Steven Saylor – ‘Warning: Reading Rufius may induce forbidden thoughts. Also laughter, wonderment, and a discombobulating sensation of time travel. Proceed with caution—but by all means, proceed!’
In a startlingly fine debut, Sarah Walton steps into the classic terrain of Mary Renault and Margeurite Yourcenar.
Like them, she stirs a spectacular story of the Ancient World. Unlike them, her lead character is not one of history’s
heroes. For the first time in literature, a cinaedus steps front stage.
Sexually, Ancient Rome ran by a different moral code. One thing firmly outlawed was the passive male. Exiled to 4th
Century Alexandria, put in charge of books while zealots set to burn libraries, Rufius is only passive sexually. He is an
irrepressible creation. Searching the streets for a youth that excites, he finds Aeson. Their love story transcends age,
scruples, class barriers, and the historical record.
‘Reminds me of Marguerite Yourcenar. Armed with the hypnotic prose of a pedigree writer,
Sarah Walton shows how we got here and the wonders, beliefs and
wit we have left behind.’ – Jose Luis de Juan, author of This Breathing World: