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Publisher's Summary

Mark Antony, famous warrior and legendary lover, expects that he will be Julius Caesar's successor. But when Caesar is murdered, his 18-year-old nephew, Octavian, is named as his heir. No one, least of all Antony, expects Octavian to last; but his youth and slight frame conceal a remarkable determination and a sharp strategic mind. Under Octavian's rule, the empire is divided, with Antony responsible for the fabulously rich East. There he meets Cleopatra, who is still mourning Caesar, her lover and the father of her only son. Despite his marriage to Octavian's sister, Antony is fascinated by the Egyptian queen. Drawn together by grief, ambition, passion, and politics, they begin a very public love affair, and the tension between Antony and Octavian, already simmering, soon threatens to erupt into war.
©2007 Colleen McCullough; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amazon Customer on 06-07-08

Not in the least disappointed

I found this book to be totally engrossing. With the exception of "October Horse," I've now read (or, as is the case with this book, listened to) all of the volumes in the Masters of Rome series. I was not in least disappointed.

As the story began, I initially thought Octavian to be a wonderful, sensitive charater, Marc Antony to be a cad, and Cleoptra a tragic queen. Over time, Octavian turned out to be a brutish, though masterful manipulator of events and people, Marc Antony became an even more egotistical, maniacal, bumbling cad, while Cleopatra couldn't seem to reconcile her lust for power with her lust for Marc Antony. On the whole, I found the characters to be multi-facted and complex.

Lastly, I thought the narration was excellent. At no time was I disturbed by pronunciation or ennunciation. Voice characterizations were consistent throughout and excellently performed.

Overall, I highly recommmend.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful


By Stephanie K. Wittenberg on 04-14-10

Thinking in Ancient Roman

As ever, Colleen McCullough captures the very flavor of an ancient culture. Anyone interested in the lives and events of the Roman Empire should be fascinated, as I was, with this and all her novels of that world-changing city-state. The sense of adventure is a constant in her telling of history and the characters have distinct personalities. Just when you start feeling a familiarity with one, their response or actions in a given circumstance will sharply demonstrate how different the thinking and mores were. This is one of the most thoroughly enjoyable historical novels I have ever read. For readers who agree with me, I also heartily recommend "First Man in Rome."

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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