Feast of Sorrow
A Novel of Ancient Rome
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Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.
On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is the infamous gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, wealthy beyond measure, obsessed with a taste for fine meals from exotic places, and a singular ambition: to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar, an honor that will cement his legacy as Rome's leading epicure.
Apicius rightfully believes that Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with Thrasius’s help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and fantastic meals. Thrasius finds a family in Apicius’s household, his daughter Apicata, his wife Aelia, and her handmaiden, Passia, with whom Thrasius quickly falls in love. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his reckless disregard for any who might get in his way takes a dangerous turn that threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome.
A feast, indeed!
Captivating from start to finish, Crystal King's FEAST OF SORROW immerses the reader in the alluring yet unpredictable world of Ancient Rome. Thrasius, a slave who is uniquely gifted in the culinary arts, has everything to gain when he is brought into the household of the fame-hungry Apicius. Yet when Apicius' greed and blind ambition soars to unsustainable heights, Thrasius' fate and that of the other characters hang in delicate balance. This is the 'meat' that drives the novel forward. As garnish, King serves up delectable, sensory descriptions and a complex cast of characters for whom we root and laugh and cry and raise multiple glasses of wine. A wonderful feast, indeed; one that will leave you both satiated and salivating for more from this talented new voice.