans of Crassus, Pompey and Caesar's ambitious co-triumvir. Tensions are already high among the three; now Crassus' eagerness to embark on this new campaign, an apparent challenge to militant Caesar, rouses public uneasiness. In the midst of his ceremonial departure, tribune Aetius Capito, a political enemy, puts a curse on Crassus and the city for sanctioning his expedition. This is bad enough, but Aetius uses "the Secret Name of Rome," a word known only to oracles and suchlike, to make the curse stick. It falls to Decius to save the city by ferreting out the individual who gave Aetius the ammunition and incidentally treating the reader to a tour of ancient Rome's tenderloin. Midway through his investigation, Aetius is found murdered, and the probe expands to the political class, enemies of Crassus and/or the triumvirate. Clear-eyed, tart-tongued Julia plays Nero Wolfe to Decius' Archie Goodwin, staying home and sifting the information he gleans in his legwork. Though the mysteries come late in the story, smart, brisk writing and abundant historical color keep up interest until they arrive.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312304898
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  • Publication date: 4/14/2004
  • Series: SPQR Series , #7
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,470,851
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

John Maddox Roberts is the author of numerous works of science fiction and fantasy in addition to his well-loved SPQR mysteries. Minotaur has issued trade paperback editions of the previous books in the series. Roberts and his wife live in New Mexico.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting, well-researched historical mystery

    After fighting the Gauls for a year under Julius Caesar, Decius Cecilius Metellus, the black sheep of the powerful and wealthy Metellus clan, is glad to be home again in his beloved Rome. Married to Caesar¿s niece Julia and running for political office that could lead to bigger and more powerful positions, Decius is a very happy man. The populace is not in favor of Tribune Marcus Licinus Craessus going to war against the Parthians. On the day he is to depart, the fanatical opposition leader, the tribune of the people Caius Ateius Capito delivers a curse on Marcus, daring to speak the secret name of Rome. Decius is ordered to find out how he learned such a sacred name but before he gets very far in his investigation, the mauled body of Ateius is found. Decius must get answers and soon otherwise the frightened populace will start rioting. John Maddox Roberts, through the use of the first person narration of his protagonist, gives the reader a glimpse into the mindset of the citizens of the Roman Empire on the subject of slavery, magic, politics, and war. The story line is colorful allowing readers to feel as if they have gone back in time to Ancient Rome. THE TRIBUNE¿S CURSE is an exciting, well-researched historical mystery. Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)