Colleen McCullough’s sumptuous historical fiction novel The October Horse: A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra is the sixth book in her Masters of Rome series, but unlike authors such as Margaret George or Karen Essex, the story is told from Julius Caesar’s point of view. The October Horse allows you to peek inside the head of the world’s most enigmatic dictator, and McCullough’s meticulous dialogue brings the world of the Roman Republic to life in vibrant colors.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, April 29th, 2015||No Comments »|
From the Irish sagas to Julius Caesar’s memoirs, much has been said of the Druids in ancient times. But who were they, really? Were they the scary-looking men of the forests who demanded human sacrifices for their Gods? Or were they simply wise men, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge?
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, October 28th, 2014||No Comments »|
Two years ago, Eluveitie released a music video for their song “A Rose For Epona,” which described in detail the utter devastation the Romans left on the Gaulish tribes.
The song is part of a concept album called Helvetios that allows listeners to travel back in time when the Romans shattered the Helvatians’s hopes for a victory at the battle of Bibracte. The music video follows a young Gaulish woman who accuses her Goddess Epona, who was the protector of horsemen and the cavalry, of allowing her people to be slaughtered by Julius Caesar and his army. While her people attempt to migrate to Gallia in an attempt to start a new life, the heroine of the song struggles to understand why her people suffered such an awful defeat and why her Goddess couldn’t protect the tribe against the invasion of the Romans.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, October 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
Thanks to authors such as Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran, historical fiction is becoming more popular. However, if you want to read some well-written and well-researched novels, there’s no better author to check out than Margaret George! Her crowning jewel is her historical fiction novel The Memoirs of Cleopatra, which gives readers a bird’s eye view into the life of one of the world’s most infamous monarchs.
Her colorful mastery of scenery and attention to detail brings the world of ancient Alexandria to life—if you close your eyes, you’ll swear that you were walking in the crowded marketplace listening to the sights and sounds of the vendors hawking their wears. George also takes her readers through a fascinating tour of turbulent ancient Rome and accurately describes the turmoil that ran riot through the city before the creation of the empire.
George also brings the three main players to life as well: Cleopatra VII, Julius Caesar, and Marcus Antonius, better known to history lovers today as Marc Antony. Gone is the pro-Augustan propaganda that labeled this fiery and intelligent Queen as a whore. Also conspicuously absent is the notion that Cleopatra VII, much like Liz Taylor’s 1963 movie portrayal, is a beauty beyond compare. Out of all the fiction and non-fiction books about this elusive Queen, George manages to give her readers the definitive version of Cleopatra—a strong-willed, intelligent woman who fought like a lioness to save her country and her children. She was a political genius and while reasonably attractive, the real-life woman couldn’t hold a candle to Liz Taylor’s looks. What drew Caesar and Antony to fall in love with her was her wit, her charm, and of course, her prestigious wealth.
Even if historical fiction isn’t usually your cup of tea, no one can deny that George reigns as Queen of that particular genre thanks to her dedicated research and masterful prose.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, November 20th, 2013||No Comments »|