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Fortune's Favourites (Masters of Rome #3)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  5,979 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
The third novel in the epic Masters of Rome series.

Fortune's Favourites witnesses the power, mastery and cunning of two enigmatic rulers of Rome - Sulla, returning from exile, and the 22-year-old Pompey, who designates himself Magnus 'the Great'. And in the background is the young soldier, Caesar, who begins to show the expert qualities that will one day culminate in him b
Paperback, 1056 pages
Published November 17th 1994 by Arrow (first published 1991)
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Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The easiest way to become an expert in the end of the roman republic, and later, the end of Ceasar, is to read this series.
Historical novels always walks a line of historical correctness and entertainment, i thought this series managed to provide both, which is an impressive feat considering the extensive amount of information available for this time-period.

This series follows the most important romans and their families for two generations.
The rise to power of the succesful battlecommander Gaiu
Jun 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At more than 800 pages (not counting the 200 in the glossary), Fortune's Favorites is another massive and thorough volume in McCullough's recreation of the dissolution of the Roman Republic. Unlike the first two volumes, FF opens with action and moves more quickly. Sulla, away in Asia Minor challenging King Mithridates, has to cut short his efforts to subdue the ambitious eastern potentate (I apologize, but I had to use that word at least once in my life). Leaving Mithridates far from finished, ...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it at the same time with Caesar Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworty. Incredible how accurate Masters of Rome series is and how much work Colleen McCullough has put in it.
May 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third book in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome Series that began with The First Man in Rome, Fortune's Favorites covers the period from 83-69 B.C. It picks up shortly after The Grass Crown left off. Lucius Cornelius Sulla has defeated King Mithridates of Pontus and expelled him from the Asia Province, and is headed home with the intention of becoming Dictator of Rome. While Sulla's career has reached its peak, Gaius Julius Caesar has just come of age. Caesar's adventures are mythic: from ...more
James Burns
I am always in awe of Ms. McCullough in how she brings history alive and how extensive is her research and how accurate she records historical events for a work of fiction. Fortunes Favorite begins with the death of Gaius Marius 7 times Consular and third man of Rome. Sulla is marching on Rome and installs himself as Dictator. We see a rise in power of Pompey Magnus and Marcus Licinius Crassus. after Pompey finally defeats Quintus Sertorius after suffering a humiliating defeat in Spain and Crass ...more
one more Masters of Rome reread completing the trilogy about Marius and Sulla and my favorite 3 novels of the series; the second part here after Sulla's retirement is about the new generation, Caesar, Pompey and Crassus and it begins a new chapter in the series in so many ways which as mentioned before is still quite good but lacks the ambiguity of the earlier volumes as everything Caesar does is perfect and to the best, while his enemies are generally incompetent and/or stupid and that starts g ...more

Seriously, SO MUCH happens in these books that, when I got near the end, I went back to see exactly where it had started. Because there are enough storylines to write 5 individual books, easily, except they're all so interwoven it's better this way.

Also, it took me a whole month to read this, partially because I was put off for a few days by a rather explicit description of a whipping and crucifixion. Nothing more than a few sentences but "gob
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: McCullough or Rome fanatics
This book, which covers from Sulla's return to Italy, march on Rome, and establishment of himself as Dictator-for-life through to retirement and death... and then keeps going for another 200-300 pages (ending with a mildly-entertaining, if aseptic summary of Spartacus' uprising -- insufficient willingness to fantasize in the absence of primary source material? -- and Pompey's reduction of Mithridates). What a slog. I lost momentum when I failed to take it with me on vacation and now am having di ...more
Shala K.
Solid writing, and no regrets on reading it, but I can't claim that this book was able to hold my entire attention for all 1000 pages, since between the time I started this one and finished it, I managed to read upwards of 20 other books. I blame it on all those campaigns people go marching off on, I just tend to lose interest when they go marching off, however delightfully drawn the characters of Pompey and Caesar are.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. So much information in such an interesting story. If I didn't have 3 library books waiting I'd jump right into the next book in the series.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Fortune's Favorites (Masters of Rome #3), Colleen McCullough
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before it was Caesar's Rome, it was Gaius Marius' Rome and Lucius Sulla's Rome. Before Caesar become the epicentre of Ancient Rome's history, there were other great generals who held the limelight. And to peek into the past, and to learn and live in a Rome just before Caesar, Colleen McCullough wrote two outstanding books The First Man in Rome and The Grass Crown. The third book in the series, Fortune's Favourites, crosses into the period when Caesar's stock in the Senate begins to increase. But ...more
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A bevy of mostly disgusting characters and outcomes march through this 3rd installment of the Rome series of heroic struggles in civil war incidents, in Asia Province and Spain, and other fights with pirates and rebellious slaves, I suppose to contrast with the character of Caesar who begins to fulfill his destiny as the greatest of the Romans. Caesar had an attitude of complete assurance that I found amazing under the circumstances of going on the run, being accused of sexual immorality, being ...more
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a first a little hesitant about this book knowing the author had written Thorn Birds. Though I did enjoy that book as a teenager, I filed the author away as a romantic fiction novelist.

