Thursday, September 11, 2008

Empress of Rome: Den of Wolves, Luke Devenish

Review by Stephen Davenport

"Luke Devenish is best known as a script writer for Neighbours. With an incredible narrative power and his distinguished storytelling talent at full strength, Devenish delivers a breathtaking debut novel that is both grand in scope and vivid in detail.

The birth of the Roman Empire is the milieu of Den of Wolves, the first of Devenish's planned Empress of Rome trilogy. Violent, sensual and insanely sordid, the Julio-Claudian tale sweeps the reader into the whirlpool of murder, betrayal, passion, splendour and the chaotic mayhem that defined ancient Rome.

Narrated by Iphicles, a centenarian slave, the saga reveals much about the monstrous woman behind the world shaking events that began with the assassination of Julius Caesar. Using soap opera techniques, Devenish produces a swiftly-moving story that is brimming with political intrigue, lust and drama.

But there is nothing second rate about Den of Wolves. The author cleverly retells history from a female perspective. The legendary cast of ambitious and opportunistic characters from Livia Drusilla – wife of Octavian and mother of Tiberius – to Agrippina the Elder and her son Caligula, and other vile creatures, are imaginatively and entertainingly re-imagined. Den of Wolves is an engaging examination of human nature and a genuine throwback to the good-old-fashioned scandal, sin and swords novel." Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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