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The Latinist

A Novel

by Mark Prins

The Latinist by Mark Prins X
The Latinist by Mark Prins
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  • Published Jan 2022
    336 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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There are currently 27 member reviews
for The Latinist
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  • Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA)
    An unexpected treat
    Since falling under the enchantment of Circe by Madeline Miller, I've read widely through the many subsequent books based on myths. So it was a no-brainer to request Mark Prins' The Latinist to read and review. The 5 stars are for an array of delights. The book initially read like a guilty pleasure romance- but not for long. As the protagonists alternate chapters with first person narration, the path of a sinister plot seems to emerge. But nothing is as it appears and the payoff is unexpected and satisfying. Do brush up on the mythic background to fully appreciate what Prins has done.
  • Sarah B. (Streamwood, IL)
    The Latinist
    This book was extremely enjoyable. Epic poems, obsession, academia rolled into one amazing treat. There is enough romance, intrigue and mystery to please a reader of one of those specific genres while delighting them with the other aspects of the story too.The book made me want to learn Latin and start my own projects.
  • Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)
    Another great "ist" book
    I've always been a sucker for titles that end in "ist"....."The Catastrophist," "The Cellist of Sarajevo," "The Alienist," all books that I ended up loving. And now I've read "The Latinist," a first novel by Mark Prins, and it is every bit as satisfying a read as have been the other "ist" books I've read.

    I wanted to look up the meaning of Latinist, though: "a specialist in the Latin language, classical scholar, classicist – a student of ancient Greek and Latin." (I'd probably want to read a book entitled, "The Classicist.") Latin is a subject in which I have never had any knowledge or interest. I've never taken Latin in school, nor have I studied any ancient Roman, Greek history, or poetry. And then I read this book, and found myself engrossed in the language, history, latin quotes and references. I never skipped over any of it. I was riveted from start to end. There is much detail related to Latin, including poetry, excavations of dead poets, dismemberments, dissertations, but it is all woven within a complicated story of academia, treachery, love, deception, obsession. This is an excellent novel that I highly recommend.
  • Paula B. (Albuquerque, NM)
    A modern Greek myth
    The Latinist is a refreshing twist on a novel of intrigue. The intersection of the unfamiliar world of academia and the application of academic learning to archaeology. In college I read some Ovid and learned Greek mythology like that of Daphne and Apollo. In this original approach to storytelling, I revisited these interesting and still current stories. Books that send me searching or reviewing other areas are fun to read- in part why I read. The world of Oxford academia provides the fascinating background to a multi-faceted story of discovery and love, of a sort. Daphne's need to escape is not unknown in today's world. Read and enjoy.
  • John A. (Ashland, OR)
    The Latinist
    The Latinist was an interesting, complex story involving classical mythology, early Roman poets and their mysteries, present day grief, deceit, longing and love, and multiple surprises along the way and at the end. Set predominantly in Oxford, but also in Italy and in the English countryside, the story steadily picked up speed as it progressed. The characters were well depicted and intriguing. Several key events revolved around a knowledge of Latin, physical anthropology, and even an old article in the British medical journal, The Lancet. I was both entertained and educated by this excellent novel which I can heartily recommend.
  • Laurie S., Minneapolis, MN
    Smart and Suspenseful Academic Thriller
    Waiting for the next academic thriller in the vein of Donna Tartt? The Latinist by Mark Prins was it for me. Multiple storylines take the reader from the halls of Oxford to the streets of Rome and back again where classical academics and archaeologists put together pieces of lives and stories long ago forgotten. The author creates seamless intersections between art and life/myth and truth. In the main plot line, a classics professor's obsession with his beautiful student illustrates the power of politics and control. Like a Dan Brown bestseller, this novel connects the myth of Apollo and Daphne with the lives of the professor and his student in unexpected ways. The reader can't help see how the characters' lives reflect the puzzle they are trying to solve. I thoroughly enjoyed this smart and suspenseful literary tale.
  • Joan R. (Chicago, IL)
    An Excellent Debut Novel
    This is an extraordinary debut novel. I was quickly swept into the world of classic studies at Oxford with all its intrigues. Many themes of ancient texts -- obsession, ambition, passion and intrigue --- are deftly handled with characters as complicated as Odysseus. I found myself constantly reexamining my assumptions about the characters throughout the novel and changing my opinions of them. Because of the complexity of the characters and themes, I think this would be an excellent book club selection. A nice bonus is the chance to learn a bit of Latin and enjoy some lovely poetry.

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