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This review is from: The Pillars of Rome (Republic) (Kindle Edition)This novel is my first encounter with Jack Ludlow. His writing style is easy to read and therefore allows one to focus on the storyline and readily engage with ensuing events.
It's not a novel of great depth. Nor can one correlate the main characters and events with specific historical recordings in Roman history. However, all characters, institutions and events reflect quite accurately a Roman environment.
Lucius and Aulus are the two noblemen on which the whole novel is based, presumably pre Julies Caesar's time, when roman aristocrats jealously guarded the precepts of a `Republic'. Both entered a blood oath in their early youth to be there for each other and for Rome. However, a dramatic prophesy foretold by a roman oracle around the same time coupled with life's trials and tribulations will test to the extreme the veracity of such an oath.
It takes almost the whole novel and approximately forty years later in the context of the story before some aspects of this prophesy come to pass. Therefore, one will need to read the next novel in this trilogy to know what happens.
If you wish to learn about Roman life, politics, senatorial greed, the disproportionate spread of wealth between the upper and lower classes then this novel will reveal it well. If you wish to gain actual historical insights to real historical figures, battles and events this novel is not written to do so.
From an entertainment point of view this is a good read. You can easily relax and enjoy it as there is little complexity with characters, ideas or prose. This novel would be enjoyable reading on a train, bus or while relaxing beside a pool.