Saturday, November 2, 2013

HFVBT: Colossus: The Four Emperors by David Blixt

Colossus:  The Four Emperors

by David Blixt


Publication Date: April 7, 2013
Sordelet Ink
Paperback; 406p
ISBN-10: 061578318X

Rome under Nero is a dangerous place. His cruel artistic whims border on madness, and any man who dares rise too high has his wings clipped, with fatal results.

For one family, Nero means either promotion or destruction. While his uncle Vespasian goes off to put down a rebellion in Judea, Titus Flavius Sabinus struggles to walk the perilous line between success and notoriety as he climbs Rome's ladder. Nero is ultimately impaled on his own artistry and the whole world is thrown into chaos. Sabinus finds that he must navigate both shifting and murderous alliances in his attempt to save his family during the year of the Four Emperors.

Colossus: The Four Emperors is the second novel in the Colossus series.

About the Author

Author and playwright David Blixt's work is consistently described as "intricate," "taut," and"breathtaking." A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS'D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE'S FOOL) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, "Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It's well worth it." Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."

For more about David and his novels, visit

My thoughts:

I truly enjoyed this novel.  I did not feel that it was necessary to have begun the series with the first installment, I did not and never felt that I was at any disadvantage because I had begun the series with the second installment.  Colossus begins as Nero is wielding his particular type of ruthlessness amongst the citizens of Rome and David does a splendid job weaving not only the well to do Romans within his narrative, but he also includes the Israelites, currently held as slaves within the Roman empire.  I suppose in the end I took away from my reading the idea that somehow, someway life carries on.  Citizen's, whether free or not, forge a life for themselves, hold onto their own religious or personal beliefs, find love for others and carve out a life for themselves.  To this reader it was this that was the moral of the story.  No matter how strange, debased, violent, oppressive and corrupt the rule of Rome and the Caesar's became the citizens, all of them, persevered. Of course, the details of the excesses of Nero, the politics which brought about four emperors in a year were rivetingly interesting, nearly nail biting in each's melodramatic crescendo, but in the end still it was a novel which emphasized that the fabric holding society together was the bond of family, as prone to intransigence and imperfect as it is - it is nevertheless the building block of all civilization.

Twitter Hashtag: #FourEmperorsTour

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 the most happy reader


  1. I really enjoyed this one too, and am looking forward to reading the next in the series. Since you enjoy Blixt's writing I highly recommend his Star Cross'd series, which is set in Italy. The first book is The Master of Verona, which was one of my favourite reads from last year.

  2. Melissa, I agree with you completely. I thought it was so well done given the dense subject matter. He really made the characters come to life. I will certainly add his other titles to my list and I must get my hands on the first installment in this series!!

    BTW... Your blog is looking tres FAB!


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!!

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