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Dominus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Following his international bestsellers Roma and Empire, Steven Saylor's Dominus continues his saga of the greatest, most storied empire in history from the eternal city at the very center of it all. A.D. 165: The empire of Rome has reached its pinnacle. Universal peace--the Pax Roma--reigns from Britannia to Egypt, from Gaul to Greece. Marcus Aurelius, as much a philosophe Following his international bestsellers Roma and Empire, Steven Saylor's Dominus continues his saga of the greatest, most storied empire in history from the eternal city at the very center of it all. A.D. 165: The empire of Rome has reached its pinnacle. Universal peace--the Pax Roma--reigns from Britannia to Egypt, from Gaul to Greece. Marcus Aurelius, as much a philosopher as he is an emperor, oversees a golden age in the city of Rome. The ancient Pinarius family and their workshop of artisans embellish the richest and greatest city on earth with gilded statues and towering marble monuments. Art and reason flourish. But history does not stand still. The years to come bring wars, plagues, fires, and famines. The best emperors in history are succeeded by some of the worst. Barbarians descend in endless waves, eventually appearing before the gates of Rome itself. The military seizes power and sells the throne to the highest bidder. Chaos engulfs the empire. Through it all, the Pinarius family endures, thanks in no small part to the protective powers of the fascinum, a talisman older than Rome itself, a mystical heirloom handed down through countless generations. But an even greater upheaval is yet to come. On the fringes of society, troublesome cultists disseminate dangerous and seditious ideas. They insist that everyone in the world should worship only one god, their god. They call themselves Christians. Some emperors deal with the Christians with toleration, others with bloody persecution. Then one emperor does the unthinkable. He becomes a Christian himself. His name is Constantine, and the revolution he sets in motion will change the world forever. Spanning 160 years and seven generations, teeming with some of ancient Rome's most vivid figures, Saylor's epic brings to vivid life some of the most tumultuous and consequential chapters of human history, events which reverberate still.


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Following his international bestsellers Roma and Empire, Steven Saylor's Dominus continues his saga of the greatest, most storied empire in history from the eternal city at the very center of it all. A.D. 165: The empire of Rome has reached its pinnacle. Universal peace--the Pax Roma--reigns from Britannia to Egypt, from Gaul to Greece. Marcus Aurelius, as much a philosophe Following his international bestsellers Roma and Empire, Steven Saylor's Dominus continues his saga of the greatest, most storied empire in history from the eternal city at the very center of it all. A.D. 165: The empire of Rome has reached its pinnacle. Universal peace--the Pax Roma--reigns from Britannia to Egypt, from Gaul to Greece. Marcus Aurelius, as much a philosopher as he is an emperor, oversees a golden age in the city of Rome. The ancient Pinarius family and their workshop of artisans embellish the richest and greatest city on earth with gilded statues and towering marble monuments. Art and reason flourish. But history does not stand still. The years to come bring wars, plagues, fires, and famines. The best emperors in history are succeeded by some of the worst. Barbarians descend in endless waves, eventually appearing before the gates of Rome itself. The military seizes power and sells the throne to the highest bidder. Chaos engulfs the empire. Through it all, the Pinarius family endures, thanks in no small part to the protective powers of the fascinum, a talisman older than Rome itself, a mystical heirloom handed down through countless generations. But an even greater upheaval is yet to come. On the fringes of society, troublesome cultists disseminate dangerous and seditious ideas. They insist that everyone in the world should worship only one god, their god. They call themselves Christians. Some emperors deal with the Christians with toleration, others with bloody persecution. Then one emperor does the unthinkable. He becomes a Christian himself. His name is Constantine, and the revolution he sets in motion will change the world forever. Spanning 160 years and seven generations, teeming with some of ancient Rome's most vivid figures, Saylor's epic brings to vivid life some of the most tumultuous and consequential chapters of human history, events which reverberate still.

