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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Course of Honor by Lindsey Davis

Genre: Historical Fiction

Setting: Ancient Rome

First Sentence: Whatever was that?

In ancient Rome, the Course of Honor was the path a young  man from a noble family took to gain political prestige.  First, the young man would serve in the army. Upon his return, the young man would work in public service, marry well, and eventually get elected to the senate.  There was one unbreakable rule.  The young man could not marry a slave or a freed woman.

This is a story of two people who form a great friendship, and love.  One is a slave girl working in the palace.  The other is other is a young man just starting his course of honor. Caenis is a young woman with a head on her shoulders.  She is not a great beauty.  She is well educated, and has planned a future for herself that doesn't rely on men.  Titus is a poor young noble planning a future in public service, the army and the senate.

When they meet they are attracted to each other.  But they both understand that there can be no future in their relationship.  They first form a solid friendship.  This makes their love deeper and more true.

The novel describes how they move in and out of each other's lives.  They both understand the realities of their relationship.  They are honest with each other.  And they accept what fate gives them, and make the most of their time together.

I don't usually read romances, but I enjoyed this novel.  It is a nice story about two realistic people.  It is not a story of a torrid romance in which lovers fall passionately, then regret it for the rest of their lives.  This is a tale of two people who are prevented from marriage, yet who create a life long friendship and love.

Lyndsey Davis is one of my favorite authors.  She is the author of the Falco historical mystery series.  She has a nice readable style.

The Course of Honor

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