ROMANITAS by Sophia McDougall
ROMANITAS by Sophia McDougall
ROMANITAS by Sophia McDougall
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A HISTORY OF THE EMPIRE THE IMPERIAL FAMILY MAP NEWS SOPHIA MCDOUGALL ORION
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ROMANITAS by Sophia McDougall
ROMANITAS by Sophia McDougall

Romanitas
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Reviews

'...fresh and new... ROMANITAS is beautifully written, being literary without alientating the reader...a modern classic'
BOOKS AND MAGAZINE COLLECTOR

'[a] hugely imaginative debut'
Henry Sutton
MIRROR

'Suppose that the decline and fall of the Roman Empire had never happened. This most intriguing of history's "what-ifs" has inspired several novels, among them Robert Silverberg's Roma Eterna (2003). His > work is categorized as science fiction, which in the wider literary world tends to be (to quote the late George Brown MP) "treated with a total ignoral". Sophia McDougall's Romanitas is also SF, sub-section "alternative history", but its cover hardly makes that clear so a happy surprise awaits impulse buyers. This novel, the first of a promised trilogy by the 24-year-old poet and playwright, is a thoroughly good read.

It opens in the year 2004, or by the Roman calendar, 2757. Rome's empire takes in half the world, and its ancient core traditions still survive into the modern world of "Longvision" and "longdictors" - television and telephone. Society is built upon slavery. Zoroastrianism flourishes, Christianity is long-forgotten, criminals are sentenced to crucifixion on high-tech stainless steel crosses, and rival branches of the Imperial family still carry on the tradition of internecine feuds.

The story begins just after the death of the heir to the throne. His son Marcus realises it was murder and goes into hiding to escape a similar fate. He joins up with two escaped slaves and together they reach a secret hideout for fugitives where he plots his return to Rome to reclaim his birthright and take his revenge on his enemies.

The sequence of murder, escape, chase and comeuppance is predictable but made to seem fresh by the coherence of McDougall's vividly imagined world, and her elegant, lively writing.'
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

 
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