30 review for Dominus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    AD 165. Rome has two emperors, Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher, who rules the city, while his brother Lucius marches off to wars, ruling the vast lands of the empire. Rome has reached its pinnacle, with lands stretching far and a prosperous city. But now the ravages of the plague weigh heavily on the city and it seems as there are two plaques going on, one that kills and the other that brings charlatans and false prophets who take advantage of the situation. Among them are those who call themsel AD 165. Rome has two emperors, Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher, who rules the city, while his brother Lucius marches off to wars, ruling the vast lands of the empire. Rome has reached its pinnacle, with lands stretching far and a prosperous city. But now the ravages of the plague weigh heavily on the city and it seems as there are two plaques going on, one that kills and the other that brings charlatans and false prophets who take advantage of the situation. Among them are those who call themselves Christians, and one of them is named Justin. He refuses to worship gods and he aggressively recruits young Romans into his cult. When Lucius Pinarius, senator, confronts the man, he unnerves him. Justin comes across as being right about everything, which would make others, including the emperors and him, wrong. When Lucius tries to reason with Justin, it is to no avail. There is no way you can reason with someone who knows he is right and the rest are wrong. Lucius cannot save Justin from his punishing sentence. “The law must follow its course.” Commodus becomes Marcus’s successor and is given the title Augustus. He is not interested in wars. He wants to enjoy the fruits of peace. After the great fire, Commodus who has a great passion for gladiators and chariots has even more reason now to build an amphitheater. Commodus makes himself unpopular with high-born people, but popular with low-born ones. The Roman Games will offer an entertainment to the poor as never before seen in Rome. As the story spans 160 years, it brings in many emperors briefly, some of them hoping for a return to the sound government of the past, and others bringing chaos from the start. Some are bold claiming only one god, something that doesn’t sit well with the others. Some of them are hardly old enough to rule an empire. The novel encompasses many changes within the empire, including religious believes. It brings a vivid portrayal of Christianity which is viewed as something to fear and needs to be eradicated by some emperors and tolerated by others. At the end, being embraced by one emperor who changes the world forever. It also depicts where the passion for gladiators and chariots comes from. It gives a detail depiction of everyday lives and customs. The thread that connects all those changes involves generations of Lucius Pinarius family. The story brings interesting aspects from one emperor to another, however it feels fragmented, not only going from one emperor to another but also within one emperor - how it goes from one subject to another that gives the story the feel of fragmentation. I wish the story was concentrated on the emperors that made the biggest impact and putting more depth to the chosen ones. Nevertheless, the constant changes in the empire give rich texture to the story and with great details the ancient Rome comes alive. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review originally posted at mysteryandsuspense.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    The Pinarius family from Marcus Aurelius to Constantine with some surprises on the way; while lacking the deeper novella like stories during Nero and Domitian from the previous volume, so more fragmentary - though still going generation to generation - and covering also Commodus, Caracalla, Elagabalus and his cousin young Severus, the millennial celebration under Phillip the Arab, Aurelian, Zenobia and of course Constantine and Christianity, the book was a pleasure to read and offers a superb co The Pinarius family from Marcus Aurelius to Constantine with some surprises on the way; while lacking the deeper novella like stories during Nero and Domitian from the previous volume, so more fragmentary - though still going generation to generation - and covering also Commodus, Caracalla, Elagabalus and his cousin young Severus, the millennial celebration under Phillip the Arab, Aurelian, Zenobia and of course Constantine and Christianity, the book was a pleasure to read and offers a superb conclusion to the Rome series of the author; who knows maybe we see a Constantinople one as clearly the torch passes there at the end of this one with Rome starting to become a backwater in some ways. If you loved the previous two as I did, you will love this one for sure

