Gaius Vinius is a Praetorian Guard—the Emperor’s personal guard – in Rome. Flavia Lucilla is a freedwoman of the court who is a hairdresser for the Imperial family. The two of them are brought together on the day of a destructive fire in Rome. They move in and out of each other’s lives as the Flavian dynasty unravels with the increasingly bizarre behavior of the Emperor Domitian.
I adore this author’s Marcus Didius Falco series. It is a humorous detective series set in ancient Rome. She has a talent for making ancient Rome come alive as a real city where people lived and worked.
This book is straight historical fiction. It has all the details that I like in her other books. Vinius is a reluctant soldier and guard with horrible problems with wives. Lucilla is working to better her lot in life without a man to help support her. Both of them are considered lucky to work with the Imperial family but over time Domitian’s paranoia descends into madness and it becomes dangerous to be too near.
This book teaches you a lot about this period in Roman history. There are sections where it drags a bit as the events are explained. Actually, the fictional sections read more plausibly than the real events because the reality was so bizarre.
That’s my only finish for the week. Right now I’m listening to Cold Days by Jim Butcher. It is the latest in the Dresden Files series. A summary would make no sense unless you’ve read the rest of the series but I am loving every minute of it. This is the only series where I gasp out loud in my car as I’m listening! I also had to stop listening one day because I was having a rough day and there was a fight going on in the book. I realized that in my current emotional state that if the little fairy fighting got hurt I was going to lose it big time and I had to go back to work. LOL. I couldn’t even listen after work. I had to wait for another day.
I’m listening to it on audio so it lasts longer. I know if I read the book I’d be done already. Besides, James Marsters reads it and I love him. It is perfect audiobook casting.
A great sci-fi/fantasy actor narrating a story about the only wizard in the Chicago phone book – what’s not to love?