Day 1057: Conspirata

Cover for ConspirataConspirata is the second of Robert Harris’s Cicero novels, published originally as Lustrum, and is on my list of books for the Walter Scott prize. This series has been unexpectedly compelling for me. I had previously read Colleen McCullough’s series about Julius Caesar, and this series is such a contrast to it.

The novel begins at the start of Cicero’s four-year term as consul and ends shortly after it. During this time, Cicero is continually at odds with his enemies, who wish to dismantle the Republic. The most powerful of these enemies are the billionaire Crassus and Julius Caesar.

Although the intrigues in this novel are all political, that doesn’t make them any less thrilling. Harris depicts some of the most important figures in Roman history as men almost deranged by a need for power. We have strong sympathy for Cicero as he navigates the difficulties of Roman political life, forced into unpleasant choices but always trying to work for the good of Rome. This is a great series.

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2 thoughts on “Day 1057: Conspirata

  1. Helen March 28, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    I loved this one too. The whole trilogy is great and made me feel much more enthusiastic about reading books set in Ancient Rome, a period that never really interested me before. I’ve linked your review to my Walter Scott page. 🙂

  2. whatmeread March 28, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    I think it’s great, too. I don’t know if you would be interested in Colleen McCoullough’s Masters of Rome series, but you might try it. I read it years ago (at least, all but the last book) and thought it was very interesting, but don’t know how it would compare if I read it now. It may not be as well written, and it is certainly biased toward Julius Caesar. I think the first book is called First Man in Rome, and if I recall correctly, it’s about Sula.

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