Skip to content
Paperback Fortune's Favorites Book

ISBN: 0380710838

ISBN13: 9780380710836

Fortune's Favorites

(Part of the Masters of Rome (#3) Series and Gospodari Rima Series)

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon

Selected

Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

$4.79
Save $3.20!
List Price $7.99

1 Available

Book Overview

In a time of cataclysmic upheaval, a bold new generation of Romans vied for greatness amid the disintegrating remnants of their beloved Republic. But there was one who towered above them all--a boy they would one day call Caesar.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Roman Wolves on the Rise

With this book, Colleen McCullough continues her wonderful, fascinating, and so-very-important series. The Masters of Rome breathes life into history, giving us the details of daily life to the broad scope of battles which determined the fates of so many. Fortune's Favorites is a sprawling novel, because it is covering history, and the significant events are taking place in different parts of the Roman Empire. So we spend time seeing military campaigns in the East and time in the West on the military campaigns there (Spain). As ever, McCullough brings life and lucidity to these scenes. She also shows us the Spartacus wars - fascinating stuff indeed, including how Spartacus was actually a soldier, not a Thracian, and how the gladiators began and then carried out their revolt. Most of the novel is devoted to following the fortunes of those who are Fortuna's darlings, and that is how McCullough weaves her book together. We see an aged Sulla, ravaged by a skin disease, tormented by his unnatural desires, but still brilliant and powerful. We see the amazingly confident and exuberant young Pompey. We see an even younger and even more confident young Julius Caesar. These men have enormous impact on Rome, and they have many things in common. They are infinitely ambitious. To them the pinnacle of success is to be First Man in Rome (following in the footsteps of Gaius Marius). They are enormously competent, especially when compared with the mediocre men who surround them (perhaps Pompey is the least competent of the men). They are all ruthless - especially Sulla (Caesar's ability to forgive will eventually prove his undoing). They are charismatic and immensely attractive (well, at this point Sulla's diseases mean that he is no longer so attractive physically, but he certainly was in the past). All of them are wolves, and Rome is safest when they are leading their armies in foreign wars. For the big question is: will they ever march their armies on Rome? In Sulla we see the blood-chilling impact of his programs in Rome, especially his proscriptions. Rome needed money in a hurry - too much of a hurry for Rome to find it by taxing foreign provinces and fighting foreign wars. So Sulla did something extremely shocking - he executed wealthy men (who were often simultaneously political inconveniences) and confiscated their estates for the Treasury. (A practice to be copied by the likes of Hitler and Stalin and extolled by Machiavelli - of course, one could ask why it's honorable to murder people abroad but not at home, but that's how morality goes.) McCullough also follows the careers of the young Pompey and the young Caesar. Pompey marches his army to Rome (to make sure he gets a triumph); Caesar, of course, will eventually do the same (although not for a couple of volumes). In addition to the wolves, we have some wily foxes. The young Marcus Tullius Cicero is a real charmer. The pirates are also sympathetic after a fashion. And the

Sulla exeunt, enter Pompey & Caesar.

Ms McCullough has done a profound historical research in order to write her "Roman Saga" started with "The First Man in Rome" (1990), continued with "The Grass Crown" (1991) and "Fortune's Favorites" (1993). She delivers an accurate picture of the late Roman Republic, bringing to life historically characters with amazing detail. The author follows and reveals step by step all the intricacies of that rich and complex era. Does this mean that the book is boring? By no means, Ms McCullough is able to show daily life, dressing, feeding, religious rituals, political and social structures in a magnificent fresco and at the same time construct an engaging story that will trap the reader for hours, even when this is the weakest of the three volumes. The story starts in the year 83 BC after Marius' death, with an aged and ailing Sulla back in Italy, defeating methodologically Marius' heirs in his way to Rome. Three new characters fully emerge in this volume: Pompeius Magnus, Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus. This trio will rock the Republic in the nearing years, but at this stage they are just beginning their unstoppable rise. One of the wonderful traits of Ms McCullough is that she extrapolates and gives wonderful explanations to odd issues as why Spartacus and his throng of followers traverse almost all the Italic Peninsula and then suddenly turn back. She also proposes an earlier relationship between Crassus and Caesar and this last character acquiring a fundamental status as diplomatic mediator in Crassus-Pompeius association. Last but not least the author has drawn beautiful busts of the main characters; detailed maps of different ancient scenarios where action takes place and very complete glossary. I recommend reading the first volumes of the series, but even if you don't do it, you will no be at loss as the author gives a succinct r?sum? of the first two books. I strongly recommend this book to any serious history aficionado! Reviewed by Max Yofre.

