The seventh novel in Anthony Riches’ acclaimed Empire sequence brings Marcus Aquila back to Rome, hunting the men who destroyed his family.
But the revenge he craves may cost him and those around him dearly.
The young centurion’s urge to exact his own brutal justice upon the shadowy cabal of assassins who butchered his family means that he must face them on their own ground, risking his own death at their hands.
A senator, a gang boss, a praetorian officer and, deadliest of all, champion gladiator Mortiferum – the Death Bringer – lie in wait.
The knives are unsheathed, and ready for blood.
Once again I have fallen behind in a series that I really, really like. Once again I was drawn into the world of Marcus Aquila and his search for vengeance, and marveled at the story telling ability of the author. To keep a series fresh and exciting takes some talent, and Mr. Riches is up to the task. Indeed, I have already ordered the next book in the tale. 5 stars
The Tungrian auxiliary cohorts return to Hadrian’s Wall after their successful Dacian campaign, only to find Britannia in chaos. The legions are overstretched, struggling to man the forts of the northern frontier in the face of increasing barbarian resistance.
The Tungrians are the only soldiers who can be sent into the northern wastes, far beyond the long abandoned wall built by Antoninus, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Victorious Legion is reputed to await them. Protected by an impassable swamp and hidden in a fortress atop a high mountain, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive.
Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy’s strength, ghosting through a deadly wilderness patrolled by vicious huntresses before breaching the walls of the Fang, an all-but-impregnable fort, if they are to rescue the legion’s venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous, with the might of a barbarian tribe at their heels.
One of the drawbacks to my humble skills as a book review scribe, and the numerous requests I receive to apply those humble skills, is that there is often a long gap in my reading of some of my favorite long running series’. Such is the case with Anthony Riches Empire series. It had been a couple years since I had read book 5, The Wolf’s Gold, and it dawned on me rather quickly while reading The Eagle’s Vengeance that waiting so long was a mistake. A pulsating adventure pitting Corvus and his Tungrian mates against remorseless foes, not only the painted warriors of northern Britannia, but also the plotting Praetorian Prefect. It’s an understatement to say that the action is exciting, or that the plot with its twists and turns keeps the reader turning the pages. The climatic ending, without any spoilers, is a bit frightening in its outcome, but it also sets up nicely the next volume in the series, The Emperor’s Knives, which by the way I will not wait a couple years to read. 😎 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Entry number 5 in the Empire series finds the Tungrians and their colleagues up against some devious foes as they’re ordered to protect a lucrative gold mining operation. Entry number 5 also finds the author on top of his game as he spins a yarn that is full of drama, camaraderie, plot twists and surprises. It is certainly fair to say that Anthony Riches knows how to pen a battle scene from the grisly outcome to the imaginative tactics employed. The author also gives us a glimpse of the future through Centurion Corvus and his dreams along with some news from Rome concerning his family and who ordered them killed. All in all, The Wolf’s Gold is a thrilling romp through some formidable terrain both in terms of the countryside and in the Imperial political scene (in other words, if the Emperor ain’t happy, ain’t no one safe.) 🙂 4.4 stars