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Course of honour, The
(ISBN: 0-09-922742-8)

Author(s): Davis, Lindsey Pages: 208
Publisher: Century Date of Publication: 1997
Reading Level: Genre:
Setting: Rome Period: ca. 30-70 AD (Code: 7c1)
Rome Setting: y Christian/Jewish/Pagan: p
Mystery: n First Person: y
Detective/Narrator: Caenis
Subject: chronicles the life of the Emperor Vespasian and his love affair with the slave girl Caenis (Heli) ---This is the love story of the Emperor Vespasian and his mistress, Antonia Caenis. Ancient Rome's most turbulent period - the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and the Year of the Four Emperors - is encapsulated in this novel which tells the sweeping story of the ascendancy of the Emperor Vespasian, the impecunious son of a provincial senator who finally brought peace to Rome after years of strife. The story is seen through the eyes of Caenis, a woman slave working as a secretary for Antonia, Claudius' mother. She is a small footnote in the accounts of Roman historians, but here she is beautifully realised as the woman who exerted the greatest influence on the future Emperor. As their strange and forbidden romance blossoms, Caenis finds herself involved in the discovery of Sejanus' plot against Tiberius, while Vespasian takes his first steps towards what she believes will be a glorious career. Years pass, yet they survive both prejudice and violent political events. Then Vespasian occupies a central role in the climactic struggle for power - bringing hope for Rome, but only despair for the woman who has loved him for so long. (Publisher's blurb on the Internet)
Unique Qualities: Not a Falco mystery. Go to http://www.thenet.co.uk/~hickafric/ldavis.html for a Lindsey Davis Web Page
Rating: This is as well-written and engaging as Davis' Falco novels, perhaps even better, since the feuding between those lovers was getting boring! A fine book for everyone from high school on up. (R Breindel)

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