War still rages at the edge of empire while centurion Albinus Silus fights at its beating heart.
Gone is the boy who joined the legions. What remains is a man torn apart by the savagery of battle, the heartache of lost love.
He does not know what became of his wife, and now he must balance being both a soldier and a father.
And yet, for all his pain, he shall have to endure more than he ever thought he could. His valour in the northern wars has not gone unnoticed, and now he is to be given a special mission.
Marcus Aurelius’ star falls with his health. One day the sun will rise on his successor and son, Commodus. But he must be ready, must know what it is to lead. Centurion Albinus has been chosen to educate him.
From Pannonia to Rome, to the far reaches of the east, Albinus must protect Commodus from enemies both inside the empire and out.
Can he keep the Caesar safe? Can he nurture him, teach him what it is to be a man? Can he be The Shield of the Rising Sun?
Just as the we’ve seen the main character grow from a boy in The Centurion’s Son, into a man in War in the Wilderness, and into the mature leader of men in this the third book, Shield of the Rising Sun, now we are also witnessing the growth of an author. This tale is a veritable thrill ride interspersed with the angst, frustration, and emotional toll of a father and son seeking to be at peace with themselves while their world shatters with rebellion, forcing some difficult decisions for all involved.
One aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was the character of Calvus – both as a boon companion to Albinus, and as mentor/protector of Faustus. It is through his eyes that we see the tale unfold as he tells Faustus about his father. It is his voice that compels the reader to turn the page, that draws the reader in, leading us to the inevitable climax – to the end of a remarkable series. Of that I will say naught – you, my fellow readers will have to discover that on your own time. 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