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.
For anyone who is a fan of Roman history, this is an informative and enjoyable indulgence. Although the writing carries the story swiftly, the narration by Simon Jones is riveting. Each character had a unique voice.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
I walked through Rome. Learned about the intriguing world of Roman politics. Things really have not changed much over the years! I learned about 'The Haves'' and ''The Have Nots' together with all the complications of their class structure. Got me thinking that again...have we really changed as basic human beings?
One poignant story line that struck me at the end of this beautifully written book was the love, respect and loyalty between a man of high birth and his lowly slave.
The narrator brought each word to life. I feel so sad that this volume has ended. Will definitely be one to revisit like an old friend over the years to come.
Say something about yourself!
Imperium and Conspirata are wonderful books. The story is riveting and fascinating. I can't wait for the third in the series. Imperium is the better of the two books, but you just can't beat them in terms of historical information and a cracking good story. Harris has just done a splendid job with these two books. I have listened to both of them several times, and keep going back. The writing is excellent - a real treat to listen to. The characters are so well developed and memorable.
Simon Jones is just the best. He records a lot of children's material which I wouldn't nbt normally listen to, but I can tell you I've looked at everything he's done to see if there's anything else I would like. He is just so talented and a real pleasure to listen to. There is evidently another version of both Imperium and Conspriata narrated by someone else. DON'T MISS OUT ON SIMON JONES. Definitely get the Jones version. I just fell in love with Tiro, Cicero's slave who is the narrator of the story. But, Jones makes every character in the book come alive. If I were Harris, I would kill to get him to narrate my books.
Both books are fascinating and I still laugh out loud at some parts even though I've listened to both books over and over again.
I just can't recommend these novels and the narrator highly enough. A real treat and treasure. I can't wait for the third book in the series and I do hope that Simon Jones is the narrator. I'm afraid it would be ruined with another narrator, at least for me.
In most books I listen to, I often find myself zoned out and have to rewind frequently to hear what I missed. This was not an issue with the 2 books in this series, as the narrator was interesting and not monotanous, and the author does a great job of weaving a historically based tale while giving life to the story by introducing (most of the time) believable dialogue and fascinating looks into the historical figures of this time. Whether you know the familiar tale well, or have no knowledge of the fall of the Roman Republic at all, I think most reasonably educated (though perhaps not scholars of the subject) listeners will enjoy this series!
History enthusiast with military and legal background.
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.
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.