It is the fifth century of the Byzantium Empire. Flavius Belisaurius is son of the governor of Dorostorum City, and his father has two goals: to keep out the barbarians and to expose the deep roots of secular and ecclesiastical corruption. Seeking to prevent a raid, the governor enlists the help of the powerful magnate, Senuthius Vicinus.
Vicinus's corruption is widespread but his support is crucial to win the battle. But Vicinus betrays this trust and Belisaurius Jnr witnesses the death of his father and the irretrievable tarnishing of his reputation. With Belisaurius's life changed for good, he swears vengeance on the man that betrayed his father and begins a journey from which there is no virtuous way back.
©2014 David Donachie (Writing as Jack Ludlow) (P)2014 Soundings
I like Ludlow's work and have listened to several of his books. This was generally good, but the ending seemed a bit rushed and unrealistic. Thorpe's voice didn't seem to fit the story.
The escape section early in the book was well written and gripping.
I didn't find any technical problems, but his voice just didn't seem to be a fit. It seemed too high pitched and cheerful for the characters and story. He was clear and easy to understand and did good work with some character voices. He just seemed miss-cast.
It was obviously set up to be the first book in the series. I think the weaknesses in the story were due to the author trying to set up a plausible background for the future books with limited historical sources to rely on. The story of Belisarius and Justinian will be the real substance to the series. I look forward to the subsequent books.
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