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Erickson

    Dominus is essentially a series of short stories that are loosely connected through the lives of one family across time. They take place from the reign of Marcus Aurelius until Constantine. The first half of this book was very engaging, but about the 45% mark, I lost most of my interest. The short story format of following generations of family has been done well before, but it is done to middling effect here. Saylor uses this format to dip in and out of various interesting parts of Roman histor Dominus is essentially a series of short stories that are loosely connected through the lives of one family across time. They take place from the reign of Marcus Aurelius until Constantine. The first half of this book was very engaging, but about the 45% mark, I lost most of my interest. The short story format of following generations of family has been done well before, but it is done to middling effect here. Saylor uses this format to dip in and out of various interesting parts of Roman history but does absolutely nothing to deepen any of his characters or provide them with characteristics or personality that differentiates them from one another. He also doesn't really do anything to examine how their lifestyles have changed over the centuries. They are always well off and they are always sculptors (by the way, over many generations, this powerful family of Romans never has to enter the military? I think I counted two of them that ever had to join the legions, which strikes me as woefully unrealistic. Of course, we don't get enough about any of them to know one way or another if they served). Every single patriarch of this family was utterly indistinguishable from the other. Which makes reading a chore, and the interest in the story only as good as whatever Roman Emperor they're discussing. The first half-ish of this book followed a single character and his son, along with their friendship with the famous physician Galen, and their friendship and tenuous partnership with Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, respectively. This had enough of an arc that I was completely invested. Once Commodus leaves the stage though, all life leaves this book. What follows is a series of clips from the highlights of each of the most well-known emperors in this time period, then a time jump of a few years, some exposition about what happened in those years, 1-3 conversations with somebody being insane, then another time jump. After every time jump or two, you get introduced to the next generation, the same as the old generation. If you want to just have a nice series of short stories that give you more context and information about Ancient Roman Emperors, then this will be pretty enjoyable. But overall it just felt like a giant montage. I admire how much history Saylor is trying to cover here, but maybe he was trying to do too much. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This is another spectacular book by Steven Saylor. I have read so many of his books, and enjoyed every one. His research is so thorough and he includes so much historical detail in his books. This book felt so relevant to our current times, from the ongoing plague crisis that they dealt with to the dysfunction of the ever changing leadership. I learned so much about the final emperors, especially Constantine, and was surprised how many there were and how quickly they were replaced (well usually This is another spectacular book by Steven Saylor. I have read so many of his books, and enjoyed every one. His research is so thorough and he includes so much historical detail in his books. This book felt so relevant to our current times, from the ongoing plague crisis that they dealt with to the dysfunction of the ever changing leadership. I learned so much about the final emperors, especially Constantine, and was surprised how many there were and how quickly they were replaced (well usually murdered). All of his books can be appreciated both for the historical accuracy as well as the engaging story and the way that he weaves them together. I am so grateful to St. Martin's Press for allowing me access to the ARC of this amazing book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ray Moon

