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4.0 von 5 Sternen Political intrigue, decadent orgies, blood, gore, and mysticism, 13. August 2014
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The fifth instalment of Fabbri's Vespasian series contains all of the things readers of the four earlier books will like: military exploits (Vespasian has to continue helping in conquering Britannia), precise descriptions of swords piercing bodies and people being flayed alive, political intrigue in the heart of Rome and, of course, Rome's upper class taking part in decadent orgies. The latter two elements are particularly pronounced this time as the second part of the book deals with the rise of the emperor Claudius' wife Messalina to the height of her power and her attempt to overthrow her husband. In addition to that there is a lot of mysticism in this novel: Vespasian has to confront the Britannic druids and their supernatural powers repeatedly.

I didn't like these supernatural parts of the book all that much because I don't think they fit the overall realism of the series. On the other hand Fabbri manages to describe everthing that happens very vividly - as always. And, as he explains, in the author's note at the end of the book: Some of the most spectacular events come directly from the historical sources (Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio) who seem to have shared Fabbri's taste for sex and violence even though modern historians believe they weren't always altogether truthful in their depictions of deceased emperor's and their families.

But who cares? Their writings enable Fabbri to pull off another action-packed novel while being able to claim he stays true to the historical sources. Not the best of the books in the Vespasian series, but hugely entertaining and instructive at the same time.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Another TRIUMPH!, 9. Dezember 2014
Masters of Rome the fifth in Robert Fabbri's excellent Vespasian series is to my mind the best in the series to date.
I shall not delve into the narrative as others have already done so. The story telling is of the author's usual very high standard, combined with well researched historical fact, intrigue and visceral bloody action make this another triumph for Robert Fabbri. Highly recommended.

The ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix , für die Lesen der römischen Militärgeschichte, Adrian Goldsworthy, Anthony Riches, Roma Victor, Imperium Legionis. Bernard Cornwell, Die Römische Armee, Simon Scarrow, Harry Sidebottom, Matyszak, Robert Fabbri, Ben Kane, P... is the perfect companion to the Vespasian series, the author in a passage from his review states:
It has now become my every day drinking vessel and as such gets plenty of usage; every time i take a sip of wine I am delighted by the beaker's form and feel, it's a pleasure to hold. For me, however, there's an even more personal aspect to the beaker: Above each panel is the head of Vespasian; so after a day spent writing the great man's story I sit back with a decent red and toast him and the II Augusta.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Masters of Rome, 29. November 2014
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I think the novel was good, but weaker than previous ones. I really disliked the supernatural powers of the druids, it was too far fetched. What I most enjoyed was the writing, I just love the details and depth of the research. Looking forward to the next book.
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Masters of Rome (Vespasian 5)
Masters of Rome (Vespasian 5) von Robert Fabbri (Gebundene Ausgabe - 7. August 2014)
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