Voyager in Bondage, by Simon Finch Souveneir Press, 1981 The final book of Simon Finch's Vesuvio trilogy, Voyager In Bondage was published in 1981. All just like in Golden Voyager. But I can't; the novel itself just doesn't justify it. A man of surging desires. Only problem is - and this is a problem I have with much historical fiction - these characters are already speaking Latin. It's all straight out of Reefer Madness.
Overall a good condition item. Golden Voyager tells of honour and loss, punishment and revenge among unspeakable savagery and unquenchable lust. In this, the first part of the Voyager trilogy Vesuvio, a virile young Roman aristocrat, is kidnapped and thrown into slavery. Subject to humiliating physical and mental depravities, Vesuvio is sold to a Jewish merchant in the ancient city of Antioch where he becomes the merchant's charioteer. He returns to Rome dreaming of universal freedom and is thrown into the Colosseum where only victory in a chariot race will save his life as Roman crowds clamour for displays of death and sex, when he must confront his greatest enemy across the bloody sand of the Flavian amphitheatre.
Yet, as Finch constantly reminds us or himself? It is a time when Rome was at its most decadent and throbbing with the muscle of slavery, the First Century A. Vesuvio is used as a sexual toy by the decrepit men on the boat, so brutally and thoroughly that he's eventually cast aside as useless. The only problem is, despite his being the cause of all of Vesuvio's suffering, Lucretius only appears for about five pages of the novel. Vesuvio finds himself about to become a retiarri, fighting with net and trident against lions. Basically, the Gor novels set in ancient Rome: all leather armor and chain mail and edged weapons and strapping young lads.
Granted, this happens toward the end of the book, but it happens all the same. . It is a time when Rome was at its most decadent and throbbing with the muscle of slavery, the First Century A. So it's really strange that Vesuvio so readily accepts his return to slavery in this novel. These are the enthralling adventures of a man destined for greatness in an epic saga of the Roman Empire for anyone who has enjoyed movies such as Spartacus or Gladiator. Because, just as in past novels, Finch chooses instead to indulge in go-nowhere digressions and pointless, page-consuming dialogs between immaterial characters.
Vesuvio, the fabulous young lord of a noble Roman family shamefully sold into slavery - and sword to revenge - this is his story. Here the reader get a look into the mind of an ancient slave trader, and you realize once again how little life was worth in ancient times. Not yet thirty years old, Vesuvio is still unmarried, though he plans to free the beautiful slave Miranda, with whom he's recently fathered a baby boy. It's infuriating in a way. In many ways it's no different than the average Conan or King Kull novel, save for the fact that it's set in an actual, historical era, and also due to the copious and detailed sex scenes.
Golden Voyager was over 400 pages, with Pagan Voyager coming in at almost 300. Bondage is just over 200 pages long. He is bought by the pirate master Lucco, but Vesuvio proves irresistible to Lucco's fiery wife and Lucco sells him again to be a sexual slave in the court of Mesopotamia, that land of intrigue and perversion. But here's the thing: Vesuvio never once fights back. So we start off with Vesuvio, a young Roman heir and his little brother Titus and the neighbor boy being kidnapped by pirates and immediately cue in a sex scene in the hull of the ship.
Vesuvio and twenty year-old Antony, son of Vesuvio's head slave and hence a slave himself , set off in pursuit. He returns to Rome dreaming of universal freedom and is thrown into the Colosseum where only victory in a chariot race will save his life as Roman crowds clamour for displays of death and sex, when he must confront his greatest enemy across the bloody sand of the Flavian amphitheatre. It's all very, very disturbing. The revenge scene is overshadowed by what comes next: showered with praise after his victory in the Flavian, Vesuvio attends a Fellini-esque party in which Finch heaps on vividly surrealistic, X-rated description; no doubt the best-written sequence of the book. Here it's his son who's abducted.
In addition, Finch apparently discovered semicolons shortly before writing this novel. The Howard Boom was in full swing when this book was published, so it's not surprising Finch tried to get a bit of that action in his book. Pagan Voyager, the second part of the Voyager trilogy and sizzling sequel to Golden Voyager, follows Vesuvio, the virile young aristocrat, as he searches for his slave-girl lover, Miranda, in a bloody adventure of wild sensuality. Some light marking and sunning. It is a time when Rome was at its most decadent and throbbing with the muscle of slavery, the First Century A. Anyways I'm slightly torn cause yes the story is good and oh my the absolutely male driven sex scenes were pretty awesome too if you didn't mind bestiality, rape, male on male and really graphic descriptions of the above mentioned. I've never seen a main character so debased in a novel.