Title – Praetorian: The Price of Treason
Author – S.J.A. Turney
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 342 Pages
Publication – 17th December 2015
My Rating – 4/5 Stars
Two years have passed since the emperor’s loyal Praetorian guardsman Gnaeus Marcius Rustius Rufinus foiled Lucilla’s great assassination plot. Plagued by the ghosts of his past, Rufinus has enacted his own form of justice upon the praetorian cavalrymen who murdered the imperial agent Dis two years earlier.
But the Fates will not let Rufinus rest. Rome is beginning to seethe with rumour and conspiracy as Perennis, the prefect of the Praetorian Guard, and Cleander, the imperial chamberlain, continue to play their ‘great game.’ With the tide of opinion turning against their commander, Rufinus and his friends embark upon a mission to save the Prefect’s family, only to uncover a plot that runs deep… to the very heart of the empire. Armed with rare and dangerous evidence, Rufinus faces insurmountable odds in an attempt to bring the truth to light. To save his prefect. To save Rome. To save everyone he cares about.
So we are back with Rufinus.. I’ve been looking forward to this day since I finished the first book and I wasn’t disappointed. Speaking of which click here to read my review of Praetorian – The Great Game
It’s been two years since Rufinus spoilt plans to usurp the emperor and it’s clearly been a hard two years as we see our hero has fallen from grace a little. Rufinus has one thing on his mind.. Revenge…
The book starts strongly with Rufinus out to get one of the cavalrymen who killed the frumentarius Dis in the previous book. The need for vengeance is strong and I can see this becoming a theme throughout the series.. and I like it.
The main focus of this tale though is based on Perennis and Cleander, I won’t spoil what turns out to be a fascinating read but lines are drawn, trust tested to the limits and not everyone will make it out alive that’s for sure.
So you want to know some good things about the book. Firstly Acheron is back.. I love that hound 🙂
We also see a lot of faces from the previous tale turn again which gave a greater depth to the tale, friendships have clearly grown in the two years.. some more than others. It was great to see the return of such characters as Peteos (the young boy who helped Rufinus in the first book)
We also see new characters introduced like Publis who I initially didn’t like but turned out to be the shining star in the book along with Cestius.. a new frumentarius for us to enjoy.
These new and old characters along with the well-researched and interesting plot lead to what I can only say is one hell of a sequel!
Throughout the story it felt I was reading a similar tale as the first book. Not that anything is the same, more that the undertone of urgency is always there. The book builds up until this final explosion of action. Superb!
So you want to know where the 4* rating comes from.. well one person in this book gets overlooked I felt.. Senova the love interest of Rufinus. It’s been two years and he’s hardly spoke to her. After the first book I just expected her to have a bigger part but if you read the story you can see why she doesn’t get much page time.. she just doesn’t fit in with the action. On a good note the ending of the book leaves me in no doubt she will return in book 3 and hopefully we will see more happen between the two of them.
Another excellent book from S.J.A. Turney!