Simon Turney / Gordon Doherty : Sons of Rome (Review)

Sons of Rome by Simon Turney & Gordon Doherty

About the book

Four Emperors. Two Friends. One Destiny.

As twilight descends on the 3rd century AD, the Roman Empire is but a shadow of its former self. Decades of usurping emperors, splinter kingdoms and savage wars have left the people beleaguered, the armies weary and the future uncertain. And into this chaos Emperor Diocletian steps, reforming the succession to allow for not one emperor to rule the world, but four.

Meanwhile, two boys share a chance meeting in the great city of Treverorum as Diocletian’s dream is announced to the imperial court. Throughout the years that follow, they share heartbreak and glory as that dream sours and the empire endures an era of tyranny and dread. Their lives are inextricably linked, their destinies ever-converging as they rise through Rome’s savage stations, to the zenith of empire. For Constantine and Maxentius, the purple robes beckon…

About the authors

Simon Turney is the author of the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series, as well as The Damned Emperor series for Orion and Tales of the Empire series for Canelo. He is based in Yorkshire.

Gordon Doherty is the author of the Legionary and Strategos series, and wrote the Assassin’s Creed tie-in novel Odyssey. He is based in Scotland.

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Follow Simon

Twitter: @SJATurney

Instagram: @simonturney_aka_sjaturney


Follow Gordon

Twitter: @GordonDoherty

Instagram: @gordon.doherty


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For years I’ve been hearing and reading from these two authors about this combining of their talents. That they would be producing a spectacular, earth shaking, literary masterpiece.(Editor’s note – a bit of hyperbole in that last sentence,) For years I waited, curiously excited, anticipation running rampant…for years I hungered for news of this tome of the ages, and with every passing week, my expectations grew…the bar has been raised. When the long awaited tale finally made its way to my Kindle, I expected to be overwhelmed by it….and I was. A riveting tale from start to finish, the sheer scope and drama that arises from the forming of a Tetrarchy to rule the vast Roman Empire, sets the scene for tragic decisions and betrayals. (Editor’s note – finish? This tale ain’t finished yet.😊 ) Seamlessly put together, the chapters lure the reader to keep turning the pages from the view of Maxentius to the view of Constantine. It was a complicated time in Rome’s history, and the goal of assuring a peaceful succession of emperors, was a rousing failure. The characters are an interesting display of differences, though there are similarities especially the cruelties of Diocletian and Galerius, but in the end they all crave power – some coming to that reality sooner than others. This tale not only relies on the historical records, but the scarcity of those records, oftentimes conflicting to boot, offers the creative mind a chance to mine the possibilities, creating credible results. Simon and Gordon are masters at that and the blending of their talents is an obvious success. (Editor’s note – Simon and Gordon – sounds like a 60’s Pop Duo.😊) My only issue with Sons of Rome is that it took so long to come out…I mean it’s not as if the authors have other projects they are pursuing. So, on with book 2, please. 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Editor’s note – I have it on good authority that the two authors are as busy as beavers in a virgin birch forest working on many projects.)