My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Senator Marcus Brutus has spent his life serving Rome, but it’s difficult to be a patriot when the Republic, barely recovered from a civil war, is under threat by its own leader. Brutus’s one retreat is his country home, where he steals a few precious days now and then with Cassius, his brother-in-law and fellow soldier—and the one he loves above all others. But the sickness at the heart of Rome is spreading, and even Brutus’s nights with Cassius can’t erase the knowledge that Gaius Julius Caesar is slowly becoming a tyrant.
I adored this book. It was extremely clever in its interpretation of the events leading up to the assassination of Julius Caesar and gave a conscience to Brutus instead of making him the villain of the story. I loved how Brutus was reluctant when he heard Cassius’s plan to kill Caesar and needed some convincing, eventually carrying out the deed with some reluctance. The story ended in an utterly believable fashion that didn’t glorify murder in the slightest and left me feeling sorry for everyone involved.
It was young servant Tiresias that really stole my heart, though. Rejected by his family, he comes to serve Brutus first as a horse-boy and then later at his home. He bears witness to the plot unfolding and offers Brutus support without judgment. I loved that they were both able to accept one another for who they were.
If you know anything about the assassination of Caesar and are looking for a a story set in Ancient Rome, you’ll love this. It fleshes out the facts with a human story that gives life to history and that’s exactly what I want from my historical romance. I’ll be looking for more of this author’s work in the future.