The Death of Carthage

27 Apr

I won a copy of “The Death of Carthage” by Robin E. Levin on the Good Reads First Reads giveaway.

As I intended to do this review, I meant to make notes as I went.  I was three quarters of the way through the book before I realized I hadn’t so much as picked up my pen.  That should give you an idea of the book’s readability.

“The Death of Carthage” is basically a family saga incorporating the second and third Punic Wars.  It covers the lives of Lucius Tullius Varro, his cousin Enneus Tullius, and Enneus’ son Ectorius.  The book is divided into three sections, one for each person, so naturally there is some duplication of material.  However, as it comes from different viewpoints, it doesn’t detract, but only adds to the reader’s understanding of the events.

All the major players of the period are mentioned.  The Scipio family, of course, and Cato the Censor.

“The Death of Carthage” manages to combine entertaining family saga with well researched historical facts, to be one of the more interesting historical novels I have read in recent times.

The only thing that stops it from being a great epic novel is the fact that, apart from Lucius, the characters seem to lack the individuality needed to make the book truly come alive.

Highly recommended for all lovers of military fiction, straight historical fiction, and those with an interest in Republican Rome.

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