What does a first century A.D. Roman gladiator have in common with a twentieth-century nun, a Texas petroleum engineer and a Russian cryogenics expert? A lot! In Richard Sapir's wonderful novel, a disgraced gladiator is marched to the far northern shores of the Roman Empire and winds up flash-frozen (don't ask how...it's SciFi!) only to be chipped out of a block of ice by oil drillers in the Arctic two thousand years later. He is revived and rejuvenated and helped along by a young nun who is chosen for the project because of her scholarly expertise in the Latin language.
The story alternates between Ancient Rome
and twentieth-century Norway. If you can accept the basic premise, and you enjoy wonderfully evocative scenes set in a lost empire you should enjoy this work. Well written with sharply drawn characters and a beautiful bittersweet ending with a Roman citizen from the time of the Caesars gazing upon the ruins of his world in present day Rome. Highly recommended.
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