That was a mistake.

Fortunately my sister's Mother-In-Law is a History teacher and recommended this book to my sister to buy for me otherwise I probably wouldn't have bought it myself. While the third book in a series, Fortune's Favorites stands alone quite well. My only complaint was that the glossary seeme
Vicki Cline
Oct 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-fiction
While there were a lot of interesting events in this book, I didn't find it as satisfying as the previous two in the series, I guess because there wasn't an overarching theme.

The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) by Colleen McCullough Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough dealt with the rise of Marius and Sulla, and The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2) by Colleen McCullough Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough was about the fall of Marius and the further rise of Sulla. Sulla continues to dominate the first part of Fortune's Favorites, but overall the book seemed a little disjointed. Caesar and the pirates, Spartacus, Cicero vs. Verres, Pompey
Jeremy Hurd-McKenney
McCullough has a formula for these novels--they are part battle action, part boring Senate exposition, and part societal soap opera melodrama. This one relied a little too much on boring Senate exposition in the middle to bridge the gap between the phasing out of the old characters and the introduction of the new ones. The rest of the book was just as enthralling as the previous two, however.

As always, an endless parade of Luciuses (Lucii?), Gaiuses (Gaii?), and Quintuses (Quintii)enter the stor
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Collen mcclullogh has very meticulously described the roman era between sulla and ceaser... one will find many roman heroes and their military expeditions herein...and thats where one gets to learn a lot if he's interested in Rome, the very first republic of the world and the first one where dictatorship was implemented... albeit for a short time... how the romans behaved at the senate and at battle field.. their articulate debates and their political debaucheries..
one could very well commend t
Ivana Azap Feješ
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
“It taught me to be subtle as well as powerful, it taught me to hide my light when showing it might have snuffed it out, it taught me that time is a more valuable ally than money or mentors, it taught me the patience my mother used to think I would never own—and it taught me that nothing is wasted! I am still learning” - A boy they would one day call "Caesar."
Wonderful book, seriously ;)
And now to Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome, #4) :)
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This third volume of McCullough's 'Masters of Rome' series concerns Lucius Cornelius Sulla's rise to Dictator of Rome and his eventual retirement, as well as the budding careers of both Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar. I enjoyed this work more than the second book, but not quite as much as the first. I have to keep reminding myself that it's fiction, because the minute details seem very real.
Sep 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-developed fictional series.
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by this third in the series. It was not as gripping as "The Grass Crown" and felt a great deal as though it was filling in a gap, finishing off stories. The politics seemed slightly pedantic, the wars a little subdued at times... The book can be divided into four pars; up to half of it covers the years of Sulla's rule of Rome, the rest covers the wars in Spain, the war against Spartacus, and the rest. The new, dominating figure is that of Julius Cae ...more
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-bought
While Sulla features heavily in the first part of Fortune’s Favorites, make no mistake: this is the story of Gaius Julius Caesar and his brutal early years. You know, Colleen McCullough’s portrayal of Caesar is the most sympathetic I’ve ever come across and yet he really does some horrible things. He crucifies all those pirates (but broke all their legs except the leader so they’d die quicker) and was utterly ruthless in Spartacus’ revolt as he served under Marcus Crassus. At the same time I had ...more
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
The third book in Colleen McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series, after "The First Man in Rome" and "The Grass Crown", begins just a few years after the latter. Sulla gets back to Rome, the beauty of his early days giving way to a toothless self with a hideous wig and an addiction to wine, and true to character, wreaks terrible vengeance on his enemies - Young Marius, Cinna and Carbo- and becomes Dictator of Rome. The seeds of Rome's Republic days were probably sown that early as Sulla changes la ...more
Dane Sørensen
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: masters-of-rome
Fortune's Favourites is where the Masters of Rome series really gets into its stride. It's hard to pinpoint how exactly, but there seems to be more colour and movement than in the first two books, making this the first one where the ending comes up before you're ready.

