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  • Writer's pictureStuart Wakefield

Book Review: Delicatus - From Slave Boy to Empress in Imperial Rome by S. P. Somtow

This is a captivating dive into the Roman Empire, marrying meticulous research with an enthralling narrative. From the outset, Somtow's prose evoked a myriad of emotions in me. I felt the depth of the characters' struggles, triumphs, and ambitions, drawing me deeper into the intricacies of an era that forever shaped history.

What truly stood out was the fresh perspective offered in the book. By providing a unique vantage point, Somtow allows readers to form intimate connections with the characters and challenges them to view familiar historical events in a new light. The book's exploration of LGBTQ themes resonated deeply with me, creating a nuanced and compelling narrative about identity, love, and self-discovery.

However, while the prose often captivated, there were moments where I found myself pulled out of the narrative due to occasional grammatical errors. These oversights, though minor, could benefit from a more discerning editorial hand.

For this work to truly achieve a 5-star rating in my eyes, I'd have wished for a more balanced portrayal in certain segments. While the depth of character studies was admirable, at times, it felt like the narrative veered too much into the sensational. Striking a balance between depth and pacing could enhance the reader's engagement even further.

In conclusion, Delicatus offers a rich, immersive experience into a bygone era. With a few refinements, it has huge potential, and I eagerly anticipate what the next instalment in the trilogy will bring.


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