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Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula's Rome Paperback – April 15, 2016
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"The first installment in a page-turning saga that revisits the heroes and villains of the grandest city of the ancient world.... Comes alive with the long gone characters who were its lifeblood" -- Kirkus Reviews
''Combines current political concerns, the wide lens of the serious historical novel, and emotional maturity and realism with an utterly splendid grasp of what it must have been like to live in Rome under Caligula's reign.'' --Sarah Smith, Agatha Award winner and New York Times Notable author
About the Author
After earning a Phi Beta Kappa creative award in college for an early draft about a nobly-born charioteer, Sherry spent many years of research and revision developing ROMA AMOR into the story about fathers and sons that it wanted to be. She considers it a "joy" to immerse herself in the lives of first-century Romans -- and a distinct change from her day job as a professional copywriter. She lives on the coast of Maine with a native-born Viking and two cats.
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Top Customer Reviews
This was ancient Rome, in 37 AD, and the insane ruler was the emperor Caligula.
Into this world returns Marcus Licinius Carinna, who has been fighting Rome’s enemies on the edges of the empire. His father is Caligula’s advisor. His late brother was Caligula’s close friend; he recently committed suicide under questionable circumstances. Caligula misses him so much that Marcus is encouraged to take his brother’s place. Against his better judgment (Marcus would prefer to return to fight with the legions), he agrees, and he becomes introduced to the crazy, frightening and capricious court of Caligula.
I enjoyed reading this book. The characters are well described, good guys and bad guys (and girls) alike. Rome was a slave society, and the close relationships between the aristocratic owners and their household slaves are realistically depicted. The city scenes in the streets, homes and palaces in Rome are believable as well. I’ve been to Rome and have slipped on its wet cobblestones. Throughout the book, the author has a nice way with words, making you feel as if you’re in the scene as you observe it. In one particular sequence, the author creates very exciting descriptions of Marcus’ pursuit of a bad guy (not Caligula: his adopted son, who tried to kill his dad; you really have to read the book).
On his trip back to Rome from the legions in Germany, Marcus is escorting a group of Germanic hostages, one of whom is an attractive priestess. Her presence provides a nice opportunity for a romance to develop between the barbarian priestess and the Roman aristocrat, whose family expected him to come home and marry a proper Roman woman.
Whether he is spending his time trying to figure out how to identify and avoid the dangers of working with and appeasing a lunatic, or devising a way to get himself and his girlfriend out of Caligula’s clutches, the overriding theme I get from this book is one of survival: it is our nature to adapt, to survive, and to love, in the face of what must have been the most horrific circumstances. As I said earlier, I enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and well worth reading.
For junkies of historical fiction, it is entirely thrilling to discover a new author who will bring you into a world you know a little but would love to know better. This book takes you to Caligula's Rome and you breathe there. You smell the horses and the baths. After reading ROMA AMOR, I deeply understand something about where our current civilization comes from that I never learned in years of lectures and text-book readings.
More importantly, to me at least, this book is a love story. It is definitely a love story about wildness seeking its mate...but it is also a story about familial love. About the love between a man and his father—maybe the hardest kind of love story to tell because it is kept secret from all of us, especially from the father and the son. I am so lonely for Marcus and hungry to return to his world. Sequel, please!
I found the book to very informative and intriguing.
I must admit I don't know much about this time period; I've long forgotten much of what I learned in high school Latin class. At first I was a bit confused, having mixed up Caligula Caesar with Julius Caesar in my head. But once I caught on I found myself intrigued and anxious to learn more about the characters that inhabited this story. I can't verify the historic details but it certainly felt very well researched and I can only assume the author really did her homework give the level of detail.
Christie's writing is crisp and her story moves along beautifully. No flab, no unnecessary detours, and certainly no purple prose.
My only critique would be that I read this on the Kindle version and discovered the glossary after I had finished. It would have been helpful to have found that earlier. But that's a small complaint about a truly flawless book.
There is a point early in the story where the protagonist encounters Caligula next to the river. It was so vividly written I felt completely immersed. I truly felt as though I was seeing ancient Rome through his eyes. Perhaps that is the greatest compliment I can give this book: I was transported in time and for a brief time, I was there in ancient Rome. I was there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought the novel was informative, well researched and a great read.Read more