A Fine Continuation of a Great Series

FORTUNE'S FAVORITES is Colleen McCollough's third novel in her Rome series, and I believe her best so far. The great characters of Roman history are assembling and she breathes live into them as only a novelist of her skill can. The Rome series is based upon the work of the ancients including Plutarch, Seutonius and others; although she is true to her historical roots she also introduces some theories of her own that have a degree of plausiblity. The book covers twelve years of Roman history and begins with Sulla's return from exile to lead his forces against those of his former patron and mentor the late Gauis Marius. Upon winning this civil war, Sulla is named Dictator with total control. He purges Rome of the pro Marius senators and collaborators and begins to single-handedly reestablish and remake the Republic; completing this work he leaves public life. He's given Rome a last chance but the seeds of empire have been planted, ironically by him, and will take root under his successors. Julius Caesar was introduced in the previous novel, THE GRASS CROWN, but only as a child. In this book his character is developed and his intelligence, courage and political abilities are shown. These are the traits that he will use to create the Empire and reshape Rome. Caesar believes he is truly one of Fortune's Favorites. Pompey the Great, another Favorite and Caesar's future adversary also plays a prominent role, older by about ten years his career has been on a "fast track" with his military genius, wealth and connections. Cicero, a minor player in her second book, has developed into one of Rome's most notable lawyers and orators. Spartacus' rebellion of the slaves occurs during this period and provides a glimpse of gladiator and slave life and the consequences of defying Roman power. McCullough's novels introduce numerous characters, and at times it is difficult to keep up with them as well as her use of Latin. She does include a glossary, illustrations and maps of the areas where battles are fought and the locations of cities and states that haven't existed for centuries and these help. This book is exciting, full of intrigue, with a cast that are only read about in history books or seen in a Hollywood rendition. The book can be read as a "stand alone" novel; and she includes synopses of the first two prior to beginning this one; but having read the previous two I would recommend that approach. I found once I started FORTUNE'S FAVORITES it was very difficult to put down.

Vanishing Sulla and Emerging Pompey & Caesar.

Ms McCullough has done a profound historical research in order to write her "Roman Saga" started with "The First Man in Rome" (1990), continued with "The Grass Crown" (1991) and "Fortune's Favorites" (1993). Fortunately for Spanish reading public, Editorial Planeta has published the whole series in pocket book format. Well they are not exactly "pocket size"; I'll say more "little brick size". Nevertheless the binding is excellent and you will not lose a page! She delivers an accurate picture of the late Roman Republic, bringing to life historically characters with amazing detail. The author follows and reveals step by step all the intricacies of that rich and complex era. Does this mean that the book is boring? By no means, Ms McCullough is able to show daily life, dressing, feeding, religious rituals, political and social structures in a magnificent fresco and at the same time construct an engaging story that will trap the reader for hours, even when this is the weakest of the three volumes. The story starts in the year 83 BC after Marius' death, with an aged and ailing Sulla back in Italy, defeating methodologically Marius' heirs in his way to Rome. Three new characters fully emerge in this volume: Pompeius Magnus, Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus. This trio will rock the Republic in the nearing years, but at this stage they are just beginning their unstoppable rise. One of the wonderful traits of Ms McCullough is that she extrapolates and gives wonderful explanations to odd issues. One of it is, for example, why Spartacus and his throng of followers traverse almost all the Italic Peninsula and then suddenly turn back. She also proposes an earlier relationship between Crassus and Caesar; with Caesar acquiring fundamental status as diplomatic mediator in Crassus-Pompeius association. Last but not least the author has drawn beautiful busts of the main characters; detailed maps of different ancient scenarios where action takes place and very complete glossary. I recommend reading the first volumes of the series, but even if you don't do it, you will no be at loss as the author gives a succinct résumé of the first two books. I strongly recommend this book to any serious history aficionado! Reviewed by Max Yofre.

Two fortunate lives

For the first time in this series we experience the charm and brilliance of its real subject, Caesar, close up and personal. As McCullough mentions, she has far more historical sources to work with now, and indeed the two new heroes were master propagandists. I enjoyed this book more than the first two. McCullough goes far toward weaving a totally convincing sense of patrician majesty and paternal authority in fortune-favored Roman lives like Caesar or Pompey the self-styled Great. This is a transitional novel, covering the end of the Marius-Sulla conflict and the first stirrings of the rivalry between Pompey and Caesar. The "problem" with such books is aggravated because McCullough is hewing so close to history rather than inventing characters and episodes that will lead to some great climax after 900 pages. While McCullough's prose is skillful it does not soar, and the reader does need to work hard to keep track of the parallel stories taking place on a jiggered timeline in Italy, Spain, or Anatolia. This volume begins with a 21 pp synopsis of the preceding two books, vital to understanding the long list of characters who pop in and out (many of whom bear very similar names due to Roman naming customs; geneological charts might have been a useful addition to keep them straight). McCullough's steadfast focus is elite politics and strategy: no vignettes of life in the legions, among the urban plebs, or on Latin farms. On the other hand, her 80 pp Glossary is a frank mine of information entertainingly supplied that supplements her earlier glossaries. Drawings of the main characters enliven the text. Have a magnifying glass handy if you read the paperback, for the many maps are microscopic.
Copyright © 2020 Thriftbooks.com Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured