Feast of Sorrow, by Crystal King, is one of the most fabulous books I have read in a while. Apicus seems to be what we would now call a Foodie. He enjoys eating to the extreme. I love that he pays such a huge amount to buy Thrasius, a slave, to cook for him. The story is great. It intermingles fact with fiction and that always makes for an interesting read. Reading about a different time, and culture, is so much fun. I kept looking things up and every one jived with a true fact taken from Roman history. This author definitely did her research. My favorite thing, as a reviewer of cookbooks, is the Roman cookery that was thrown in. I learned so much about how people cooked back then. The recipes that Thrasius came up with were just phenomenal. Wealthy Romans definitely showed out by how they ate back then. Ancient Rome came alive in this book and I loved every minute of it from visiting the marketplace to imagining the togas. Highly encourage readers to buy this one. Readers of history, foodies, and characters lovers will delight in this book.
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 whom Thrasius quickly falls in love with. 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.