Conspiracies of Rome was an entertaining and suspenseful read, filled with occasional scenes of blood-curling carnage bound to whet the appetite of anyone who is a fan of historical fiction. The novel, the first in a saga, covers the travels of a young Anglo-Saxon nobleman named Aleric (or Alaric to the Greek and Romans) who journeys to the ancient city of Rome, where he becomes trapped in a conspiracy which he must uncover, hence the title. Along the way, the young barbarian becomes the unlikely preserver of ancient Greek and Roman literature which is rapidly being either neglected or destroyed in a world that no longer seems to have any use for them.
The story comes alive through the immersive and atmospheric descriptions of early 7th century Rome. Having once been the center of a powerful and immense civilization with a population of over a million people, Rome by the 7th century is in complete and utter decline having dwindled to merely a population of 30,000. From the abandoned and crumbling forums and temples to the ruined streets amid the desperate plight of its own destitute inhabitants, Mr. Blake is able to paint a fascinating and grim picture of a society in complete and utter decline. I cannot wait to read the second novel of what promises to be a exhilarating saga. Highly recommended not just to fans of historical fiction but also to action-adventure, mystery and suspense readers as well.
Published on Amazon.com on the 7th October 2016
© 2016 – 2017, richardblake.
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