Alliances. The second novel of Robert Harris’ life of Cicero is titled, Conspirata, and I found I liked it even better than the first book, Imperium. Politics does make strange bedfellows, and Cicero finds himself isolated by changing alliances among his opponents. The financial and personal consequences are severe, and the orator can’t talk his way out of this jam. The mob and the army have senators who use them effectively, also to Cicero’s detriment. The Rome that Cicero saved seems to be a wholly different place. Readers who love historical fiction will savor the way in which Harris makes this tumultuous period of Roman history come alive, and how the character of Cicero becomes more complete and complex.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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