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The Curse of Clansmen and Kings

Linnea Tanner
Linnea Tanner Author Interview

Two Faces of Janus follows a brash aristocrat as he navigates the perilous politics found in 2 B.C. Rome. What inspired you to write a story about Lucius Antonius?

I’ve always found the legacy of Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) to be one of the most compelling accounts about political corruption, betrayal, and family tragedy. Iullus Antonius was the only son of Mark Antony who Caesar Augustus spared and raised almost like a son in the imperial court. When it came to light in 2 BC that Augustus’s daughter, Julia, was having several affairs and that Iullus was her primary lover, the emperor demanded he commit suicide.

Very little is known about Lucius Antonius except that he had to conceal that he was exiled in Massilia (modern-day Marseille) for his father’s crime as a traitor. I often wondered how Lucius reacted to his father’s disgrace and how it impacted his life. Answering this question inspired me to write the historical fantasy series, The Curse of Clansmen and Kings, and Two Faces of Janus. Lucius is cast as a villain in the series, but his back-story propels what he does and hopefully makes him more relatable.

Why did you feel a short story format worked better for this story rather than a full length novel?

The short story allowed me the opportunity to explore the immediate impact that the death of Iullus Antonius had on his son, Lucius, and for rest of the immediate family. The revelation of how Lucius was devastatingly impacted will be unveiled in the fourth book (Skull’s Vengeance) of my historical fantasy series. Further, I’m also considering a standalone historical fiction novel about the earlier life of Lucius Antonius.

What surprised you the most about Lucius Antonius real life story?

Though Lucius had to conceal he was exiled in disgrace for his father’s crime, the senate decreed that all honor be paid to him at this death. His ashes were laid in the family sepulchre of the Octavvi. This suggests that he was able to restore his standing in Rome. There is conjecture that Lucius’s son/grandson was Marcus Antonius Primus, a general who secured Rome for Vespasian to be emperor after Nero’s downfall.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am completing Book 4 (Skull’s Vengeance) in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series which should be released later in 2022.

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A young nobleman confronts a specter from the past that could threaten his family’s legacy.

A brash young aristocrat, Lucius Antonius anticipates Emperor Augustus Caesar will support his lofty ambitions to serve as a praetor in the Roman justice system in 2 BC Rome. As the son of the distinguished politician and poet, Iullus Antonius, Lucius prays to Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings, to open the door for him to rise politically. But he is unaware of the political firestorm ready to erupt in the imperial family.

Augustus must confront evidence that his daughter, Julia, has behaved scandalously in public and that Iullus is her lover. The prospect that Julia might want to marry Iullus—the only surviving son of Marcus Antonius—threatens to redirect the glory from Augustus to his most hated rival beyond the grave. Caught in the political crossfire, Lucius must demonstrate his loyalty to Augustus by meeting all of his demands or face the destruction of his family’s legacy and possibly his own life. Will Lucius ultimately choose to betray and abandon his disgraced father?

Two Faces of Janus

Two Faces of Janus: A Short Story of Ancient Rome by [Linnea Tanner]

Two Faces of Janus by Linnea Tanner is a short story set in 2 B.C. Rome. The story follows the life events of Lucius and is told from the perspective of Lucius Antonius, the grandson of Marcus Antonius. The book is aptly named Two Faces of Janus, as the story revolves around how Janus, the two-faced God of beginnings, seemingly opens one door for him to rise politically, but then Lucius is faced with the storm that breaks his family apart.

Author Linnea Tanner is able to expertly introduce an entirely new period, create a vivid backdrop to the story, setup intriguing character dynamics and introduce and conclude a dramatic plot all within six chapters without compromising the quality storytelling. This speaks to the authors fantastic writing ability and I walked away impressed with the story and the author.

The author’s note towards the end of the book that goes further into the details of the historical facts associated with the story under the regime of Augustus Caeser helps the reader further understand and appreciate the storyline. I appreciated this as, not only did it give me more information, it also showed me the amount of research that went into this short story.

Although initially, the book feels like it will be hard to understand because there are a lot of references to the Roman time period, and for a complete beginner like me, it can be quite intimidating. However, the author does a brilliant job of conveying ideas in an easy to understand manner, ensuring readers will be quickly swept up in the riveting story.

Two Faces of Janus is a spellbinding historical fiction novel with deep character development and a gripping plot that is made all the more impressive by the stories short length. I would recommend this book to readers looking for a short but exciting read that stands up to the intensity of a full length historical drama. This tiny six-chapter story packs itself with everything from love, betrayal to scandal and ends with a slight hint of optimism, which is enough to leave room for a sequel. It’s hard to not finish the entire story once you pick the book up.

Pages: 39 | ASIN: B098BH11V3

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