The Fight for Rome
In 68 AD, the period known as the “Year of the Four Emperors,” Quintus Honorius Romanus, aka Taurus the gladiator, is forced to fight for one of the contenders to the Roman throne. In this second in the Gladiators of the Empire series, Quintus, along with his two accomplices—Amazon, the gladiatrix, and Lindani, the beast hunter from Africa—gets caught up in the Roman civil war. Lucius Calidus, his former slave and sworn enemy, is devious and power-hungry, stopping at nothing to destroy him.
This is a well-written story of ancient Rome, comparable to novels written by Simon Scarrow and Michael Curtis Ford. The author portrays gladiatorial combat in an exciting manner. My only reservation is that Mr. Duffy describes the gladiators as if the combatants were wrestlers in the World Wrestling Federation; I’m not sure if the ancient gladiators considered their life to be quite that glamorous. Still the series is a fun read as you follow the mighty Taurus both in the arena and on the battlefield. If you’re looking for a little escapism, this novel is a quick read, well crafted with characters that are faced with conflict after conflict.