FEAST OF SORROW – Crystal King
A Novel of Ancient Rome
A Perfect 10
Rome – Beginning in the reign of Augustus Caesar
Famous Roman gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius made a slave purchase that would change his life forever. Young chef Thrasius was already known for his kitchen skills, and Apicius has a plan to eventually make him Caesar's culinary advisor. After buying the slave for an exorbitant amount, Apicius sets his plan in motion.
Soon, thanks to Thrasius and his hand-picked kitchen staff, Apicius begins to throw extravagant dinner parties, known for extraordinary and creative foods. Thrasius fits into the household easily and becomes almost part of the family. Apicius's wife, Aelia, and their daughter, Apicata, cherish him, and Aelia's personal slave, Passia becomes even closer to Thrasius. Still, Thrasius is a slave, and there are times when his master takes his emotions out on him. But for the most part, Thrasius has free reign over the kitchen budget from Apicius's vast fortune.
Apicius is one to take advantage of his popularity, and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of working for Caesar. Unfortunately, he makes some enemies that will endanger his family and household.
Thrasius tells the story, and his observations are emotional, sometimes humorous, but always heartfelt. He loves his work, adores his master's family, and is in love with Passia, but he can only do so much as a slave, despite his master's trust. Can he protect them all, however, when everything begins to fall apart?
FEAST OF SORROW is an amazingly detailed, beautifully written tale of Caesar's Rome. Each chapter begins with a recipe from Apicius's cookbook. The life of a slave can be horrid, but some are cherished by their owners, and Thrasius strives to keep Apicius happy. He cannot always achieve this, nor can he stop his master from his headlong journey into chaos.
Do not miss this excellent novel.