Fortune's Favourites, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The third novel in the epic Masters of Rome series.

Fortune's Favourites witnesses the power, mastery and cunning of two enigmatic rulers of Rome - Sulla, returning from exile, and the 22-year-old Pompey, who designates himself Magnus 'the Great'. And in the background is the young soldier, Caesar, who begins to show the expert qualities that will one day culminate in him becoming an unparalleled leader of ancient Rome. And at the heart of this sumptuous tale is the unforgettable story of Spartacus and his doomed slave revolt - the true story, as no modern reader has ever before encountered it.




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Plot: The first half has Sulla as focus and is a more or less contained story. The second half frays into several plotlines, with none of them taking center stage. The overall coherence suffers from it, as does the pacing, but history makes it unavoidable. Characters: Sulla is as well portrayed as before, and easily dominates the first half of the book even when he is in the background. The rest of the cast is still finding their feet and being sketched out, with Caesar beginning to look just a little too perfect. Style: This volume is weightier than the first two, mostly because there is not quite as grand a scheme anymore as before. It makes for a rather disjointed feeling, and some scenes and subplots have an air of must-include-because-this-happened rather than because it was an interesting story.Plus: The first half, on Sulla. Some of the small plotlines in the second half. Minus: The second half drags on. A few cuts here and there would have made it a more interesting read. A family tree would have been a lot more useful than the countless maps.Summary: Still excellent, but not up on the level of the previous two.

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