Fans of historical fiction on the history and events of ancient Rome will find plenty to enjoy in Robin E. Levin’s The Death of Carthage. The author has clearly done her research, filling the pages with crucial details of this past world that does a great job of immersing the reader in the time period and making them feel like they are really there.
The book is set during the time of the Second and Third Punic wars between Rome and the battle-hardened Carthage, divided into three separate stories. The first, “Carthage Must be Destroyed,” is told in the first person from the viewpoint of Lucius Tullius Varro, who finds himself joining the Roman cavalry, serving in Spain under Scipio and playing a main part in the Second Punic war. The second story, “Captivus,” is told by Enneus, Lucius’s first cousin, who finds himself captured by Hannibal’s general, Maharbal, and after a terrible Roman defeat, must now fight to stay alive. In the final story, The Death of Carthage, told from the viewpoint of Enneus’s son, Ectorius, is serving as a translator who plays witness to the definite and final end of Carthage.
The Death of Carthage is stiff at times, and lacking in character growth and development, as things just happen for the characters, as opposed to emotions and experiences coloring the story; at times the story feels like a history book. Nevertheless, the details are there to truly entrance the reader and make them remember this incredible time in the history of the world.
Originally written on June 27, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.
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