Vespasian: Tribune of Rome

Written by Robert Fabbri
Review by Mike Ashworth

At the age of 16, Vespasian leaves the family home along with his brother, Sabinus, to journey to Rome with a view to finding a patron to facilitate him joining the army. The aging Emperor Tiberius is gradually retiring from public life, leaving power effectively in the hands of Sejanus, commander of the Praetorian Guard. It is not long before Vespasian finds himself involved in the deadly game of Roman politics. With his life threatened, Vespasian flees the city for a post as tribune with the Ninth Legion in Pannonia. However, rebellion is in the air, and Vespasian finds himself fighting hostile tribesmen while watching for Sejanus’ agents who are hot on his trail.

This is the first novel in a series by Robert Fabbri charting the rise of Vespasian from obscurity to emperor. His passion for the Roman Empire shows throughout the book in the quality of the research and the writing. The action scenes are graphic without being gratuitous. All the characters are convincing, while the lethal politics of Roman life is effectively portrayed. This is an exciting addition to a very popular genre. More please!