- Historical Fiction
Rome, 70BC. Roman high society hums with gossip about the sudden, suspicious suicide of a prominent Roman senator. Shortly afterwards, the body of a Vestal Virgin is discovered in the river Tiber.
As the authorities turn a strangely blind eye, Hortensia, daughter of Rome’s most celebrated lawyer, is moved to investigate a trail of murders that appear to lead straight to the dark heart of the Eternal City. Rebelling against convention, she soon becomes entangled in an increasingly hostile world of intrigue, and when key witnesses are silenced by a ruthless and shadowy mastermind, Hortensia is forced to seek help from an ex-gladiator with secrets of his own.
Using her supreme knowledge of the period and drawing from historical accounts of the daughter of famed Roman orator Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, Annelise Freisenbruch delivers an atmospheric, meticulously accurate and fast-paced story that will have readers craving more.
‘This is a stunning novel that immerses us in the brutal world of the Roman Empire in the 1st century B.C. Annelise Freisenbruch is a gifted storyteller and tells a riveting tale. Highly recommended!’ Alison Weir, bestselling author of Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen
‘A brilliant debut novel. Rivals of the Republic is an enthralling and convincing imagining of Ancient Rome, by an author who combines profound scholarship with a fluent and readable literary style’ Harry Sidebottom, bestselling author of the Throne of the Caesars series
‘Annelise Freisenbruch’s Hortensia is a delight — passionate, articulate, fallible and, better still, inspired by a real woman’ Ruth Downie, author of the bestselling Medicus series
‘Rivals of the Republic takes us on an exciting journey as a young woman proves herself a worthy adversary in a war of wits with even general Crassus and his rival Pompey the Great. The enticing cast of characters includes Vestal virgins, gladiators, expert forgers, Cicero, and the young Julius Caesar’ Margaret George, bestselling author of The Memoirs of Cleopatra