Colossus: The Four Emperors

Written by David Blixt
Review by Helen Hollick

‘Rome under Nero is a dangerous place – any man who dares rise too high has his wings clipped, with fatal results.’

Rome. 54-68 AD. A period of history when a madman ruled the Empire – Nero. He called himself a god and was brutal in his aim to be worshipped as one, and Judea in particular was governed by Roman standards that were vicious to the extreme. The ensuing rebellion brought about by the Judean belief in only the one god is portrayed by Blixt with vivid reality.

Following on from the first book in the series, Colossus: Stone and Steel, The Four Emperors narrates the unrest from the Roman point of view, with the conflict between Rome and the rise of the Christian belief, and subsequent executions by methods horrific to us now, and no doubt to the people of the time.

Titus Flavius Sabinus, nephew to Vespasian, appointed by Nero to sort out the Judean revolt, is a widower with two sons, Titus and Clemens, and guardian to Domitian, one of Vespasian’s sons. His struggle to survive the rule of Nero results in a compelling and intriguing story, vivid in detail, well researched and compelling to read. Blixt brings the mistrust and fear that swamped Rome to life, he expertly conveys the widespread distrust, political alliances and deceits that follow the suicide of Nero, while juggling, with dextrous ease, a cast of characters that would do justice to a blockbuster movie.

There were a few typos but Blixt’s writing is so good you do not notice them (and even mainstream publications are not immune to the Typo Gremlin.)

Blixt is a talented writer, a huge asset to the respectability of Indie published authors. An enthralling read from beginning to end, especially for lovers of the Roman period.