From the author of the widely praised Pride of Carthage, the superb fictional rendering of Hannibal’s epic military campaigns against Carthage’s archenemy Rome, comes the perfect follow-up: an equally superb novel of the legendary gladiator Spartacus and the vast slave revolt he led that came ever so close to bringing Rome, with its supposedly invincible legions, to its knees.
In this thrilling and panoramic historical novel we see one of the most storied uprisings of classical times from multiple points of view: Spartacus, the visionary captive and gladiator whose toughness and charisma turn a prison break into a multi-cultural revolt that threatens an empire; his consort, the oracular Astera, whose connection to the spirit world and its omens guides the uprising’s progress; Nonus, a Roman soldier working both sides of the conflict in a half-adroit, half-desperate attempt to save his life; Laelia and Hustus, two shepherd children drawn into the ranks of the slave rebellion; Kaleb, the slave secretary to Crassus, the Roman senator and commander saddled with the unenviable task of quashing an insurrection of mere slaves; and other players in a vast spectacle of bloodshed, heroism, and treachery. In the pages of The Risen—the term the slaves in revolt have adopted for themselves—an entire, teeming world comes into view with great clarity and titanic drama, with nothing less than the future of the ancient world at stake. No one brings more verve, intelligence, and freshness to the novel of the classical age than David Anthony Durham.
About the Author
DAVID ANTHONY DURHAM is the author of Pride of Carthage, the Acacia Trilogy, and other works of historical fiction and fantasy. His novels have twice been New York Times Notable Books, have won the 2001 First Novel Award and the 2002 Alex Award from the American Library Association, and have been translated into eight languages. Durham won the 2009 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction. He currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Praise for The Risen:
"On hand is David Anthony Durham's new historical novel, THE RISEN, his take on Spartacus. DAD never disappoints, and Spartacus is another fascination of mine..." —George R.R. Martin
"This is a demanding novel, but a rewarding and ultimately compelling one. The Risen is full of blood, thunder and excitement. Spartacus is an inpiring, attractive hero. The Romans are dastardly villains, Crassus the most arrogant and horrible of all. There is no question which side we are expected to identify with and cheer on. Yet history can't be denied...Though the Romans are unquestionably the villains in this novel, Mr. Durham nevertheless does justice to their tenacity and resilience. He has a chracter, questioning Spartacus's judgment, point out that the Romans have often been defeated in battles, but do not lose wars. No doubt there will be other novels about Spartacus, even though one may think that Mr. Durham has made any unnecessary, for a long time anyway." —Alan Massie, author of Caligula and Augustus
"This powerful and harrowing depiction of Roman oppression is also the uplifting story of a two-year slave revolt against Rome that began in 73 B.C.E., led by Spartacus, an imprisoned gladiator of legendary strength, charisma and resolve. After a mass escape, Spartacus leads a slave army of myriad nations, clans, races and faiths through what is now Italy, collecting 40,000 combatants and many noncombatant followers along the way. They call themselves The Risen and seek alliances in an effort to attack and destroy Rome and its tyrannical political system, but Roman allies are not forthcoming. Spartacus leads his army south to (what is now) Italy's "toe," intending to cross to Sicily but discovers they are trapped due to the betrayal of opportunists and a massive, coast-to-coast, hastily built wall. They begin a long, arduous trek in freezing temperatures over snow-covered mountains toward Brundisium, with Roman soldiers shadowing their march. Monumental in scale and rich in intimately portrayed characters, Durham's (Pride of Carthage) brilliant rendering of slavery and the horrors of war gives the novel its emotional impact." —Publishers Weekly
“Rousing…well-done…a competent piece of historical fiction. If everyone of a certain age carries in their heads the ideal of a ripped Kirk Douglas as the proletarian hero of the first century B.C.E., Durham turns in a portrait more suited to Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum. The conversation is breezy [and] that lightness of touch keeps the story moving at a steady pace toward its inevitable end—and, since those readers of a certain age will have another vision of how things will wind up, Durham wisely closes at a different moment that still embraces the horror.” —Kirkus Reviews