Enemy of Rome

Written by Douglas Jackson
Review by Robert Southworth

Enemy of Rome is the latest instalment in a series following the exploits of a former gladiator, Gaius Valerius Verrens. The book itself is hefty and offers the reader the chance for a substantial read. The cover art is attractive and in keeping with the previous books in the series. The scene is set as the hero faces execution in the very first chapter and then… well, I will let you find that out for yourself. Suffice to say that the book pulls you in, and you get to feel through an expertly crafted novel the vicissitudes of Gaius.

Historical fiction can be a tough beast to master; many readers cling to their chosen eras as though they are family treasures and refuse to venture with much enthusiasm into another time. I have to admit that if any book can pull readers from their obsession with other periods, it would be this one. The book remains faithful to its place in history, and that is to its credit, but the author’s love and enthusiasm burst from the page. You cannot help but be swept away by the passionate torrent.

In summary, this is the by far the best book I have had the fortune to read in the past year. If any aspiring writers out there wish to learn how to write a battle scene, then they should study Mr Jackson’s sheer genius in conveying the chaos and panic. He moulds the characters through the nightmarish scenes as a master sculpture would bend clay to his will. They are a true delight to experience. This is a fine book which in places touches on absolute perfection.