ANTONIUS: SON OF ROME
After young Marcus Antonius’s father dies in disgrace, he yearns to restore his family’s honor during the final days of Rome’s dying Republic. Marcus is rugged, handsome, and owns abundant military talent, but upon entering manhood, he falls prey to the excesses of a violent society. His whoring, gambling, and drinking eventually reap dire consequences. After a series of personal tragedies, Marcus must come into his own through blood, blades, and death. Once he finally earns a military commission, he faces an uphill battle to earn the respect and admiration of soldiers, proconsuls, and kings. Desperate to redeem his name and carve a legacy for himself, he refuses to let warring rebels, scheming politicians, or even an alluring young Egyptian princess stand in his way.
ANTONIUS: SECOND IN COMMAND
Having proven himself as a formidable cavalry commander, Marcus Antonius finally earns a position at his kinsman Julius Caesar’s side. However, Caesar is an exacting general, demanding complete allegiance from his staff, even when his decisions put him at odds with the Senate. Marcus’s loyalty to Caesar comes at a cost, and he soon finds himself embroiled in mob violence and military mutinies. As civil war brings Rome’s Republic crashing down, many a relationship is torn asunder, including Marcus’s marriage. Determined to rise triumphant in Rome’s new era, Marcus faces his fears, his failures, and his enemies—not the least of whom is himself.
Amid the crisis of the Ides of March, Marcus must don the mantle of ruthlessness to carve his own legacy in Rome’s history. Enemies have been made, wills have been read, and heirs proclaimed.
But in Rome’s civil unrest, blood answers only to blood.
"Marc Antony is the proverbial late bloomer, in that he doesn’t enter the portals of popular history until he is in his forties, much- married, and takes up with Cleopatra. From then on “Antony and Cleopatra” become the most famous couple in history. But what of Antony himself? Who is he?
The long personal journey to find himself is enthralling in its own right. Marcus Antonius started out behind the eight ball, due to family missteps, political enemies—not the least of them the formidable and venomous Cicero---and his own personal demons. In this first part of a planned trilogy, Brook Allen shines light on those early years of Marcus, as he becomes a soldier who commands respect, not least from his kinsman, Julius Caesar.
The novel covers all aspects of his life---his immediate family, his failings, disappointments, and the triumph of being given the opportunity to show his military genius in the Near East under general Gabinius, proconsul of Syria. At the same time---and history bears this out---he was from the beginning a kind and generous person, slow to anger but impulsive in his decisions, although those were destructive to himself rather than anyone else, as cruelty was not in his nature---a rare trait in his environment.
Allen deftly paints a vivid picture of Republican Rome (not the paradise later proponents worshiped), of its snake pit politics, of daily life in Roman households, and of the treacheries and shifting alliances in the eastern provinces.
I am eager to read the story as it continues, for the life of Marcus Antonius is one of the most fascinating in history, on both the personal and public levels. And there is much more to come!"
- Margaret George, bestselling author