The Pillars of Rome

by Jack Ludlow

Reviewed by Coral


As children, best friends Aulus Cornelius and Lucius Falerius receive a prophecy from an oracle: one shall tame a mighty foe, one shall strike to save Rome's fame and both will fail.

As men, Aulus is a successful soldier who has achieved glory on the battlefield and Lucius is a senator who uses his words to safeguard the Roman values he believes in. Both have tried to put the prophecy behind them. But can an oracle be wrong?

It was hard to write a summary for this book because I felt like there really wasn't a plot tying the story together, which was my main issue with the book. It seemed like it was more a glimpse into the lives of these two men as they tried to live what they both considered to be upstanding Roman lives. The plots on the back of the book, especially Lucius', didn't really matter after the first 100 pages and the prophecy was never really the driving force for either of these men. Though they may have thought about it from time to time, they weren't basing all their decisions on it. While I liked reading about their lives, I think the book would have worked better with a stronger plot.

I have always been a little skeptical about the image of the kind and gentle-hearted slave owner that you see in a lot of books, TV shows and movies. Even more so when a slave falls in love with their master.

Overall, I thought it was a good if not great book. And since I own the second book in this series, I hope that it can build on this one and be a stronger read.

Grade: B