Spartacus III The Pharoah’s Blade by Robert Southworth


The third and final volume of Robert Southworth’s Spartacus series finds the gang involved in an adventure to retrieve an Egyptian artifact, a dagger that is reputed to grant victory to whoever has it and there are many who seek it.  Among the seekers are the power brokers of Rome and inveterate foes, Pompey and Crassus.  Spartacus is tabbed to lead a coalition army of Commagene, Spartan, Parthian and a smattering of Armenians under Tigranes the younger.  Arrayed against them is the might of Mithridates and Tigranes the elder.  The battle scenes are well done and are filled with imaginative tactics, heroic struggles and tragic deaths.  The plot takes many turns as the duplicitousness of certain characters plays out over the course of the book.  All in all The Pharaoh’s Blade is an interesting look at that period in history when Mithridates, Tigranes and The Parthians all vied for control of the region and had Rome’s attention; so much so that Crassus arrives in Parthia with intent to conquer but an ignominious end is what he finds.  Spartacus, Cassian, Plinius and the others in their search for a peaceful place to live must first survive the tumult.  4 stars



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