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In 69 A.D., the empire has had four Caesars; war makes ravages in Judea and famine threatens Rome where the newly crowned Emperor Vespasian settles his power.
Gnaeus Pontus flees the army and returns to Italy in an attempt to be forgotten, at least as long as it will take to justify his newly acquired fortune. But Rome is not the place where one can disappear and fortunes hid.
If you like History with a predilection for the Roman Empire you will not be able to ignore The Riddle of a Dead Slave, then its sequel Massilia by Thierry Bontoux.
The Author is first of all an efficient novelist with an excellent style but moreover the intrigues to which he gives life develop in a rigorously historical context of daily life.
If its Characters do not express themselves in Latin (fortunately for the reader!), they reveal us with precision the social organization, the manners, the mode of clothing, the habitat, the food often with the words of the time…
We thus feel like contemporaries of the characters.
A clear lexicon, remarkably documented is available to the reader and shows the author’s will to provide us with the essence of a bygone era….
I am particularly fond of adventure and fantasy novels that transport me to a medieval universe and I loved this book. I read it in a weekend during which I was completely immersed in the middle ages.
thanks to Mr. Bontoux’s books, I have found back the taste and the desire to read, thank you for your wonderful stories. Bravo!
Great book, very absorbing, but we are looking forward to the rest.
What happened to this lady from Albi?
Where’s the sequel?
No character attracted me.
The historical side is mostly summarized in the use of Latin terms that the reader won’t remember anyway.
The plot is unremarkable, there are no twists and turns, nothing to keep the reader’s attention.
I have botched the last chapters…
The reading is pleasant, the meticulousness of the reconstitution of the period hits the nail on the head. An entertaining and enriching reading, the final notes are very useful.
Very well documented and well written. It is a real pleasure to read it. Sometimes the vocabulary used seems current, but it is an interpretation of the vocabulary of the time, which meant the same thing but untranslatable. And the fact that the events take place in totally different places is a plus.
Superb book I devoured this story that takes us to ancient Rome very well documented to recommend for Christmas to lovers of antiquity.
I hadn’t read many historical novels until then. This one captivated me from beginning to end. It is a beautiful discovery.
The author takes us through a well-crafted historical novel with an interesting plot that allows him to describe the life of the Romans at that time. We are looking forward to reading the 2nd volume
As always Thierry Bontoux has written a fascinating, well-documented book.
Most of the characters are plausible but I had a little difficulty to accept the role given to the young woman.
It is hard to believe that the papal inquisition would use a woman, a Moorish one at that, to fight against heretics in the macho, xenophobic and gullible medieval world.
I really appreciated this very well documented book on Roman life in all its aspects. The story is very well written.
I liked very much this historical detective novel, where we find back the characters of the Marcus Antonius Primus Conspiracy by the same author. Like the previous one, it is set in ancient Rome under Vespasian, which is rare for a detective book. The period is particularly well described with many very interesting notes and it is a pleasure to walk with the heroes through the Eternal City and of course Massilia. Once again, it is a rhythmical, efficient, very well documented police officer who makes us discover a daily and realistic life that we know little about, even when we love this period of history as much as I do.
Very good historical novel well documented a sequel would be welcome to read urgently this is great
I enjoyed the story and the intrigue with characters that you don’t lose along the way, easy to follow, the style is pleasant to read with a modern vocabulary.
I will quickly dive a few centuries into your second book.
I first read “the Riddle” with great pleasure. Massilia is just as entertaining. the action being under the reign of Vespasian and the author obviously competent in Roman history, the whole thing is well done. enjoy reading!
This book is the continuation of the Conspiracy of Marcus Primus.
It is as good as the previous one.
It combines an accurate and extremely documented description of Roman society under the Flavians, real police investigations and characters painted without mawkishness and with the characteristics of the Romans of that time.
For those with little knowledge of this period, extremely detailed notes help to understand the terms used.
