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Render Unto Caesar

af Gillian Bradshaw

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1194176,843 (3.68)8
Hermogenes is a young Greek from Alexandria, heir to a noble and vibrant society. But in his youth Hermogenes and his family were held captive to the whims of the queen Cleopatra, whose machinations spelled doom for an entire nation--whose schemes for empire caused the might of Rome to conquer his people. While the citizens of Rome may ape Hellenic ways, the Alexandrian Greeks are viewed as less than human because they are not of Rome. But a man may win the coveted citizenship in more ways than birth on Roman soil. When Hermogenes father is granted such a boon, it appears as if his family has found favor from the gods--except then a business deal goes sour and Hermogenes father dies at sea. It is left to Hermogenes to reclaim all monies owed to the family... including a debt from a very well connected Roman consul who has reneged on his obligations and refuses to deal with "Greek trash." Hermogenes will travel to Rome to reclaim what he is owed and finds it is no simple matter. Along the way, he will encounter base desire and power struggles, plots within plots... and a beautiful woman gladiator who is more than she seems. His life is in danger, and ultimately Hermogenes is left with the question: Can the conferring of a title make one truly Roman? And if not, how far will a man go to satisfy honor?… (mere)
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Engelsk (3)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (4)
Viser 4 af 4
Excellent fun read - had me up late several nights! You can pretty much see where things are going but there enough obstacles in the way that one is thrown into doubt - lots of tension and action!

I do wonder - would anybody at that time really be so focused on justice as some abstract kind of rule of law? It's an interesting puzzle - probably the actual ways of thinking of people of that time are so foreign to us modern readers that we could never get engaged in the story. We just wouldn't understand the motives etc. What's the point of historical fiction? To place action in a historical scene, or use the scene to explore historical ways of thinking?

Bradshaw does repeat a stanza of praise to Isis that makes justice one of her domains. Anyway Bradshaw does a very nice job of exploring justice in that ancient context. ( )
  kukulaj | Jul 30, 2017 |
Oh God I stayed up far, far too late reading this. But it was worth it.

This pushes a button for me. That button is the hero who gets in so over his head, knows it, and grits his teeth and does his damnedest. And is *awesome*. Bonus points for people around him thinking he's a total BAMF, and his response being, omgwtf I am so not the droid you are looking for. See also: Season 1 John Sheppard, and whatsherface in Naamah's Curse.

While this doesn't pass Bechdel (on-screen; there's a referenced conversation but it's very brief), I am willing to forgive on the grounds that Maerica kicks every possible variety of ass and the hero clearly adores his (off-screen) daughter.

I love that the book is from the perspective of the conquered peoples of Rome. I love that the plot is explained clearly without a single instance of "as you know, Bob." This is one time when the audience knowing as much as the point-of-view character works really well; pace Lawrence Block, but I find I often prefer stories where the audience knows more than the characters.

Oh, and the treatment of sexuality in early imperial Rome is pretty awesome. ( )
  cricketbats | Apr 18, 2013 |
This is a light historical romance, but its an intelligent one, grounded in solid knowledge of real history and with plenty of action and adventure. I really enjoy Gillian Bradshaw's novels, they're a fun recreation and I don't feel dumber after I read one. ( )
1 stem bunwat | Mar 30, 2013 |
Hermógenes, un comerciante romano de Alejandría, se dirige a Roma para cobrar una deuda. El deudor, un rico cónsul romano, se niega a pagar, y además, intenta asesinarle. Pero el alejandrino no ceja en su empeño y recorre las callles de Roma, donde conoce a toda clase de gentes y sufre todo tipo de dificultades. Hermógenes es uno de los muchos ciudadanos romanos de la periferia a los que el Imperio discrimina.
  kika66 | Nov 15, 2010 |
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Hermogenes is a young Greek from Alexandria, heir to a noble and vibrant society. But in his youth Hermogenes and his family were held captive to the whims of the queen Cleopatra, whose machinations spelled doom for an entire nation--whose schemes for empire caused the might of Rome to conquer his people. While the citizens of Rome may ape Hellenic ways, the Alexandrian Greeks are viewed as less than human because they are not of Rome. But a man may win the coveted citizenship in more ways than birth on Roman soil. When Hermogenes father is granted such a boon, it appears as if his family has found favor from the gods--except then a business deal goes sour and Hermogenes father dies at sea. It is left to Hermogenes to reclaim all monies owed to the family... including a debt from a very well connected Roman consul who has reneged on his obligations and refuses to deal with "Greek trash." Hermogenes will travel to Rome to reclaim what he is owed and finds it is no simple matter. Along the way, he will encounter base desire and power struggles, plots within plots... and a beautiful woman gladiator who is more than she seems. His life is in danger, and ultimately Hermogenes is left with the question: Can the conferring of a title make one truly Roman? And if not, how far will a man go to satisfy honor?

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