    Saylor’s Third Historical Tome on Ancient Rome This is the third large scope historical novel on ancient Rome. The story continues shortly after the previous historical novel stops with the reign of dual emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, and it ends with emperor Constantine leaving Rome in 326 CE after a short visit to celebrate his twenty-year anniversary as emperor. As with the first two novels, this is not a comprehensive historical series like Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome ser Saylor’s Third Historical Tome on Ancient Rome This is the third large scope historical novel on ancient Rome. The story continues shortly after the previous historical novel stops with the reign of dual emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, and it ends with emperor Constantine leaving Rome in 326 CE after a short visit to celebrate his twenty-year anniversary as emperor. As with the first two novels, this is not a comprehensive historical series like Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series. This novel continues to be told through the eyes of the current members of the Pinaria gens, a real patrician family that originated long before the founding of Rome. Essentially, it is a series vignettes of the events of the times, about the current emperors, and the role of seven generations of the Pinarii have in those events. The span of Roman history, with which I am most familiar, is from the consulships of Gaius Marius through to the reign of Domitian. That made this novel particularly desirable to read. I was not disappointed. In addition to the vignettes providing an overall flavor especially political of the times, there is the story of the Pinarii, the author includes little stories that add a richness to the novel. An example occurs with the first Pinarii in the novel who befriends the famous Greek physician, Galen who gives a demonstration called the squealing pig. I looked that one up on the Internet and discovered that it was true, albeit not exactly as written in the novel. Another such story that I particularly enjoyed was incorporating into the novel an explanation for an early 2000 archeological discovery in Rome. These little stories and facts appear throughout the entire novel. Now, this is a novel of the Roman Empire, and there is content that raise red flags so readers be forewarned. This novel is long but not a difficult read. The three major threads captured and maintain my interest throughout the novel. This is my primary criterion for a high star rating. There was only one scene that the author let an answer to a question not be revealed to the readers. This is historical fiction, so why snub the readers? Does this happen in real life? All the time but it does not need to happen in fiction. The ending left me hopeful. Constantine tells the current members of the Pinarii family that they are to accompany him to Constantinople to build churches. There were other conditions but I will leave those for you, the reader, to discover. This implies that this series can continue with the Byzantine part of the Empire in the future. That history is rich and over a thousand years long. I can wait. The only downside is that the last novel was published almost 11 years ago. I hope that it will not be that long for the next novel. This novel can be read without reading the previous two. Based upon my enjoyment in reading the novel and on how well the author weaves history into the storyline through the perspective of Pinarii, I rate this novel with five stars. I received a free e-book version of this novel through NetGalley from St. Martin's Press with an expectation for an honest, unbiased review. I wish to thank St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this novel early.

  6. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    Could this be the final Steven Saylor novel? Saylor has hinted that since he’s turned 65, he’s ready for retirement. Saylor is known for his impeccable research and his unique ability in reconstructing history. This compelling capstone of the trilogy recounts the fortunes of the Pinarius family from the reign on Marcus Aurelius to Constantine. Spanning 160 years and covering 7 generations, Dominus begins at the height of Rome’s empire. It has reached its pinnacle and expanded boundaries while de Could this be the final Steven Saylor novel? Saylor has hinted that since he’s turned 65, he’s ready for retirement. Saylor is known for his impeccable research and his unique ability in reconstructing history. This compelling capstone of the trilogy recounts the fortunes of the Pinarius family from the reign on Marcus Aurelius to Constantine. Spanning 160 years and covering 7 generations, Dominus begins at the height of Rome’s empire. It has reached its pinnacle and expanded boundaries while dealing with wars, plagues, fires and famines. Where book one featured the founding of Rome and book two featured the emperors, this book features the rise of Christianity and the manner in which the emperors accepted it. Some tolerated Christianity and some induced persecution. The novel concludes with Constantine, the emperor known for altering history by making Christianity the state religion of Rome. His vision included one empire, one people and one god. He hoped that everyone would pull together toward a single purpose, decided by their emperor and inspired by the Christian god. If you have been following the trilogy, the Pinarius family continues to endure due to the fascinum and for the first time this protective talisman gets into the hands of those other than family. The epilogue highlights the intriguing final days for the fascinum. Reading this book during the pandemic, I was most interested in the arrival and spread of the plague. There was a ban put on gladiator games and other forms of group entertainment in an effort to cut down on transmission. Just as our economy was affected, the quarries came to a standstill and marble became as scarce as gold. Saylor recounts how usually the lowly slaves in the quarries were easily replaced, but when they died by the hundreds and thousands, even the quarries were depopulated. He pointed out that when the plague got out of control, there was an increased loss of manpower. We might be griping and complaining about services only open to curbside or take out, but in ancient Rome there were no slaves to harvest crops, so they rotted in the fields and the cargo sat on piers because there were no slaves to load the ships. Saylor explains that when trade trickled and there were no crops, it gave rise to famine. This book cover features the beautiful painting, The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes, by Joseph Desire Court. I was gifted this advance copy by Steven Saylor, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review. Publishes June 29, 2021.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Audrey H.

