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Reviewed by Elise Towner for Readers' Favorite
Agrippa’s Wake by Ralph Jackman is an entertaining read about prominent people and events in the history of Rome. Writing in the first person is often very tricky, yet Mr. Jackman does an amazing job of drawing his readers in with his prose. He brings his characters alive with his narrative approach and we learn of the trials and tribulations of his main character, Rutilius, and his long lost love, a former slave girl named Whisper. Through the eyes of the author, we embark on a journey with the two lovers back to Rome via Flaminia after living in exile from the war of Actium. Intriguing dialogue and historical content make for an epic story that delves deeply into ancient traditions and descriptions of artifacts of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythologies.
While reading the story of Agrippa’s Wake, I was able to connect on a personal level when reading this passage: “I realized that the Fates had stopped me all those times for all those years for a reason.” Everything happens for a reason and man’s plight is to understand his purpose on this planet. A near death experience makes a person ponder the meaning of life. Ralph Jackman stays true to his audience with this gripping tale of war, greed, and betrayal while creating and reconstructing an empire. This work of historical fiction took great research and Mr. Jackman has delivered a compelling story I am sure will make for an interesting movie. If you like Gladiator and Spartacus, you will enjoy reading this book.