I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Read on to know my thoughts:
About the Book:
When Aulus Veridius Scapula flees Pontus his heart is breaking. He has been comfortable there for too long and realises he must find the amulet, stolen from him by his cousin Marcus, for it contains the key to untold wealth. He follows Marcus to Gaul where he fights under Caesar but despite his desperate efforts, he fails to find what he seeks. Sent back to Rome in disgrace, he continues his search, leaving a trail of blood in the streets and the arenas of the Mother City. In this tale of love, battle and family honour, Aulus follows his inexorable fate once again.
As mentioned, I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. In all honesty, I admire the way the author has crafted the tale and has written about some of the historic events, interspersing them with the story. He has masterfully used them as a backdrop for the events occurring in the story. I read this book without having read the first one and it is true that to a major extent, this can be read as a stand alone book. However, there are some events that occurred in the first book which do carry over or are mentioned in this one which it would be nice to have an idea of beforehand. Simply put, even though this book can be read as a stand alone, since it is a part of a series, it would be better to read it in order.
The story however does seem a bit of a drag in some parts, with a lot of repetition of details that have already been mentioned. Also, I noted that the story involves an Amulet, but even though it is talked about a lot by the protagonist, not much happens in the story with regard to the same. It feels as though the plot has deviated in this book, focusing more on wars and fighting. However, I choose to believe that the author has done this on purpose, perhaps to set the stage for the next book where the focus may shift.
Overall, it is a decent read with great background details. The description of the wars and fighting was on point and well done. Some of the characters were well introduced and developed and I assume the author has some tricks up his sleeve to be brought out in the upcoming books. A well written tale, it will definitely interest readers who enjoy fiction that involves history, wars and some amount of mystery!