Written by Robert Harris
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

In 58 BC, Cicero is exiled. Once the staunch defender of the Republic, the canny orator didn’t reckon with the machinations of the Triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey and Crassus, and their henchman and lead “muscle,” Clodius. Accompanied by his faithful slave, aide and friend, Tiro, he endures much just to escape from his beloved Italy – only to be recalled to his beloved Rome to witness the rise and fall of a despot, personal tragedy and dishonor, and the final death throes of the ideal Republic.

Written with much reference and research from the existing writings of statesman Cicero, Tiro (a much-overlooked figure in history) and the dusk of the Roman Empire, this book is an ideal combination of real history and involving story. No one is a hero; no one is perfect. What happened happened, and Harris has cleverly interpreted evidence to bring forth the story of the fall of the Roman Republic, not Empire, as seen through the eyes of real witnesses and statesmen of the day. I might not have liked Cicero as a person, but this book makes me want to ask him questions.