Lustrum is the second of the Cicero trilogy, following on the story of one of the greatest orators of the late Roman Republic. Having energetically fought for his consulship in the first novel, Lustrum now tracks Cicero’s equally masterful term in office. Threatened by force, by wealth and by the Roman mob ever baying for blood, Cicero proves that even a new man can surpass his enemies and rise to the very heights of power in Rome.
Politics, corruption, power – Imperium.
Imperium is told from the perspective of a highly able and literate slave, Tiro, following the story of his master Marcius Tullius Cicero, a great orator, lawyer and above all politician. The pair bear witness to the classic strive to ultimate power within the great Roman Republic, highlighting the dark deals, bribery and sheer ingenuity required to make it to the top. This is certainly in likeness to a Roman ‘House of Cards’, bearing the same dramatic trials and tribulations which make for highly compelling drama.
After my recent read of The Ghost by Robert Harris, I was interested to see how he approached his historical themed novels which I have also been highly recommended. Pompeii certainly didn’t disappoint.
Following its key protagonist, Marcus Attilius, an engineer for the aqueduct of the Aqua Augusta, Pompeii delves into a gripping tale spanning the few days before this major historical event. With the inevitability of the disastrous eruption, Harris faced the evident challenge of creating a tale of which all would know its end. In this aspect, Harris did a remarkable job of imagining a wider fictional narrative, offering a refreshing ground perspective on something emphatically distanced by history. Exacting his distinct knowledge on the period, Harris perfectly merges fiction with fact.
Though a relatively easy read, what certainly impressed with The Ghost was it’s effective believability. Despite some clichéd thriller-lines from a ‘reflective’ speaker, overall the novel did keep me eager to continue.
The Ghost follows the exciting new contract for a professional ghost writer, in the memoirs of the former British Prime Minister Adam Lang. What starts as an intriguing prospect gradually transcends into a darker tone, leading the protagonist into a frightening world of power and conspiracy. As his research soon leads to questionable answers and mysterious circumstances, the writer finds himself unearthing dark secrets which quickly spiral out of his control.