A superb book whose end makes us wait for such an exciting sequel.
I loved it
This novel reads very well. One feels propelled into the life of the Romans under the reign of Vespasian. The plots are well conducted, the dialogues are quite caustic and ironic. In short, a novel which offers a good entertainment and teaches us a lot of things about this time or reminds us of them if we had forgotten them a little.
I think it’s a great novel, very well written with action twists. It’s a novel that I really liked. It is captivating you literally enter the Middle Ages and live the story !!! I loved it !!! Congratulations to the author !!!!!
When I started this book, the narrator explains that Joan of Arc is a hoax, that it is in fact Joan of Bourbon and that in the end another one will be burned. The purpose of this scenario was to give Charles VII back the crown. This assertion, at odds with the historians’ version, annoyed me.
Similarly, the vocabulary is too modern and becomes anachronistic.
I closed the book, and did not return to it until a few weeks later.
The Hundred Years’ War is over, and the dissolved armies have partly returned home. The rest were formed into dreaded armed bands: the truck drivers and skinners who terrorized the populations.
Charles VII and his son Louis, the Dauphin, are at war. The latter wants to base his power on Albi.
It is by means of these seasoned men that Louis’s followers develop their strategy, without any hesitation…
It is all this strategy and its implementation that we are following.
The men are practically the only protagonists of this book.
The Lady of Albi appears only in chapter 15, and again in a very secondary role. She quickly gives way to soldiers and battles. On the other hand, we understand that she is the narrator.
She only has a real role in chapter 40 (the book contains 45). So she makes herself wait for the lady from Albi.
I liked the characters and the plot, I’m looking for more investigations of our hero. It reminded me of the adventures of Gordian by Steven Saylor.
A friend had recommended this historical novel to me. In spite of my reluctance, I started reading it and from the very first pages, I was taken by the story. I didn’t give up reading until very late at night.
Reading resumed very quickly the next day!
In summary, very good book, well documented .
I recommend it!
I absolutely enjoyed it. A complete immersion in the Middle Ages. To be read by all lovers of historical Novel
Excellent to read absolutely
Having read with pleasure * The plot of Marcus Antonius Primus * , I wanted to read *Massilia * that follows it and I was not disappointed! And now I hope for a sequel !!!
I am on the 3rd reading of this fascinating novel. I devoured it the first time, the second time I enjoyed it even more and the 3rd (probably not the last), I read it very slowly.
This book is both a life story about the Middle Ages and a great novel. The lady of Albi tells without judgment her life and that of her contemporaries.
I can’t wait to have a sequel.
what do you think about doing it?
I never get tired of it. The 2 volumes of this last novel which is at the same time historical, detective and adventure book. As in the previous novels of Mr Bontoux, we are transported in the places and we live with the characters and we learn so much in the process. Like many others I hope that a new book is in preparation.
very good novels, pleasant to read, realistic, considering the difficulties of ancient Rome, to recommend.
Historical novel that is easy to read, lots of details but never long: the plot holds us throughout the book, the writing is fluid, pleasant and documented. A must read. Can’t wait for the next book!
It dies in turns without bothering, that’s the lot of the time, the solutions are radical. After a few thousand deaths, love triumphs, all’s well that ends well. This is not the history of France taught at school, although Louis XI didn’t have a very good reputation with his little cages, it was just a detail. A novel led drum beating, action after action, no time to get bored, better than our current films despite their special effects which make us feel so jaded when abused. Virile and warlike, this book should not please our ladies despite the title that evokes something else than this royal machination. Long live the King!
Even better than the previous ones. I’ve waited two years for this new novel and I’m devouring it. The descriptions of Vaucluse Mountain remind me of my childhood.
a book a fantastic story, never the slightest lassitude, you always want to know the rest bravo, I loved it.
I enjoyed every second reading this book.
I like that there’s an interesting and historical storyline.
good Roman novel …
the author makes us benefit from his erudition, without losing the romantic dimension.
