The Empireid

Written by Ilvario
Review by Xina Marie Uhl

Subtitled “An Epic Journey in Verse,” this book employs seventeen-line stanzas to re-create the feel of ancient epics like the Iliad and the Odyssey, and to pick up Rome’s tale where Virgil’s Aeneid left off (that is, with Rome’s founding). The Empireid, or “The Story of the End of Empire,” extends the tale of ancient Rome from its foundation to today with protagonist Horacio, the last son of Troy. Horacio takes up his quest when Constantinople falls to invading Turks in 1453, a date which signals the fall of the only remaining vestige of Rome, the eastern empire.

Horacio’s quest involves freeing Roman gods from a deep sleep conjured by Pluto and leads him through adventures with pirates, wars, blood feuds, and into the underworld and beyond.

The ideal reader of this book is a passionate lover of all things Roman, who has the patience to savor each stanza and ponder on the meaning and symbolism therein. This reader may not be put off by the lack of the book’s cover blurb or introduction, having little need for context. But such a reader may object to the occasional intrusive modern phrases, like “business arrangement,” or “win-win situation.” Other readers will likely not have the patience this title requires. Those who successfully overcome such literary obstacles will find an intriguing tale that hearkens back to the days of old yet provides fresh material for contemplation.