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For me, the least enjoyable of the seven.,
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This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
The books in the 'masters of Rome' series have been fantastic. over the years I've read them several times and (because of the sheer bulk of content, combined with my poor memory) always enjoy them thoroughly.
I enjoyed this one less. It holds an obligation to focus on the relationship between Marcus Antonius and Queen Cleopatra, which it does in great depth. However, it is a relationship which I did not find myself believing in fully. As I said, the author seems obliged to focus heavily on the title roles, which I felt detracted from other aspects of the roman sphere at the time: We hear all about Anthony and Cleopatra, also about Octavian and his allies, but compared to the other books there was a narrower view of society. One of the things I love so much about the earlier volumes is that they offered insights into all levels of roman society from senators to slaves, to foreigners.
However, who am I to question the story-telling powers of an absolute genius like Colleen Mccullough! This book is still a true sequel to 'the October horse', and ties-off the main issues nicely. It was enjoyable and for anyone having read the previous volumes, this final (hopefully not final!!) book is a must read.
Perhaps because this book is an early edition, it does not contain any notes from the author at the end. I was looking forward to what she had to say.
With regards to the previous volumes (again) I will say that I've always enjoyed the first two books the most every time. 'The first man' sets the scene wonderfully, and after having read that one, the other volumes always left me with a desire to see the restoration of the Roman republic described at the beginning of 'The first man'. I therefore hold the first book in nostalgic reverence which is heightened by the wonderful characterization of Gaius Marius. Having said that, 'The grass crown' is my favorite.