    Steven Saylor’s Roma was really influential for me when I read it over a decade ago, as it was the first time I saw generational ties between characters being used as a structural format. This format, which continues to work really well for me, has gotten a lot more popular in recent years (think the wild success of Homegoing, for example). I found the characters varied and interesting, and learned a ton about the history of Rome in the process. Since Roma has remained one of my most nostalgic h Steven Saylor’s Roma was really influential for me when I read it over a decade ago, as it was the first time I saw generational ties between characters being used as a structural format. This format, which continues to work really well for me, has gotten a lot more popular in recent years (think the wild success of Homegoing, for example). I found the characters varied and interesting, and learned a ton about the history of Rome in the process. Since Roma has remained one of my most nostalgic historical fiction books, I was quick to request Saylor’s most recent piece in the Rome series when I saw it offered on Netgalley. Unfortunately, Dominus is pretty weak in comparison to Roma (Empire, second in the trilogy, was also not as strong). Like before, we follow descendants of the Pinarii family that hold their family talisman, but focus on only ~150 years of Roman history during the shift from the older polytheistic Roman gods to Christianity, and the thirty or so emperors that came/went during this time. My biggest problem is that all the characters (descendants) feel and think like the exact same person, probably because so many of the chapter viewpoints come from Pinarii men aged 30s-40s, working as sculptors. This might be historically true, but is much less interesting to read than the characters in Roma, which switched between Pinarii ranging from young/old, poor/rich and male/female, with a large variety of occupations. Frankly, this makes this book a 500 page story with the same character voice, and a ton of emperor switch-ups. I applaud Saylor for his research (the Afterward, where he talks about his sources, was pretty interesting) but I can’t say I was ever excited to pick this book up as I was reading, nor will I remember it a few weeks from now. I voluntarily obtained a digital version of this book free from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard West

    This is the third - and presumably concluding volume in what I believe is Steven Saylor's rather epic series on the Roman Empire, beginning with before the founding of Rome and concluding with the reign of Constantine who, for all practical purposes was the final emperor of Rome as we think of the Roman Empire. However, it is possible, he could do a fourth volume, but the question would be why? This series is perfect as a trilogy. It is so refreshing to read a - in this case, series - novel on Ro This is the third - and presumably concluding volume in what I believe is Steven Saylor's rather epic series on the Roman Empire, beginning with before the founding of Rome and concluding with the reign of Constantine who, for all practical purposes was the final emperor of Rome as we think of the Roman Empire. However, it is possible, he could do a fourth volume, but the question would be why? This series is perfect as a trilogy. It is so refreshing to read a - in this case, series - novel on Rome and not have the obligatory (or so it seems) battle scenes. You know: "Marcus moved into the shield wall, drew his spatha and began yelling at the invaders. The yelling was picked up by others around him and soon the entire area resounded with the cries of Roman legionaries yelling for death to the invaders. And on and on." There isn't a single battle scene of that ilk in this book! Thank you Steven Saylor! While there is a reference to a battle or two, we don't get the blood, guts and gore that are associated with them. This gem instead focuses on the human aspect of Roman life through one family that can trace their lineage back to the beginnings of Rome. There are a lot of people dying, but they aren't dying in those battle scenes which get tiresome after a while. For those who are interested in a top-notch series on Ancient Rome, go out and get the other two volumes and this one, sit down and start reading! Each book is in the 500-page range so it will take you a few days, but you'll be glad you took the time to read them. This is an outstanding series and Dominus is the perfect conclusion. Highly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    I received Dominus as part of a Goodreads giveaway. Spanning 150 years from the reign of Marcus Aurelius to that of Constantine, Dominus centers on seven generations of the ancient Pinarii family as they experience the political and religious turmoil that shook the Roman Empire in the wake of some of its greatest triumphs. As the Empire distances itself from its former dominance and traditions toward its unification (or "unification") under Christianity, the Pinarii must reckon with their place i I received Dominus as part of a Goodreads giveaway. Spanning 150 years from the reign of Marcus Aurelius to that of Constantine, Dominus centers on seven generations of the ancient Pinarii family as they experience the political and religious turmoil that shook the Roman Empire in the wake of some of its greatest triumphs. As the Empire distances itself from its former dominance and traditions toward its unification (or "unification") under Christianity, the Pinarii must reckon with their place in a changing, tumultuous world. I enjoyed Dominus while acknowledging that it's not the deepest or most subtle piece of historical fiction. It's a fascinating time in history, full of transition and violence, and one that doesn't get examined in fiction often. At times, I feel like it reads a bit like a standard political history but given a fictional bent--it's male-focused, driven by political and often military action, and not a whole lot beyond that. That said, I feel like the fairly light treatment of the era is a nice introduction to what was going on--and if a reader's interest is piqued, they can pursue other works that give more context. It reads very smoothly, and the narrative moves along at a decent place and doesn't get bogged down in minutae. If you like the format of books by Edward Rutherfurd or James Michener, which explores the life of a place over several generations, Dominus is probably a good choice for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean Kolinofsky

