Conspirata is “a portrait of ancient politics as a blood sport,” raves The New York Times. As he did with Imperium, Robert Harris again turns Roman history into a gripping thriller as Cicero faces a new power struggle in a world filled with treachery, violence, and vengeance.
On the eve of Cicero’s inauguration as consul of Rome, a grisly discovery sends fear rippling through a city already racked by unrest. A young slave boy has been felled by a hammer, his throat slit and his organs removed, apparently as a human sacrifice. For Cicero, the ill omens of this hideous murder only increase his dangerous situation: elected leader by the people but despised by the heads of the two rival political camps. Caught in a shell game that leaves him forever putting out fires only to have them ignite elsewhere, Cicero plays for the future of the republic…and his life. There is a plot to assassinate him, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar—and it will take all the embattled consul’s wit, strength, and force of will to stop the plot and keep Rome from becoming a dictatorship.
In this gripping second installment to his ancient Rome trilogy (after Imperium), bestseller Harris proves once again that politics is an ugly game. Beginning in 63 B.C.E. and told by Cicero's slave secretary, Tiro, this complex tale continues to chronicle Cicero's political career as he charms, co-opts, and bribes his way into the exalted position of consul, ruler of Rome. Although Cicero is known as a brilliant politician and philosopher, he was also a slick manipulator and shameless schemer, competing with equally sneaky rivals Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus. Cicero realizes that as the empire expands, the greatest threat to Rome comes from within, plotted by well-financed conspirators bent on turning the republic into a dictatorship. With fabulous oratory and trickery, Cicero uncovers and crushes an insurrection, exposing himself to great danger and possible assassination. Riots, murder, civil unrest, corruption, treachery, and betrayal mark Cicero's political legacy, resulting in a battle between him and Julius Caesar. Throughout, however, Tiro remains loyal and remarkably astute, recognizing that it is "an act of madness for a man to pursue power when he could be sitting in the sunshine reading a book."
Absolute page turner