Release Date: 12/05/11
AD 65. Sebastos Pantera, spy to the Emperor Nero, has undertaken the most dangerous of missions. Hunting often alone, with few he can trust, he must find the most dangerous man in Rome’s empire, and bring him to bloody justice.
Against him is Saulos. Consumed by private enmities and false beliefs, Saulos is pledged to bring about the destruction of an entire Roman province. Brilliantly clever, utterly ruthless, he cares only for his vision of total victory – and not the death and devastation such a campaign would bring.
Between them is the huntress Iksahra. Beautiful and deadly, feared by men, loved by the beasts she cares for, she must decide who to support if she is to avenge her father’s death.
Fought inside the palace of a royal city and within the rocky fastness of a desert fortress, this will be a conflict between two men who have everything to gain – and a kingdom to lose …
Having enjoyed Manda’s first outing in her Rome series I really couldn’t wait to see what unfurled in the second. After all she does a great twist on double dealing, politics and of course espionage which whilst containing some combat is more about the mental aspects alongside some strong emotional reactions from the characters within.
As can be expected they grow as the tale unfurls with loyalties and trust being tested along the way. Add to this a story that is wonderfully written, two master spies trying their best to outdo the other and finish off with great prose and solid pace which creates a novel that has all the right elements to keep you hooked. All in, this was a wonderful read and at a time of year when you’re perhaps wanting to escape from everything I can think of nothing better to help you not only relax but also allow the mind to wonder as you think the possibilities through during breaks in your reading schedule. Great stuff.