This is Alex Gough’s first historical novel. The book takes place during the reign of Tiberius. Our protagonist is Pilus Prior Centurion Carbo who ha..Show More »s just returned to Rome after 25 years in the Legions. A neighhood protection gang shakes down a tavern Carbo is eating in so he buys it. Elissa is a Priestess of the Carthaginian deities Baal-Hammon and Tanit; she plans to destroy Rome to avenge Carthage. She plans to sacrifice a child to launch her plans on Rome. The slave mother and child run away and seek protection from Carbo. Carbo has become friends with Lucius Vedius Vespillo, Tribune of the Vigiles. The Vigiles are an organization founded by Augustus for the purpose of maintaining fire safety, firefighting and law enforcement. They are the lowest rung of the Roman military/police system. Carbo must fight the protection gang and save Rome from destruction. It makes an action packed suspenseful story.
The book is well written and the characters’ development is excellent. The descriptions bring the city to life including the smell and filth. I enjoyed the fact the people in the story are of the lower classes, including freedmen and slaves. So many stories are written about just the upper classes. Gough is an excellent story teller. I am looking forward to more books by him. Alex Hyde-White did an excellent job narrating the story. From reading this book I have gained a new author and narrator to follow.