Release Date: 07/01/16
"AD 58: Rome is in turmoil once more. Emperor Nero has surrounded himself with sycophants and together they rampage by night through the city, visiting death and destruction as they go. Meanwhile, Nero's extravagance has reached new heights. The Emperor's spending is becoming profligate at the same time as the demands of keeping the provinces subdued have become increasingly unaffordable. Could Nero withdraw from Britannia, and at what price for the Empire?
As the bankers of the Empire scramble to call in their loans, Vespasian is sent to Londinium on a secret mission, only to become embroiled in a deadly rebellion led by Boudicca, a female warrior of extraordinary bravery. As the uprising gathers pace, Vespasian must fight to stay ahead of Rome's enemies and complete his task- before all of Britannia burns. "
Robert Fabbri is an author that I love to spend time with as he brings the past wonderfully to life giving flesh and bones to a bygone era where death and life are sometimes a whisper away from each other and none perhaps more so than the violent times of Vespasian who has survived a number of made emperors and now faces the wrath of Nero alongside his sycophantic minions.
Its well written, the prose is sharp but what Robert always does well is the characterisations which not only make them feel real but by allowing them to grow from the past that has shaped them, makes them feel more alive to the reader. It’s a trick that’s hard to pull off and at times for many authors can lead sadly into a too much information that detracts from the tales pace.
Add to this delightful dialogue as well as a wonderful overall arc that has our hero travelling the length of the empire all round makes this a book that I really couldn’t put down. Cracking.