Scourge of Rome

Written by Douglas Jackson

Douglas Jackson is quickly becoming an author of some note within the historical genre. I was fortunate enough to review a novel from his Rome series earlier in the year. So, imagine my initial excitement when I was offered the opportunity to read a second novel from the same series. However, as an author myself, I know the difficulties in keeping characters fresh and vibrant, as the number in the series increase. Therefore, as I unwrapped the packaging around the novel, a mixture of emotions washed over my literature taste buds. Joy at being able to sink my teeth into another fine feast of intrigue and battle, and yet fearful of a bland gruel destined to be consigned to the bin.

The novel is set in 70 AD in an era where Vespasian was Emperor. I was delighted when the novel concentrated on the first Jewish-Roman war and the siege of Jerusalem. The simple reason is I can only ever remember reading one book which described the siege, and that was all too brief. Characters from previous books in the series remain as fresh as when they first appeared, new characters enter the fray and do not disappoint. The intrigue throughout the book keeps you second-guessing what will happen next. Then the author throws in the action scenes, and you are transported body and soul into the battle. I have read many great authors’ work, but I have no qualms in declaring Douglas Jackson the finest writer of battle, skirmish or siege passages. As I finished the final page and closed the book, I remembered those initial fears. I smiled, content in the knowledge that I enjoyed a feast of storytelling.