Etruria has always fascinated because of its hints of exoticism, luxury and gracious living. The rich detail of the paintings and tombs displayed in the British Museum hint at a contrasting lifestyle to the austere, rather puritanical Republican Romans. The Etruscans were renowned warriors, yet after years alternatively at war and alliance with Rome were overcome by the latter in 396 BCE.
Call to Juno is the third in Elisabeth Storrs’ series set in the Etruscan city of Veii and ancient Rome. Through the story of Roman Caecilia and Etruscan warrior Vel Mastarna, their colleagues, families, servants and friends, we see not only a love story, but deception, power struggle and inevitable clash of cultures. We know the outcome from history but the author keeps us in the grip of her story from the spiritual sensuality of Veii to the robust and unforgiving military discipline of Rome.
Elisabeth Storrs, using meticulous research, brings this ancient, lost world right into the reader’s mind. We see everything the characters see and are wrung by their emotional needs, motivations and desires. They live in cultures so different from our own, but the author has made them vivid as human beings trying to make sense of the conflict around and inside them. Highly recommended. In fact, read the whole series!