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    Magnificent portrait of intrigue in ancient Rome

    I am voluntarily submitting my honest review after receiving an ARC of this ebook from NetGalley. After reading this book, I am still simply stunned by the quality of the story, the writing, the characters and the vivid world the author transports the reader to in each and every scene. While I can often recommend a particular book for fans of historical fiction, romance, thrillers, etc., it is a rare and wondrous thing when I can honestly say that I believe anyone who enjoys a damn good story would enjoy this book. The amount of detail in this book is just perfect--enough to paint a vivid picture of the very texture of life in ancient Rome, but not so much that it becomes too cumbersome or makes the book read more like a dry history tome. While the story revolves around a man who uses a chef to further his ambitions, the culinary delights (or horrors, as the case may be) are only a part of the rich tapestry woven into the novel--all of the high arts and the more pedestrian elements, including curse tablets and the functioning of households--are included in the cultural portrait drawn as the backdrop for the Game of Thrones-style political machinations that make this book so addicting. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author, and I encourage anyone who enjoys reading to BUY THIS BOOK!!!

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