    From the reign of Marcus Aurelius to Constantine, Steven Saylor continues the story of Rome through the Pilarius family. Their story began in Roma with the founding of of Rome and continued in Empire. In AD 165 Senator Lucius Pinarius was raised with Marcus Aurelius and now serves as his friend and advisor. Lucius’ wealth comes from the statues and monuments that he has designed and erected to honor the gods and rulers of the empire. With the death of Marcus he continues this work with his son G From the reign of Marcus Aurelius to Constantine, Steven Saylor continues the story of Rome through the Pilarius family. Their story began in Roma with the founding of of Rome and continued in Empire. In AD 165 Senator Lucius Pinarius was raised with Marcus Aurelius and now serves as his friend and advisor. Lucius’ wealth comes from the statues and monuments that he has designed and erected to honor the gods and rulers of the empire. With the death of Marcus he continues this work with his son Gaius in service to Commodus. Through plagues, fires, wars and the rise of Christianity, the story of Rome is seen though the eyes of generations of the Pinarii. As Saylor progresses through the various rulers of Rome, Dominus feels like a series of short stories. Through it all, the family possesses the fascinum, an heirloom passed to the eldest son in each generation that is believed to protect the family. Through gladiatorial games and assassinations, it is sometimes a dark, yet fascinating history that engages your imagination as Saylor takes you through the senate, palaces, arenas and temples of the early Roman empire. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin Press for providing this book for my review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David Petray

    The third and final installment of the series. The first book was the best and the remainder have been more boring. It is a well-researched fictional series so its almost like reading a historical text, with a small grain of salt. It’s just boring and the author seems to be stretching the story at times for ???additional pages? The author has a bit of an anti-Christian bias, not prejudice, but bias. The bad guys in the later series are bad emperors and all Christians (even the protagonist’s spou The third and final installment of the series. The first book was the best and the remainder have been more boring. It is a well-researched fictional series so its almost like reading a historical text, with a small grain of salt. It’s just boring and the author seems to be stretching the story at times for ???additional pages? The author has a bit of an anti-Christian bias, not prejudice, but bias. The bad guys in the later series are bad emperors and all Christians (even the protagonist’s spouse comes across as insane. Even when the Christians save Rome from the barbarians they are not portrayed as heroic but as insane for seeking martyrdom ) but he treads lightly and considering the outright anti-Christian bigotry rampant in today’s literature, it’s acceptable. Nevertheless, if you’re a student of Roman History I recommend the book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Debbi

