Sebastos Pantera the heroic spy returns to Rome at the brink of civil war, in hope of dissuading the legions along with their commanders to betray their loyalty to the treacherous Vitellius & revere the true Emperor Vespasian.
One of the most entertaining “Roman” novels I have read – Simon Scarrow.
I’m going to rant about it again & again, I absolutely adore Manda Scott, been a fan of hers since 2008/9 I guess. If you’re into a little bit of Roman History you should indulge in this book series, along with, The Boudica (warrior queen) series which was blimming AWESOME!
First chapter in, I reach the last few pages & BAM, swords are out, bit of punching, brawling & blood is drawn. But who is it? Who is thee that erupts the page with rage & violence?
Yes, none other than the leopard.
At that very moment I was embracing an old friend. It was expected he would enter in this manner, after all it was the legendary Sebastos Abdes Pantera. He’s disconcerted as Rome is once more in peril. AD 69 was known as the year of the four emperors. Newly appointed Vitellius is not as deadly as his snake of a brother Lucius. He cannot even undertake the dirty work himself, hiring hit-men & commanding legionaries to brutally torture those who contradict his view in support of the new emperor.
There’s this twist of hunger games/goblet of fire vibes as the legionaries are appointed a man they must kill. Is this their “reckoning” ou la laaa. Which name shall fall onto your palm? Trabo is given to Juvens. Pantera is for, lets keep that a secret eh 😛 .. Now both ways is suicidal as if you fail to kill the man in combat, hes most likely murdered you & if you escape the man although he has been assassinated you’re most likely forced to perform an honorable suicide – whatever that entails. How harrowing a thought!
“My dear man, you are not made for this kind of despair. When we were children you were a handful of sunshine, scattered among us. Where has it gone?” –
If that isn’t beautiful then I don’t know what is!
When reading this beautiful book one does not know which side the spies are truly on? Who do they follow, why do they switch allegiance? Manda delineates the violence perfectly. Sword fighting slicing to the bone. Its rapid making your heart miss a beat (or two). One just cannot foresee the next move. If you want something that will keep you on your toes – This is it darlings!
The expedient manner in which these spies work is magnificent. Shifting from one side to the other – yet loyal till the end, a whole load of plot twists and some intense romance. What more could a book need?
So, are you enticed? Do you want to read more? Well nah nah nah nah nah I ain’t sharing anymore because you need to go and buy this Rome series and indulge in the spectacular life of Sebastos Abdes Pantera.
Merci Beaucoup Manda. I have fallen in love with this spy whom I actually have never met in the real but can I say. What a guy, what a fighter, what a soldier!