“…skillfully manages an extensive and diverse cast of characters to illuminate a complex, multicultural Roman world… A lavishly detailed, character-driven tale” -Kirkus Reviews
A debut historical novel captures the last years of the Roman Republic from varying perspectives. The story opens in Rome in 90 B.C. with the young Julius Caesar being tutored on the fall of the ancient empires of the Mediterranean. The narrative charts Caesar’s development from eager scholar to esteemed soldier, awarded a civic crown for saving the lives of his fellow fighters.
The story of Caesar’s ongoing rise to power is but one thread in a larger fabric.
In the first century BC, under the backdrop of actual historical events, a series of characters from all walks of life struggle with their circumstances:
– Their old life destroyed, a young Numidian and his nephew sign up as auxiliary archers for the Roman legions and ship out to Hispania
– Their homeland overrun, the fierce Celtic men and women warriors of a small clan of the Gallic Aedui nation see Caesar and his legions as the last hope for them and their families
– A young freed-woman in the Italian countryside needs her brother the most when he’s far away, fighting for the Ninth Legion in Gallia
– The early loss of his father, persecution by Sulla, the kidnapping by pirates and ever-growing debt are what shape a young Julius Caesar into the person the world will come to know
As disparate storylines interleave, the need for community and belonging unites people across different cultures, ultimately allowing them to triumph over their hardships. From Darkness is epic historical fiction set in the last years of the Roman Republic.
– Includes graphic descriptions of violence
– No graphic sexual content
– Includes LGB characters
– Though Caesar and his personal history start this book and anchor the series, he is not the main focus.
A good read! I was fascinated with the details of life in the Roman times…. the mechanics of how the Roman Legions lived and traveled, the politics. I especially liked the details of the moving city that traveled with the Roman Legion. I hope there is a sequel with some of the same characters and story lines. I thoroughly enjoyed them. – Bill Smith
I really enjoyed this book. A novella, first in the series. Encompassing several story arcs coming together in exciting fashion. Ruppelt manages to balance exciting character development with historical content. Viewing the story through the eyes of the characters and what is actually happening at the same time. The book contains lovely maps and other diagrams to help explain war tactics. Something I really love in books. I recommend this book to anyone looking for some good storytelling. Whether you’re a Roman empire buff or not. – David Vaughan
This is my first historical novel, but the book never reads like a history lesson. Instead it is a compelling storyline, that makes the book hard to put down. It is a lot of fun to bring into focus many details about the period and lives of our distant relatives, but its the characters and story that keeps you turning the pages. The book is chock full of rich characters, some of whom you know go on to greatness, but for now you get to know them before history steps in, a great writing technique and thrill for the reader. Whether you are a fan of historical novels, or not, add this one to your reading list. – scott ketterer