Sunday, 4 August 2013

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Bull Slayer - Bruce MacBain

Release Date: 08/07/13
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


The frontier province of Bithynia is a cesspit of sedition, rotten with corruption and seething with hatred of Rome. When a rich Roman official is found dead on a desolate hillside; two riderless horses tethered in a nearby wood, it is assumed he was killed as a protest against Emperor Trajan's unlimited power.

But Pliny the Younger, newly appointed Governor of Bithynia, is not so sure.

Who was the other rider? What were the two of them doing in the middle of nowhere? And what links this murder to a secret cult of the Persian sun god, Mithras - the Bull Slayer?

I loved the original title in this series (Roman Games) and was more than looking forward to seeing what life would hold in store for future outings of the enigmatic figure of Pliny the Younger. After all, in the first book, he was swept along by events that spiralled out of control that demonstrated that even when you’re a lead character, fate can have a way of leading you a merry dance.

So I was pretty much expecting more of the same in this second novel. I wasn’t disappointed and to be honest the character becomes even more interesting in this outing especially when you get to see a stronger side to his wife Calpuria who undergoes not only terrible events herself but shows a strong determination above others to help make things work. Add to this the deliciousness of the wonderfully Seutonius, all round made this a cracking story to sit back with. All round a great novel and one that I thoroughly enjoyed even if it was a little short, but as the saying goes, its always best to leave them wanting more. Cracking.

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