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SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates
- Narrated by: John Lee
- Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
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As I walked back through the City, my mood was moderately elevated. This appointment did not displease me nearly as much as I pretended. Like most Romans I abhorred the very thought of sea duty, but this was one of the rare occasions when I was looking forward to getting away from Rome...
For years I had complained of the disorder of the City, and now that it was gone, I found that I missed it. All the peace and quiet seemed unnatural. I did not expect it to last.- Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger in SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates. His two years of aedileship over, Decius is ready for his next adventure. He would rather do anything than join the war with Caesar in the dismal forests of Gaul, so he and his slave/protg Hermes find themselves on a mission to rid the Mediterranean of pirates. They set off with shoddy ships and sailors to the island of Cyprus, where a young Cleopatra is staying. Between her impressive crew and the ex-pirate Ariston providing insider knowledge of that cutthroat occupation, Decius thinks he stands a good chance of bringing himself some glory. That would be too simple, though. The ruler of the island, Silvanus, is murdered in a most peculiar fashion and Decius, as a guest in his home, has a sacred duty to find and punish the guilty party. Because world relations are already strained, he would rather not suspect Cleopatra, heir to the Egyptian throne. But she has plenty of reasons to hate Rome and murder runs in her family. Another guest and suspect is Gabinius, who is in exile and could have easily given up loyalty toward his friend if it meant a quicker return to Rome.
In the meantime, Decius is being humiliated in his pirate hunt, and as if this weren't enough, Aphrodite herself seeks Decius's help by appearing to him in a dream vision. As Decius investigates world trade, the island history, and the new kind of piracy plaguing the waters, he is finding connections more menacing than he had ever imagined possible. In this ninth book in the series, Roberts crafts another skillful mystery, this time fervently pulsing with the collision of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian interests.
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Worth a read, not the best of the series
The story is quite convoluted, and acerbity of earlier books is lacking. It may be that the writer, like the principal character is supposedly aging at least in his enthusiasm for the series. It is still a most entertaining book, with vividly portrayed characters and well worth the effort. It suffers only by comparison with some earlier books in the series. That is, however, a very high tmark to match.
- Shannon S.
I love this series and listen to them over and over, especially the ones narrated by John Lee (III +). If you gave up after I or II you must give the rest a try.
SPQR stories are very good, stuffy narrator
What did you love best about SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates?
Fun story w/ details about strengths and weaknesses of Roman Naval organization and equipment
What other book might you compare SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates to and why?
The Eagle's Prophecy for Roman Naval tactics and equip.
Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
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