Continuing the adventure of Tiro and Cicero, Harris once again weaves historical fact into a meticulously layered tale of intrigue and murder. The stakes are raised as Cicero's enemies grow in power, with the deadly, shadowy apparatus of conspiracy working against our heroes. If you loved "Imperium", you'll be captivated by every moment of "Conspirata". Settling back into sights and smells of Ancient Rome is as satisfying as meeting an old, dear friend.
Simon Jones, who ranks with John Lee as one of the great vocal performers, returns with his wonderful characterizations of Crassus, Caesar, Pompey, and every other scheming, backstabbing Roman power player. Jones' reading immerses you completely into Harris' Rome, presenting some of the most famous personages in history as the very real, very flawed people they were.
I love words that can take me into other worlds.
This is a wonderful audiobook--both in the story and the narration. I was bowled over by "Imperium," the first book in Harris's Cicero trilogy, and was dubious that the second book could be as good. I'm happy to say that my fears were unfounded. Admittedly, the story has a less clear moral arc and is darker than that of Cicero's rise to Consul, but that is the real difference between rising to power and wielding it. This is a more complex book, but every bit as gripping: from the Catiline Conspiracy to the rise of Caesar resulting in Cicero's exile. No spoilers here: this is all in the history books. Yet, thanks in part to Simon Jones's excellent narration, I felt such empathy for the lead characters that I actually found myself hoping it would turn out differently.
Good historical fiction adds a depth of understanding that a pure history book cannot. Conspirata is a great example of doing just that.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
History is fascinating. The working out of personal ambition, accident, political skill, etc. can keep my attention all by itself and this book did that effectively. What it did not do was move me. Along with another reviewer, I developed a "fondness" for Tiro and Cicero, but that is simply not enough for an historical novel. I expect to be led to care deeply for at least one or two of the characters, and Harris does not manage that. So I never got bored and I enjoyed the book, but just three stars worth.
Its in the middle. But what I loved about it was that it tracked very closely the books on Roman history that I have read, but made that history come to life in a way that I remembered the facts.
Interesting to learn about Cicero and the times, but the story was pretty ho hum and predictable...surprise there. The narrator didn't help much and sounded like an over trained circus announcer.
Robert Harris does a very good job describing the Roman condition and Roman politics and if you are interested and know a bit about Roman politics you will enjoy this book. I have always enjoyed learning about Roman history, but I found my self board. The book is complicated in the story but if you pay close attention it finally comes together.
Simon Jones definitely captured a voice that is what I have always heard in my head as a Roman voice although it was in English and not Latin.
Overall the book is okay, but I would not add the series (if there was one) to my series list.
Yes, because the narrator is so good he improves the story.
Perhaps Louise Tey, Daughter of Time, for learning about an historical period while driven by the story.
The tension the author builds around Cicero's speeches makes them much more interesting than they would be alone, and you find yourself begging for him to succeed.
If you like political thrillers, you will like this even though so far back historically. The growing tension between Cicero and Ceaser is particularly gripping.
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one. ~George R.R. Martin
Robert Harris is a great writer, you almost feel like you there is Rome watching the drama unfold. I could not turn it off, one credit well spent. I am looking forward for to the next book.
I am a frequent audiobook listener to help me pass the time during my commute. This book made me look forward to driving. I adore Simon Jones' voice and the blend of history and creative writing in the underlying book was excellent. Highly recommended!
This series strikes a good balance between historical research and story. The author creates a vivid picture of the places, people, clothing, food--without ever letting the story sag. The performer does a good job of creating the character of the narrator.