I'll admit it, I have a soft spot for broad, sweeping historical epics. I love historical fiction novels written on such a grand scale that I feel I have an insiders' perspective on entire empires. One of the best novels like this that I've read in the last five years is Roma, by Steven Saylor. It doesn't get more broad, sweepy, or historic than this book. Logging in at 545 pages (not including foreward, author's note, interview, and footnotes) this book encapsulates nearly 1000 years of Rome's history from its genesis as a small village of fishermen and salt traders through the eventual fall of Emperor Caesar. However, it's the way in which the history is woven that makes Saylor's novel so engrossing.