The Sword of Revenge
This is the second of a trilogy set in the Roman Republic during the period before Julius Caesar. The first part, Pillars of Rome, was reviewed in HNR 43. The story has now advanced to the next generation of characters, who must deal with the consequences of death and betrayal in an age of wars and lethal politics. Titus Cornelius sets out on a path of vengeance that he hopes will make him a great soldier, whilst his brother Quintus follows a political route that brings him up against the most powerful senator in Rome, a man haunted by a prophecy connecting him with the Cornelius family. And then there’s Aquila, the abandoned child who becomes a mercenary in Spain.
This is a rip-roaring page-turner with considerable depth. It gives a vivid, authentic flavour of those turbulent times, laced as it is with carefully-worked-in historical detail that’s informative without being intrusive. And the characters are engagingly three-dimensional, even the villains.