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The Seven Hills (Hannibal's Children Series Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

John Maddox Roberts
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99

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Book Description

Sequel to HANNIBAL'S CHILDREN, this alternate history follows Marcus Scipio, a brilliant young Roman from one of the oldest patrician families, and Titus Norbanus, the ambitious son of a "new" Roman family from Gaul, whose skillfully-orchestrated battles are earning him fame and infamy -- depending whose side you're on -- in the Senate and among the Roman people.

Set over a hundred years after Hannibal defeated Rome in the Second Punic War, the exiled Romans have returned to Italy and retaken their beloved city of the seven hills.  But Rome will never feel safe until Carthage is destroyed.  While Norbanus, who fancies himself a new Alexander the Great, expands the Roman Empire and defeats enemies, young Scipio in Alexandria, with the backing of the Egyptian queen, invites "philosophers" with scientific and engineering skills to the Alexandrian Library's school to create new inventions, from submarines to telescopes to flying machines, that will transform warfare -- and the world. Sequel to the novel Library Journal called "a well-researched and vivid alternate history of the rivalry between Rome and Carthage."

"Mastering the details of later republican Roman life, Roberts builds a very convincing alternate Rome, full of intriguing characters who pose readers the fun of figuring out their real-life counterparts."
- Booklist

"{Roberts} is perfectly at home in the sprawl of ancient Rome."
- Publishers Weekly

"First-rate, intriguing … John Maddox Roberts … proves that he's perfectly at home in the urban sprawl of ancient Rome … He does an admirable job of navigating through a difficult and challenging conceit, providing plenty of reflective material for history buffs while constructing an intriguing story line that pays tribute to the ingenuity of the Romans.”
-Publisher’s Weekly

“The author of THE KING’S GAMBIT and THE CATILINE CONSPIRACY provides a well-researched and vivid alternate history of the rivalry between Rome and Carthage.”
-Library Journal

“A fascinating alternate history novel … The Reader is immersed in the culture of Rome.”
- Midwest Book Review

"Exciting, provocative, and entertaining … This is far and away the best book I've read by Roberts."
- Science Fiction Chronicle

on the SPQR novels:
"Wonderful … All the wild imaginative stimulation of the best detective fiction."
- Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of The Mists ofAvalon

"Roberts deftly re-creates his ancient world, constantly re
minding the reader that it was a cruel and violent place
where people thought and acted a lot differently from us. A
double-edged solution perfectly caps a highly entertaining
- Publishers Weekly

John Maddox Roberts is the author of more than 50 books in the mystery, SF and historical genres. His novel SPQR was nominated for the Edgar Award and the series is now up to 13 volumes and 13 languages. He also writes the contemporary Gabe Treloar private eye novels. He lives in Estancia, New Mexico with his wife, Beth, and an indeterminate number of cats.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Roberts continues the story of Hannibal's Children (2002), in which Hannibal conquered Rome, and the banished Romans retreated to the Danube, conquered those living along it, and built a Rome in exile. In this book, Rome has reconquered Italy and is resettling it to be as it was before the Carthaginians came. But even as the Romans rebuild, intramural political conflicts generate brawls in the newly restored Curia. One of the most serious conflicts is between the old families, whose ancestors were banished from Rome, and the "New Men" descended from Gauls and Germans who threw their lot in with Roma Noricum. As new war with Carthage looms, four legions are in Egypt, cut off from direct return to Italy; their commander, New Man Titus Norbanus, has some very untraditional ideas about what can be done. Mastering the details of later republican Roman life, Roberts builds a very convincing alternate Rome, full of intriguing characters who pose readers the fun of figuring out their real-life counterparts. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

In addition to his works of science fiction and fantasy, John Maddox Roberts is also the author of the SPQR books, a series of mystery novels set in ancient Rome.

Product Details

  • File Size: 679 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc. (March 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007PRUV5U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,422 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely needs Decius Quintus Caecilius the Younger August 25, 2005
By ilmk
JMR's second installment of his alternative history of the Roman Republic unfortunately tends to wander off into the hot and humid distance with no discernable oasis in sight. Much is given over to Titus Norbanus' anabasis and growing ego-centricity whilst Scipio pouts and postures in Alexandria playing with his new-fangled toys generated by the archimedian school.

This novel is that lull before the third explosive finale as the two main protagonists cross their personal rubicons and build their military and political might using the new empire as a personal plaything. Scipio spends all his time with Selene angling for the Egyptian army and navy to become his personal troops on a march on Carthage. Meanwhile, Titus Norbanus marches up towards Greece conquering all and defeating two Carthaginian armies who are attempting their own alpine crossing (minus elephants). The only real difference between the two is one possesses humility, the other delusions of grandeur. You can see where JMR is heading.

You get the impression that JMR came up with a good `what if' in the first novel and took it on marvelous strides off into an alternative history where Carthage wasn't sown with salt and Rome got sent north into the Germanic forests. Once he'd reestablished the re-emergence of Rome then it was a case of what to do and we end up with a variant of Caesar and Pompey, or Octavius and Anthony as they both head to Egypt to fall in with their own Cleopatra and start the descent towards imperialism whilst an increasingly aging and befuddled Senate protests in the background. The characterization is neither good nor bad, the personalities plausible copies of the reality that was Rome.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Roman page turner from the mind of John Maddox Roberts February 27, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Seven Hills is the second book in a Roman semi-historical fiction, what-if novel. It is not HISTORY! That being said, it is an excellent work of story telling with a very strong understanding of historical Rome and the Roman military systems. This book is even more fast-paced than the initial volume, and has the color and life that a master storyteller breathes into his creation.

