Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Light Bearer

This book's cover is rather vulgar, in my opinion. Just found out that this was the most vulgar among other versions. I think the cover had influenced my opinion about the story. However, I finished it last night and I must say that the story deserved a better cover.

The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie is a historical fiction set in ancient Rome, in the 1st century. The story begins in the 11th year of the reign of Emperor Claudius and ends when Nerva takes over the power.

The main character is the daughter of a Germanic tribal chieftain, a female warrior named Auriane. The way the Chatti live is still like barbarians, like described in Astérix comics. After defeated by the Romans, the remains of them are taken to Rome, where they are either sold as slaves or trained as gladiators.

In Rome, Auriane has a secret patron who loves her: Marcus Julianus, Emperor Domitian's First Advisor. The people love Marcus Julianus as much as they loathe Domitian. Marcus Julianus is a wise man, a scholar, almost genius. He is the brain behind Domitian's assassination.

The first part of the book mostly tells about how Auriane with her tribe fight the Romans, how she becomes a legend. It also tells about how Domitian and his friend Marcus Julianus climb to the highest place in Rome. The second part is more like a Spartacus story. The book is entertaining and well-written, although I am not convinced with how Auriane and Marcus Julianus becomes each other's second self. It's like a dream for both of them. He first sees her in a war and thinks she is a goddess. While for Auriane, it seems she has always known him from a long time ago.

No comments: