SPQR Books

John Maddox Roberts is the writer of numerous fantasy and science fiction novel. Roberts is widely known for the SPQR book series. Currently, John Maddox Roberts resides in New Mexico, with his wife.

Order of SPQR Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The King's Gambit 1990 Description / Buy
2 The Catiline Conspiracy 1991 Description / Buy
3 The Sacrilege 1992 Description / Buy
4 The Temple of the Muses 1992 Description / Buy
5 Saturnalia 1994 Description / Buy
6 Nobody Loves a Centurion 1995 Description / Buy
7 The Tribune's Curse 1996 Description / Buy
8 The River God's Vengeance 1997 Description / Buy
9 The Princess and the Pirates 2000 Description / Buy
10 A Point of Law 2001 Description / Buy
11 Under Vesuvius 2001 Description / Buy
12 Oracle of the Dead 2005 Description / Buy
13 The Year of Confusion 2010 Description / Buy
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SPQR Series Awards

SPQR book series was nominated for an Edgar Award.

SPQR Series Best Books

The King’s Gambit: The first installment in the SPQR book series by author, John Maddox Roberts. In the King’s Gambit, Roberts introduces the readers to the exceedingly young Roman commander, Decius Caecilius Metellus. The leading character, Decius is from an extremely wealthy family. Despite the fact that the Metelli is not among the founding Patrician families, they have similar powers that the Patrician families possess. King’s Gambit has been set 70 BCE; the country is plagued by political aspirations of characters such as Crassus and Pompey the Great, some of the wealthiest men in the Roman Empire.

Famous Imperialist such as Julius Caesar and Catalina re still junior officials who have great political ambitions, while the extremely famous Cicero, has just burst into the limelight. As the novel begins, there is a person who is committing incineration and garroting manumitted fighters.

In a scheme, which moves from a simple murder to an outright treason, and in the process a threat to his life, Decius investigation eventually takes him to the bed of a sister to the Senator to a near-death encounter with the pirates. Eventually, it takes him all the way up to the senate, including two consuls, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Marcus Licinius Crassus. With that said, the protagonist Decius is an intriguing character and not an ambitious social climber that one may expect from a young Roman.

Decius is a good man, whose impetus to solve these crimes comes from his wish of not wanting to see young slaves being crucified instead of the real killer. Furthermore, author Roberts has done an excellent job of placing the readers in ancient Rome. The clothes, food and lack of modern plumbing are all present for the readers to experience.

Roberts has also done a brilliant job of showing the societal norms then, which was extremely important in understanding the protagonist’s mindset.

The Catiline Conspiracy: The second installment in the SPQR book series. In this installment, we meet with an aristocrat who hails from one of the ancient families in Rome, one Lucius Sergius Catilina. Lucius had planned to overthrow the Roman senate. That year, Cicero was the consul. However, as luck would have it, the Catiline Conspiracy was discovered just in time. Catalina himself managed to escape from Rome. However, a majority of the people with whom he had planned the conspiracy were arrested.

Claiming emergency power, Cicero ordered the killing of six individuals without trial. While the Senate deemed his actions necessary, it shook the ruling class of Rome to its core. During this period, each person had the right to a fair trial. However, the precedent shocked and alarmed everyone. Despite the fact that this action may have saved the republic, this was Cecaro’s undoing, and as the days continued to go by, his powers continued ti decline.

Cecaro was always on the defensive, and ultimately it led to his death. Catilina was killed during a battle against the Republican forces, where he fought heroically. This historical event is what author Roberts uses to cast his protagonist. Decius plays an important role in furrowing the conspiracy, and as expected he almost gets himself killed. As time goes by, the feud between Decius and Publius ends up in the bed of an unscrupulous woman.

With that said, the Catiline Conspiracy is an excellent read. Decius is a well developed and engaging character. Through Decius’s eyes, we get to see corruption, cynicism, and veniality of the Roman Republic. Author Roberts has done a brilliant job of portraying the day to day life of the republic.

Other Book Series You May Like

The “Oxford Medieval” series is another highly entertaining series. The Bookseller’s Tale is the first installment in the Oxford Medieval book series. The book begins as a young Nicholas, comes across the body of a young student floating on the river Cherwell. Despite the fact that the death of the child appeared like drowning, Nicholas eventually finds evidence of murder.

What Is The Next Book in The Spqr Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Spqr Series. The newest book is The Year of Confusion and was released on February, 16th 2010.

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