With so many realistic and complicated characters, you feel as if you are actually in the alternate universe, witnessing the devious politics, the bloody battles and the naval action. The most disappoint part of this book is when you reach the last page, and realize that you don't have the third volume at hand.

Rome against Carthage! Rome against Judea! Rome against Cilician pirates, wily Greeks, and bloodthirsty Celto-Iberians, Illyrians and Spartans! Did I mention that Egypt is a lively nation, where philosophers actually experiment with technology? Perhaps it will be Rome against Egypt and Parthia as well! Roman against Roman is always a given, watch your enemies, and watch your friends closer!

Five Stars for an interesting book that will amuse the history buff, give the war gamer ideas for a semi-historical campaign setting, and entertain the action adventure crowd!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When Romans Attack... September 1, 2005
This is a sequel (and middle book of at least a trilogy) to his "Hannibal's Children." In the first book, Rome was kicked out of, well, Rome and after forming a new nation in the Germanic north, returned to confront Carthage. Through a mixture of guile and sharp pointy things, they managed to take Italy back from almost under Carthage's nose, while sending commanders and legions - ostensibly as "mercenaries" to scout out Carthage itself.

That book ended with Rome openly at war with Carthage, four of their legions "trapped" in Egypt under the extremely ambitious Titus Norbanus and the book's main hero - Marcus Cornelius Scipio - wooing both Egypt's queen and a school of philosophy at the Alexandrian Library that believes they should actually _do_ things (like build and experiment) rather than just think about them.

This book has Titus leading his legions around the entire edge of the Eastern Mediterranean on a trip back to Rome that's more one big pirate raid than simple march home. He plans to come back to Rome with enough money - and loyal enough legions - that he can write his own ticket to power.

Marcus, meanwhile, is busily worrying that all this success (and money) is going to destroy the fabric of Roman culture. He's also busily encouraging his philosophers to come up with (militarily) useful inventions to fight Carthage.

Like submarines...and hang gliders...and armored paddle-wheelers...and steam engines so that those paddle-wheelers won't have to be human-powered for long...and...

...yeah. My disbelief-suspenders went *POING* too.

What's odd about this is most of the rest of the story is good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic alternate Roman Empire sequel February 26, 2005
On an alternate earth, Hannibal gave the Romans a chance to surrender and go into exile or he would destroy the city. Most chose exile traveling beyond the Alps to create a new empire, Rome Norricum. They conquered the Gaul, Franks, and Germans; and over a century later they took back Rome.

The Romans control all of mainland Italy and look forward to regaining Sicily from Shofet Hamilcar, a descendent of Hannibal the Great of Carthage. Marcus Scipio has placed Queen Selene in power and formed an alliance with Egypt. However, Titus Norbanus and his four legions make other alliances, conquers new territories that once belonged to Rome, and has earned the loyalty of his troops. He plans to destroy Carthage and use the victory to become the ruler of the neo Roman Empire. Only Marcus and perhaps Carthage stand in the way of this upstart achieving his ambition.

This is a fantastic sequel that returns Rome to the power that she had lost. Readers obtain a lucid picture of what the senators think of the unfolding political and military events and how they regard the two competitors Marcus vs. Titus. John Maddox Roberts, writer of the terrific SPQR Ancient Rome mysteries, with THE SEVEN HILLS and its predecessor (see HANNIBAL'S CHILDREN) is the Harry Turtledove of an alternate Roman Empire.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A flop; Not engaging
I am a fan of the SPQR series by John Maddox and decided that I would try Hannibal's Children and it's sequel, The Seven Hills. I was very disappointed in the story. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Apple
4.0 out of 5 stars What if--well told
Roberts has written many books about Rome in the time it was transitioning from a republic to an empire (monarchy). Read more
Published 18 months ago by Dellasanta Tax Services
1.0 out of 5 stars DONT BUY....unless
...the author ever bothers to write the third book in the trilogy, in my book no bigger crime can be committed by an author than NOT finishing a story. Read more
Published 19 months ago by philswan
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable sequel for "Hannibal's Children"
Scipio and Norbanus continue their entertaining escapades while Cleopatra, Hamilcar, and the rest round out the action in workman-like fashion. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Gordon Haber
4.0 out of 5 stars Is he EVER coming out with the third book?
I really liked the premise and the first two books, but I'm beginning to despair that he's going to go any further. Mr. Roberts, please don't leave us with a cliffhanger!!
Published on January 7, 2013 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I'm a huge fan of Robert's SPQR series. I was hoping this would be a similar read and I wasn't disappointed. Fun play with history.
Published on November 15, 2012 by R. Andrew Lugg
4.0 out of 5 stars Good second novel in "Hannibal's Children" series
"The Seven Hills" is the second novel in the "Hannibal's Children" series. This series, of course, is an alternate history series in which Carthage defeated Rome in the Second... Read more
Published on September 22, 2012 by Roger J. Buffington
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid read
I was somewhat disappointed by the first book in this series, "Hannibal's Children." John Maddox Roberts is a fine writer and his knowledge of ancient Rome is unparalleled among... Read more
Published on August 20, 2008 by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Fantasy, but Interesting Reading
John Maddox Roberts is the pseudonym of Mark Ramsay, author of numerous works of science fiction and fantasy, in addition to his successful historical SPQR mystery series. Read more
Published on March 10, 2007 by J. Chippindale
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great read
My Opinion:
The story here is all fiction ,it is really good though.A must read for any historical fiction or Roman fan. Read more
Published on October 30, 2006 by Trexcali
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More About the Author

John Maddox Roberts has written numerous works of science fiction and fantasy, in addition to his successful historical SPQR mystery series. He lives in New Mexico with his wife.

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