    What a fascinating book! Well researched, engrossing to read, Dominus is the story of the Pinarius family over several generations and 150 plus years. The Pinari seem to be at the heart of things even as Rome changes dramatically; their artisan workshop documents history through their sculpture, literally in the case of the stele they are commissioned to produce for various emperors. Tying everything together is an amulet called the fascinum which is ancient beyond anything else and that the Pin What a fascinating book! Well researched, engrossing to read, Dominus is the story of the Pinarius family over several generations and 150 plus years. The Pinari seem to be at the heart of things even as Rome changes dramatically; their artisan workshop documents history through their sculpture, literally in the case of the stele they are commissioned to produce for various emperors. Tying everything together is an amulet called the fascinum which is ancient beyond anything else and that the Pinarii believe protects them from adversity. Saylor takes us through 160 years of Roman history - the good, the bad and the ugly - through the eyes and fortunes of the Pinari family. The characters are so real it pulled me in immediately. I have not read the previous two books in the series but this book can stand on its own (and I will go back and read the other two!). A really great book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    This novel covers over a century of Roman history in order to explain the changes not only in empire’s elite, but in citizenry and Rome itself. It reads like several short stories cobbled together and it seems unfocused. From start to end it felt disjointed, and, somehow disappointing. The book is well written just not well plotted. Saylor manages, through his research, to bring the times alive while at the same time jumping from story to story without settling on a single place in time to fully This novel covers over a century of Roman history in order to explain the changes not only in empire’s elite, but in citizenry and Rome itself. It reads like several short stories cobbled together and it seems unfocused. From start to end it felt disjointed, and, somehow disappointing. The book is well written just not well plotted. Saylor manages, through his research, to bring the times alive while at the same time jumping from story to story without settling on a single place in time to fully engage his readers. If you like epic novels, then this is the book for you. If you prefer your historical novels to be focused on one point in time or on one character or family, you’ll probably want to pass on this book. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Edelweiss for an eARC.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Helliondeadwoman

    Steven Saylor never disappoints with his amazing stories set in ancient Rome, this title lives up to his reputation as one of the greats! Saylor takes you on a multi generation journey, following the Pinarii family through the ups and downs of life in ancient rome. War, peace, heartache, joy, political/religious turmoil, and everything in between. There is a definite military and political focus which is exactly the kind of stories I enjoy. Even if you've never read a book by Mr. Saylor I highly Steven Saylor never disappoints with his amazing stories set in ancient Rome, this title lives up to his reputation as one of the greats! Saylor takes you on a multi generation journey, following the Pinarii family through the ups and downs of life in ancient rome. War, peace, heartache, joy, political/religious turmoil, and everything in between. There is a definite military and political focus which is exactly the kind of stories I enjoy. Even if you've never read a book by Mr. Saylor I highly suggest you pick this title up, just be prepared to go on a spending spree when you pick up all his other books.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    Unfortunately, I read Dominus at the same time as Colleen McCullough's The First Man in Rome as well as a number of other books on Rome or Carthage (by Goldsworthy, Hart, Schiff, Duncan). I liked the styles of all of them more than Saylor. I've read three by Saylor (Roma, Empire and Dominus). Although I generally liked Saylor and learned a lot from his books, there is something about his writing that is not as interesting or exciting as the others. And of the three above, I liked Dominus the leas Unfortunately, I read Dominus at the same time as Colleen McCullough's The First Man in Rome as well as a number of other books on Rome or Carthage (by Goldsworthy, Hart, Schiff, Duncan). I liked the styles of all of them more than Saylor. I've read three by Saylor (Roma, Empire and Dominus). Although I generally liked Saylor and learned a lot from his books, there is something about his writing that is not as interesting or exciting as the others. And of the three above, I liked Dominus the least. Considering my choices, I probably won't read more Saylor.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wes Spence

    Review to come. Fantastic conclusion

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Excellent historic fiction.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jo Ellen

    If you enjoy historical fiction, you will appreciate this book. Really brought ancient Rome to life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Palmer

    I want more! I hope the series continues with Basileus and the Eastern Roman Empire … or Pontifex for the West? The Bishop of Rome assumed the title Pontifex Maximus along with that ‘Donation of Constantine’.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Isabella N. P.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Bell

  23. 5 out of 5

    Augusto Gamarra

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Martensen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Richard Ray

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Fletcher

  28. 4 out of 5

    Richard W.

  29. 5 out of 5

    william osborn cleland

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lani Duncan

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