Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Roma by Steven Saylor

I was delighted to win a copy of Roma in the Italy in Books Reading Challenge. It's a big book (650 pages) and covers 1000 years in the history of Ancient Rome, following the fortunes of the Pinarius family.

I really like the concept of this novel, using one family as an eye on history, showing the reader key points through the lives of that family.

In the first few chapters the concept worked really well - I enjoyed the weaving of myth alongside reconstruction of the very early inhabitants of the very early settlement that became the powerful city of Rome. I was engaged in the stories and interested in the characters. The story moved along at a good pace.

Later chapters though I felt rushed through a lot of very important events. In a sense this probably reflects how the pace of life has become more frenetic but we come to time periods where historical facts are much more well known and I wanted more depth.

Crafty Green Boyfriend reads mostly epic SF/Fantasy series of alternative realities. I usually find even the idea overwhelming but in this instance I found that was what I wanted! I felt that several of the later chapters of this novel would expand to make excellent novels in their own right.

And actually in a sense its not a criticism of a book to say you wanted more, is it? I can definitely recommend this as a very readable overview of the early history of Rome.

Roma by Steven Saylor, published by Corsair.

For Italy in Books

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