Last of the Ninth
In Bennett’s gripping, fast-paced novel, Decimus Malorix, a Sarmatian member of the Frumentarii, ancient Rome’s “secret police” (a formidable character feared even by his own people and known as “the Emperor’s assassin”), is sent on a perilous mission: to trace the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Legion and to recover, if possible, the secret agent working in its ranks – before that agent’s explosive revelations can become public.
Malorix’s quest takes him across a chunk of the first-century Roman Empire, and the pace of Bennett’s narrative never slackens. The dialogue is crisply believable, and there are elements of the climax that even the most veteran reader of Roman historical fiction won’t see coming. Highly recommended.