Release Date: 27/08/15
Publisher: Bantam Press
70AD. Disgraced, dishonoured and banished into exile on pain of execution if he ever returns to Rome, the former military tribune Gaius Valerius Verrens makes his way East through the death and destruction of the savage Judaean rebellion. Valerius knows his only hope of long term survival and a restoration of his family’s fortunes lie with his friend Titus, commander of the Army of Judaea and son of the newly crowned Emperor Vespasian.
But when he reaches the ring of legionary camps around the seemingly impregnable city of Jerusalem he finds Titus a changed man. Gone is the cheerful young officer he knew, replaced by a tough, ruthless soldier under pressure from his father to end the insurrection at any cost. Soon, Valerius finds himself at the centre of a web of intrigue spun by Titus’s lover, Queen Berenice of Cilicia, and her sometime ally, the general’s turncoat adviser, Flavius Josephus, who have an ulterior motive for ending the siege quickly.
Yet the laurels that will regain his honour cannot be won in the negotiations in the murky tunnels beneath Jerusalem. Only amid the fire and blood of battle will he equal the glory that brought him the title Hero of Rome.
Historical Fiction is always a pure pleasure for me. I love knowing the historical time reference around the title and whilst in books events can be changed to make for a better plot, overall the reader is given the chance to look into the past and see heroism at its highest form alongside courage, principles and politics within.
Douglas has always been an author to deliver on all accounts and when you dive into this, his latest title, you’re jumping into book 6 to feature Gaius Valerius Verrens. As with the previous you’re in for high octane action, love and of course a plotline that doesn’t let up from the start until the end. However what I will advise you is to read the other books in order first. You’ll get much more of a blast from it and lets face it when you need to break from the real world on the build up to Christmas, this could well be a lifesaver for you. (Or perhaps the ideal gifts to ask for.) Cracking.