Assaph has been a bibliophile since he learnt to read at the age of five, and a Romanophile ever since he first got his hands on Asterix, way back in elementary school. This exacerbated when his parents took him on a trip to Rome and Italy - he whinged horribly when they dragged him to "yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling", yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art.
He has since been feeding his addiction for books with stories of mystery and fantasy of all kinds. A few years ago he randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis' Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair, and fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. His main influences in writing are Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, Barry Hughart and Boris Akunin.
Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and - this being Australia - assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he's writing - he seems to do his best writing after midnight.
This is a non-fiction book, on a period earlier than the majority of fantasy works. So why is it here? Well, one, I do a lot of reading of this nature in my quest to find stimulating, non-standard backgrounds for my own writing; two, if Globalisation, Climate Change, Plagues, and a complete social collapse sound familiar, you need to understand how history repeats itself.
I've had some input into this novel as an early draft, and I’m glad to see it evolve into a highly-polished book. In short, this is a near-future, solar-system adventure-story in the style of golden-age science fiction. It reminded me very much of the SciFi I grew up on, by such giants as Heinlien, Asimov, and Clarke. The book also gives a gentle nod to them, with many (many!) bits of homage and pop-culture Easter eggs to get any sci-fi nerd squealing with joy.
I love Roman-era detectives. I read Ovid, the first in the series, and loved it, so naturally I went down the rabbit hole of tearing through the 20-volume series… I’ve even chased down Corvinus himself for a character interview! I’ve posted my reviews of each individual volume on Amazon and Goodreads, but below is a summary review of the whole series.