Thursday, September 15, 2011

Historical Fiction Book Tour Stop and Giveaway: Eromenos by Melanie McDonald

Title: Eromenos
Author: Melanie McDonald
Publisher: Seriously Good Books
Publish Date: March 11, 2011
Source: Received a copy as a part of the HF Book Tour

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You love ancient Rome!
  • You like a good love story.
  • You love stories about people with big personalities. 

What's the Story?:

From "Eros and Thanatos converge in the story of a glorious youth, an untimely death, and an imperial love affair that gives rise to the last pagan god of antiquity. In this coming-of-age novel set in the second century AD, Antinous of Bithynia, a Greek youth from Asia Minor, recounts his seven-year affair with Hadrian, fourteenth emperor of Rome. In a partnership more intimate than Hadrian's sanctioned political marriage to Sabina, Antinous captivates the most powerful ruler on earth both in life and after death.
This version of the affair between the emperor and his beloved ephebe vindicates the youth scorned by early Christian church fathers as a "shameless and scandalous boy" and "sordid and loathsome instrument of his master's lust." EROMENOS envisions the personal history of the young man who achieved apotheosis as a pagan god of antiquity, whose cult of worship lasted for hundreds of years—far longer than the cult of the emperor Hadrian.

In EROMENOS, the young man Antinous, whose beautiful image still may be found in works of art in museums around the world, finds a voice of his own at last."

My Two Cents:

Ancient Rome has quickly become one of my favorite places to read about. Okay, really any book that has to do with anything involving Italy or the area that became Italy intrigues me. The Romans are fascinating to me. You have all sorts of larger than life personalities marching through all of the different stories about Ancient Rome. This story was new to me. I knew of Hadrian (my husband had photographed a lot of his villa while in Italy studying during college) but I did not know about the great love affair between Antinous and Hadrian.

Young Antinous

You have handsome, young Antinous and aging Hadrian who almost seems to yearn for Antinous' youth even though Hadrian is an incredibly powerful emperor. Hadrian brings Antinous to Rome to study in one of the best schools. Hadrian and Antinous' love soon blossoms.


I really liked the character of Antinous, who is our narrator for this book. He is very young but learns very quickly the sort of games he must play in order to retain Hadrian's favor. He is also incredibly vulnerable and isn't sure that he can make Hadrian love him forever. At only a little over 150 pages, this book is short but we easily fall for the characters.

One of the highlights of the book is the descriptions. I was drooling over the descriptions of some of the food in the book. I thought the book also had a good sense of place. I could see the hills of Rome and the Roman Forum and the palaces.

One drawback to the shortness of the book is that I found myself wanting a lot more. The ending is good and gripping but I just wasn't ready to leave the characters quite yet!

Bottom line: This is a great book for any historical fiction lover!


One lucky A Bookish Affair reader will win a copy of this book!

- You must be 13 and over
- Open internationally!
- You must be a follower of A Bookish Affair

Just fill out this super simple form here!

Don't Forget To Follow The Rest of the Tour!:

Monday, July 18th
Author Guest Post at C.W. Gortner's Historical Boys
Thursday, July 21st
Monday, July 25th
Author Guest Post at Christy English's A Writer's Life: Working with the Muse
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Friday, July 29th
Monday, August 1st
Author Interview at Unabridged Chick
Thursday, August 4th
Monday, August 8th
Thursday, August 11th
Review at Bonjour, Cass
Monday, August 15th
Thursday, August 18th
Author Guest Post at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Monday, August 22nd
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, August 25th
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Author Guest Post at Nan Hawthorne's Booking History
Monday, August 29th

Review at The Book Garden
Thursday, September 1st
Author Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Monday, September 5th
Author Guest Post at The True Book Addict
Review & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Thursday, September 8th

Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, September 12th

Review at Bibliotropic
Review at By the By Books
Thursday, September 15th

Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Friday, September 16th

Interview at Tribute Books Reviews

Monday, September 19th

Wednesday, September 21st
Author Interview at Historical Fiction Obsession

Monday, September 26th
Review at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell


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As of 6/6/2011, this book is now an awards free zone. While I appreciate the awards, I would rather stick to reviewing more great books for you than trying to fill the requirements.

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