Emperor’s Knife (Imperial Assassin #2) by Alex Gough

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Brothers. Emperors. Deadly enemies… An unputdownable novel of intrigue and combat in Rome.

Emperor Severus is on his deathbed. His sons Geta and Caracalla, feuding in Britannia, are readying for a devastating power struggle.

Silus, now a centurion in the Arcani, the secretive network of spies and killers, is thrown into the maelstrom. Back in Rome, plots breed in the stinking alleys.

Everyone might be an enemy. Everyone a traitor. As an Imperial Assassin, Silus’ loyalty will be tested to breaking point. And with the Empire starting to buckle under the strain, Silus must ask what matters: Rome or his own damned soul?

Better watch yourself…

From thundering races at the Circus Maximus to death in the Imperial palaces, this is a powerful and unputdownable novel that will transport to you Ancient Rome, perfect for fans of Ben Kane, Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden.

REVIEW

A heart pounding, heart breaking tale as Silus finds himself thrust into situations where his devotion and loyalty to his Arcani master and the Emperor are put to extreme tests. A well crafted story that is part soul searching dilemma and part action filled excitement. Caught between the ever increasing divide between the co-emperors, and the demands of his assigned missions, Silus struggles to maintain his loyalties, not only to his masters, but to his friends as well.  Plots full of surprises, characters who draw you into the narrative, the ability to keep the reader turning the pages, and a nice teaser at the end makes Emperor’s Knife an enjoyable romp in yet another troubled dynastic period in Rome’s history. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Praetorian: The Cleansing Fire (Praetorian #5) by S.J.A. Turney

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The villain Cleander has fallen, his wickedness gone from the imperial court, but his influence lives on. Amongst the Praetorians, a network of spies, killers and thieves remain, clawing on to the power they have enjoyed. Rufinus, returned to the Guard at the hands of the devious Frumentarii, Rome’s imperial secret service, is intent on bringing the entire web of villainy to justice.But Commodus’s reign falters, and Rome is in peril. Wolves are at the door and every man with power prepares to make a bid for the purple. In a world of chaos, Rufinus is about to learn that Rome does not harbour corruption. Rome IS corruption.

REVIEW

By my count, I have read 33 novels by Mr. Turney most of which are spread out over many different series… Tales of the Empire, Marius Mules, The Ottoman Cycle, Knights Templar, and Praetorian.  One of the things I have noticed, and am indeed marveled by, is that he sustains my interest and keeps me coming back for more. In the case of The Cleansing Fire, Rufinus has progressed as his character gets older, more confident in his abilities, more circumspect about the sundry quandaries he faces as a Frumentarii agent, which by the way are definite highlights in this twist filled plot. An enjoyable foray into one of Rome’s more unsettled times, reminiscent of Nero’s fall and aftermath, a sort of “Who is the Emperor today?”, a sure fire heart pounding, page turning narrative full of intrigue and excitement awaits you, my fellow readers.  5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