The Latinist by Mark Prins

The Latinist by Mark Prins requires patience, and possibly, a love for Antiquity. I have an abundance of the latter, but not always the former. So, after a slow start, this novel eventually captured my full attention.


Tessa Templeton is in the final leg of completing her DPhil at Oxford University under the mentorship of the head of the Classics Department, Christopher Eccles. While studying, Tessa has hit some major milestones that should have easily secured her future as an academic. But after receiving countless rejection letters and only one job offer from her university, Tessa is beyond disappointed and worried about her future.

Eventually, Tessa learns the reason why she has been receiving rejection letters. An anonymous email warns her that Chris is deliberately sabotaging her career with his lacklustre letter of recommendation. Initially, Tessa brushes it off but soon realizes that it is probably true (this all happens in the first few pages). Amidst all this uncertainty, Tessa ends up piecing together information about a second-century Latin poet. This discovery is information that is sure to shake up the scholarly Classical World and put her budding career back on track.

Meanwhile, Chris believes himself to be in love with Tessa and will do what he can to keep her near. Yeah, he’s a boundary-crossing creeper.

Review of The Latinist by Mark Prins

The Latinist is a slow-moving book that alternates perspectives between Tessa and Chris. There are themes of obsession, ambition, and control.

The author drew inspiration from Ancient Rome with many primary sources and invented some to fit with the story. The Apollo and Daphne myth plays a large role in this tale.

I recommend this book to those interested in Ancient Rome, the Latin Language, archaeology, and anthropology with some modern-day drama mixed in. I love Rome, so I had a lot of fun reading this.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Expected Publication: 4 January 2022

Thank you to W. W. Norton & Company for an arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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