A captivating and engaging journey that sheds light on lesser-known aspects of Byzantine culture.
By Richard Wall ‧ RELEASE DATE: N/A
In Wall’s thrilling historical drama, the characters are embroiled in political machinations. Set in sixth-century Constantinople, during the rule of Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great, chariot racing is the most popular sport, with four teams: the Blues, Greens, Reds, and Whites. The intense rivalry between their devoted fans leads to widespread chaos and destruction. Gaius Galen Licinius, the novel’s protagonist, has left his violent past as the leader of the Green faction gang, “Wilder,” to pursue a respectable life as a procurer of sand and dirt for the racetrack. He is accompanied by his loyal enslaved friend Tedius, in love with the beautiful and spirited reformed prostitute Messalina, and estranged from his selfish and controlling father. Suddenly, Gaius Galen is visited by his boss’s boss, Ammianus, who wants him to use his criminal skills for an anonymous client. Initially, he refuses, but when his best friend Monaxius’ five-year-old daughter is kidnapped, he realizes he must do Ammianus’ bidding to protect his loved ones. He assembles a team of trusted individuals to lead a fanatical mob to carry out a nefarious plan. This leads to a series of unexpected events that could potentially escalate into a full-blown revolt. Gaius Galen’s story is not your typical historical fiction. At first, he appears to be a typical young adult, sneaking his curious girlfriend into the male-only Hippodrome, but his character develops as he faces challenges and takes on responsibility. The supporting cast includes the mad monk Brother Zazo, the jolly charioteer Scorpus, the imperial eunuch Chrysanthos, the loving and sophisticated Messalina, and the loyal fighters Lukos, Atakam, Estrilda, and Jacob “the Jew.” The action follows the known historical record and culminates in a satisfying conclusion.
Pub Date: N/A
Page Count: –
Review Posted Online: July 3, 2023