Of Merchants & Heroes by Paul Waters
A consuming story of love, loss and redemption set in the classical world of Rome and Greece, Of Merchants & Heroes is the story of a young man's pursuit of his father's murderer and and of the values and qualities he develops that will make him a man . . . a man capable of a deep, noble and enduring love.
At the end of the third century BC, as Republican Rome's long war with Carthage was at last drawing to a close, it was already threatened by a new enemy, Philip, the tyrant king of Macedon in the east. Thus begins Rome's long involvement with Greek civilization, from which it is to learn so much . . . Into this turbulent world emerges our Roman hero, Marcus, whose father is brutally murdered by pirates on a journey from Italy to Corfu on a visit to his uncle. Fate takes him to some of the great cities of the Greco-Roman world at a time of major turbulence, where he learns much and finds love unexpectedly.
This is a remarkable, beautifully written debut that explores political and philosophical questions that are timeless - democracy and tyranny, war and self-defence, right and duty - as well as questions of love, loyalty and betrayal.