ROMAN SHADOWS by Ron Burns

ROMAN SHADOWS

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this muffled sequel to Roman Nights (1991), the orator Cicero, who took such a prominent part last time, has to settle for a supporting role to his own acolyte, the fictional Gaius Livinius Severus, whom he casually suggests keep a close eye on ambitious politician Gaius Scribonius Curio. Livinius dutifully worms himself into Curio's confidence--and promptly finds that he's at the center of a maelstrom of murder (eventually totaling five victims); the scandalous Mark Antony's scabrous sexual practices; and the breakup of the Roman republic under Julius Caesar. Burns works hard to give this farrago of fictional homicide and political history urgency--framing it by references to Livinius's star-crossed interrogation years later by brilliant, brutal Augustus Caesar and ending with an extended Roman civics lesson--but the surprise he's saved for last falls flat. Only average, then, for Roman scandals, and well below the mark established by Burns's first.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1992
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's