3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating insight to the era,
This review is from: Master and God (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)This was my 1st ever excursion into historical fiction of this nature and in part I was really pleased, but the author's style, at times, had me vaguely irritated to a degree. I enjoyed how she wove the history of its time with her 2 primary characters Vinius & Lucilla, laying out the paths each had taken to find their lives becoming interwoven as they did. When the story then moves into Domitian's household and all the trials and tribulations within in every sense, it was equally both fascinating and gripping at times.
However, perhaps because it's not my usual type of fiction, I found myself a shade more critical than some others who've reviewed the book, who seem to feel the author can do no wrong. And I appreciate it's because the book is, on the whole, a good read, that I am being somewhat nitpicking in highlighting these "irritations".
Firstly, at two points in the early narrative I counted first 10 then, only a few pages later, 15 pages in a block with absolutely not one single word of dialogue. That, for me, is a LOT! Conversation is what first captivates and then really holds a reader to a plotline like nothing else. I was already struggling to really get into the book in the early pages, when faced with the first block of continual text. While I understand the author wants to better lay a foundation for her characters, to me, she's already done a fairly good job of that in her author's notes and, in truth, I would have preferred her to have put much of this monologue into that section rather than in the narrative itself.
Secondly and I'm open to correction on this but I came across a couple of words used by characters that just seemed truly out of place to me in a novel of this era. While I know the English language owes a lot to its Latin roots, some terminology seemed much later dated than that era e.g. "poser" on page 110, and also "allot [him a score as a lover]" on page 192; searches on Google didn't overly confirm either as being from that era, but regardless, they just didn't ring right to me. However, as I said - truly picky points.
Overall, for anyone who really is into historical fiction I suspect you'll have no such concerns over the book which, as I said, otherwise provides a quite fascinating journey into the reign of Domitian which I did enjoy to a degree having never come across him much before.