Day 1084: Dictator

Cover for DictatorDictator is the final volume in Robert Harris’s trilogy about the great Roman statesman, Cicero. This trilogy has truly been spell-binding.

The novel begins in dark times for Cicero, when he and his family are hounded out of Rome by Julius Caesar, his greatest enemy. Cicero was made to look ridiculous in Colleen McCullough’s series about Caesar, but Harris sees him differently, as a man staunchly in support of the dying Republic. On the other hand, McCullough pictured Caesar much more sympathetically, while Harris shows him as a man run mad with the desire for power.

For me, this novel flagged just a little bit in the middle, while momentous events in Rome are described from afar. I think my reaction is partly because I thought I knew what happened to Cicero and was dreading it. But I actually didn’t know my Roman history that well, so I was a little bit off. In any case, the novel picks right up as soon as Cicero rejoins the action.

Robert Harris is rapidly becoming one of my favorite historical novelists. He writes a good, tight political thriller based on true events. I am already looking for his most recent novel.

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4 thoughts on “Day 1084: Dictator

  1. Helen May 24, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    I enjoyed this one too. The whole trilogy was excellent and I was surprised by how much I loved it as I previously didn’t find Roman history very appealing.

    • whatmeread May 24, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Yes, it hasn’t before been a favorite setting.

  2. TJ @ MyBookStrings May 24, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever read historical fiction set in Rome. Since Helen enjoyed the trilogy as well, I should look for the first book in the set.

  3. whatmeread May 24, 2017 / 7:41 pm

    This series is great, and if you’re interested in mysteries, you might try Lindsay Davis’s Didius Falco series. I understand she also has another series that I haven’t tried yet.

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