It opens with Sulla's return to Italy and the civil war that results, giving us plenty of time to ogle this extraordinary young man Pompey. From there it swirls breathlessly through the years of Sulla the Dictator, giving us time t
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Historical Fiction
This is the third book in the Masters of Rome series--each book is a doorstopper, but each is also wonderful in immersing you in Ancient Rome, giving you a feel for the late Republic and the men that shaped those times. In the first two books that primarily consisted of following two brothers-in-law and uncles of Julius Caesar--Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla. In the last book we watched Marius decline and Sulla's rise. Now in this book we see Sulla at the peak of his power, and a new ge ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series. I've always liked long books with lots of characters and complex plots. Over the years I've tended to become less tolerant of shoddy writing. These books cover all the bases - long, involved, very well written - and this one equals its predecessors. If you have any interest in ancient Rome and are willing to go through thousands of pages that seem to go by entirely too quickly, I recommend you start with First Man in Rome, pa ...more
Jan 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally got through this tome! Unlike Grass Crown this book progressed a little slowly. By the time you finish with this book most of the beloved characters from the first 2 books are long gone and you're left with a lot of "wait, who is that person?" ponderings. Those characters that are familiar, if only vaguely, you now can't distinguish as "good guys" or "bad guys." I must admit that would be my favorite part of this latest book of the saga and my new favorite aspect of McCullough's charac ...more
-Continuación de una saga que sigue enfrentando opiniones pero que hizo muchísimo por el género.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. En la primavera del año 83 A. C., un joven Pompeyo de 22 años es despertado en mitad de la noche con la noticia del desembarco de Sila en Brindisium junto a cinco legiones y un buen número de auxilia y mercenarios, hecho que significa la oportunidad para Pompeyo de ajustar cuentas por mucho que para la mayoría de los romanos signifique otra guerra civil co
Peter Orvetti
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This third volume in McCullough's seven-book series marks the end of the best part of the series. McCullough's books are strongest when covering the pre-Julius Caesar period of Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla; by the end of "Fortune's Favorites", both men are dead and the author is increasingly focused on Caesar.

Her writing does not decline in quality in the next few books, and she makes Pompey and Cicero nearly as compelling as Marius and Sulla -- her Pompey in particular has a joy in l
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)
  • Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius, #2)
  • Hero of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens, #1)
  • The Invasion of Gaul (Marius' Mules, #1)
  • Funeral Games (Alexander the Great, #3)
  • King of Kings (Warrior of Rome, #2)
  • Eagle in the Snow
  • Caveat Emptor (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #4)
  • Julian
  • The Ides of March
Colleen Margaretta McCullough was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds and Tim.

Raised by her mother in Wellington and then Sydney, McCullough began writing stories at age 5. She flourished at Catholic schools and earned a physiology degree from the University of New South Wales in 1963. Planning become a doctor, she found that she had a violent aller
More about Colleen McCullough...

Other Books in the Series

Masters of Rome (7 books)
  • The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1)
  • The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2)
  • Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome, #4)
  • Caesar (Masters of Rome, #5)
  • The October Horse: A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra (Masters of Rome, #6)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (Masters of Rome, #7)