Above all, he knows how to transport us to the daily life of the time.
The trip was therefore both interesting and pleasant.
confused work, with dubious historical verisimilitude, a style of writing too “current” which confuses and prevents to be at one with the epoch.
read in a few hours, we would like a sequel or a novel of the same kind.
I somewhat dislike the story about Joan of Arc. Where is the truth? I prefer the official version.
Superbly described.we are 2000 years back in an exciting investigation.I loved the first 2.I can’t wait for the fourth one which will probably be just as exciting.
I took this book as I am a lover of historical novels, especially about the Roman period. I took it on vacation not thinking I would have time in a week to read everything, wanting to do something else as well. Well, I think I read it in three days, because I “had to” do something else in those moments of interruption. I would only like one thing “a sequel” because it deserves it.
Concerning the plot I find that one feels immersed, without being drowned in details. In the past I have visited Ostia Antica, not far from Rome, and I have imagined the protagonists in those places I visited.
The plot is fascinating, with twists and surprises. If it is only a hobby for the author to write this kind of book, I wish him all the free time he can to write more.
I highly recommend it!
The story is very good but the descriptions are too long / too detailed / too scholarly between actions and discussions between the characters
I read this book by a a keen writter of Roman history, I was not disappointed. The author gives us a portrait of Rome at the time of Vespasian. The characters are credible, the plot flows without displeasure. I will read the sequel with hopes of as much pleasure.
A very interesting book. The author knows ancient Rome well and gives an accurate and uncompromising description of it. His description is based on solid historical knowledge and the plot is of good level and plausible. The characters are credible and endearing.
For me this book is on the same level as those of Steven Saylor or Cristina Rodriguez. An additional advantage for the reader is the extremely reasonable selling price of the book.
But this is not the main argument. This book deserves to be read by amateurs of historical thrillers because it is simply a good book.
I enjoyed this book. Bontoux is an excellent author, and his meticulous details transport us to the era he relates, whether it is Caesar or the Lady of Albi.
Diving into the Middle Ages, this novel where the plot mixes both battle and human history is worth every movie with special effects!
This book is a real pleasure to read. We can’t wait to go all the way. As always, the author transports us into a fascinating and well-documented universe, not to mention the adventure and intrigue that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
I’m waiting for the next one
I recommend this book. The plot is well conducted and the story very well documented. It takes a plunge into ancient Rome.
This book can be read in one go. It is very well documented, the characters and their lives at that time are very well rendered.
Very interesting book especially for lovers of ancient Rome.
The sequel to “Marcus’ Conspiracy…” can be read with undisguised pleasure and impatience while “revising” Roman history. We look forward to the follow up with impatience
This novel, a little fragile as for the plot, plunges us into a raw antiquity, where Sulpicius and Lucius, heroes of the previous novel, thwart the assassination attempts against Caesar, Vespasian here. Beautiful feather, some digressions sometimes long, but we become attached to the characters, even if they are violent and cruel, as we were at that time. A beautiful reading
This book, like the previous ones, is built around a rather simple enigma. It plunges us into the daily life of the inhabitants of Rome or Massilia. We live in antiquity for a few days!
Good, despite a not very nice contact with the author via Facebook.
book that can be easily read with an excellent knowledge of Roman mores and the customs of ancient Rome
Very well documented and well written. It is a real pleasure to read it. Sometimes the vocabulary used seems current, but it is an interpretation of the language of the time, which meant the same thing but in a way we can understand.
A very pleasant book, fascinating to read, it’s hard to stop.
A little surprising in the reading when the “Lady” speaks in the first person singular (I this, I that) but you get used to it quickly.
To be read without moderation.
Very good historical thriller, very explicit about life in ancient Rome and the Roman army. To be highly recommended
I really liked the intrigue in this novel, the complicity of the characters, their story and their nature. Good historical immersion.