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Keith Roberts

Boat of Fate, The
Hutchinson, 1971


The Roman Empire is collapsing, and Sergius Paullus, who as a child dreamed of being a warrior like Hadrian, gets his wish. He travels from his home in Spain to Rome, then to France and finally to Britain. Paullus commands slaves in a mine and soldiers at war. His unusual career path is caused by his habit of acting first and thinking second, especially with women. He's a sympathetic character who stumbles Roberts is a skilled writer; I also recommend his science fiction novel, Pavanne, which incorporates many of the same mythological/religious ideas. It's good to be in the hands of a master story-teller. HS and up. - Ruth Breindel

- Ruth Breindel, 12/19/2005

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