Truly an astonishing book, as those here (many) who have read it already know. It has nothing in common with the genre of so-called "historical fiction" (which misconception kept me from having even the remotest interest in this book for years). All I can add is the observation that her scholarship is really outstanding -- even apart from her novelistic skills. It just feels so real that it's hard to fathom how she did it.
This refers not only to her knowledge of history (in the broad sense), and to her remarkable sense for the granular of "everyday life" -- the sort of thing you'll find in Carcopino or Rostovtzeff -- but even more, at the level of syntax or, rather, in the archaic balance of clauses and in the conceptions contained therein. Though there are modern elements, obviously, it is clear in every line that this is someone who has read thousands of pages in Greek and Latin.
Just a remarkable achievement.
And another amazing book that I never would have opened were it not for Goodreads.