Today is my turn on the blog tour for Masters of Rome, book 2 in the Rise of Emperors series by Gordon Doherty and Simon Turney.
Let’s ger started!
Here is the blurb –
Genre – Historical Fiction
As competition for the imperial throne intensifies, Constantine and Maxentius realise their childhood friendship cannot last. Each man struggles to control their respective quadrant of empire, battered by currents of politics, religion and personal tragedy, threatened by barbarian forces and enemies within.
With their positions becoming at once stronger and more troubled, the strained threads of their friendship begin to unravel. Unfortunate words and misunderstandings finally sever their ties, leaving them as bitter opponents in the greatest game of all, with the throne of Rome the prize.
It is a matter that can only be settled by outright war…
When last we were with Constantine and Maxentius their friendship was fractured, their childhood connection and long standing respect hanging by a thread as they both struggle to gain power within the empire.
War is coming.. but neither side want to admit it or is ready to make the first move.
Doherty and Turney cowrite perfectly, each depicting the role of an emperor and the struggles they faced… money, religion, love, betrayal, murder.. its all there!
I’ve been a big fan of both authors since I caught the reading bug and Masters of Rome didn’t disappoint, it’s a real talent to make history come alive, to add passion..and the knowledge and talent of both authors shines through.
For the action fans there’s some brilliantly depicted military actions on Constantine’s part that I just loved..things could have turned out very differently.
The story really helped me as a reader see the fragility of those in power.. sometimes there is no right decision.. someone will always be unhappy.. but as Maxentius learns the hard way you can only run away from your troubles for so long, sooner or later it will come back to bite you in the arse and towards the end of the book you see the wolves biting at his heals leading to one of the worst decisions he could ever make.
The most interesting bit for me was the advisors both Constantine and Maxentius took guidance from.. They were so heavily relied upon and actually had more power/control than the emperors themselves really.. the trust they had in these individuals must have put a major strain on the relationship.
Both emperors suffer from grief, leading to some rash actions but you could really feel how the events could have played out this way. Mental health is a massive topic these days.. I can’t imagine the mental health of these rulers was all that good to be honest, you really feel for them. I don’t think either really wanted war.. but they are left with little option in order to take the power they truly believe is theirs.
For someone like me who loves the period but doesn’t know a lot of the history it’s great to have it come to life so majestically and what I always appreciate even more is the author notes which clarify where they may have deviated from facts, or made assumptions as there are things we just will never know for sure.. I think that’s why I love the genre.. there’s scope to weave a wonderful tale into history as we know it.
Wonderfully written, powerful, raw emotion. Simply WOW!
Looking forward to the next instalment in the series.
My thanks go to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy. I’ve purchased a copy myself too.. Had it pre-ordered.. I just couldn’t say no to being able to read the book early 😊
About the authors
Simon Turney is the author of the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series, as well as The Damned Emperor series for Orion and Tales of the Empire series for Canelo. He is based in Yorkshire.
Gordon Doherty is the author of the Legionary and Strategos series, and wrote the Assassin’s Creed tie-in novel Odyssey. He is based in Scotland.
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