Author: Alex Gough
Narrator: David Thorpe
Series: Imperial Assassin #1
Publication: Published June 25th 2021 by Saga Egmont
Genre: Historical Fiction
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A desolate wasteland. A mission gone wrong. An impossible goal. A gripping new series of Ancient Rome.
Roman scout Silusis deep behind enemy lines in Caledonia. As he spies on a raiding party, he is abruptly discovered by an enemy chief and his son.
Mounting a one man ambush, everything quickly goes wrong. Silus must run for his life, the head of the enemy leader in his hands. Little does he know the price he will pay…
As Silus is inducted into the Arcani, an elite faction of assassins and spies, he must return to Caledonia, back into the wilderness, and risk everything in the service of his Caesar. The odds don’t look good.
Failure is not an option.
TW: Murder, sexual assault, animal abuse, violence, gore, profanity, death of a child
This was my first book by this author and I’m so glad to say that it didn’t disappoint me. The story is about a Roman scout named Silas who while spying kills an enemy chief and takes his head. At the moment his hadn’t realized what kind of events this one decision would set into motion.
Pretty early on I knew this book was very violent with lots of murder, gore, bloodshed. Which is to be expected from a book about ancient Rome. Sometimes it made even me pause and say yikes so that says a lot. I didn’t mind this but I put up some trigger warnings anyways. But as brutal as some of the scenes were, the author also added some humor in the story which I could appreciate a lot.
The secondary were equally great to read about, although Silas kept being my favorite. I really rooted for him even though his enemy Maglorix was also really justified with his actions, in my opinion. We were also introduced to emperor Septimius Severus who was co-emperor with his sons Caracalla and Geta. Most of the spotlight was on Caracalla and his relationships with his stepmother. I really liked this because then it wasn’t all about Silas and his revenge journey. It made for a nice change in pace.
I do have to admit that at the start of the book I had to get used to the narrator David Thorpe since it was the first time I listened to an audiobook that was narrated by him. I guess I just had to get a feel on the way he narrated but I ended up loving all the different voices and accents that he did. I wouldn’t mind listening to more his work.
For some reason I just love books set in ancient Rome that are big on the battles and carnage and grittiness. Which is exactly what I got with Emperor’s Sword by Alex Gough.
About the author:
Vet living in the southwest of England. Avid reader of multiple genres, including thriller, sci-fi and fantasy, but particularly interested in historical fiction. Author of Roman historical fiction, and owner of the romanfiction.com blog.