Today I’m reviewing Shield of the Rising Sun by Adam Lofthouse, the third book in the Path of Nemesis Series.
Here is the blurb :-
War still rages at the edge of empire while centurion Albinus Silus fights at its beating heart.
Gone is the boy who joined the legions. What remains is a man torn apart by the savagery of battle, the heartache of lost love.
He does not know what became of his wife, and now he must balance being both a soldier and a father.
And yet, for all his pain, he shall have to endure more than he ever thought he could. His valour in the northern wars has not gone unnoticed, and now he is to be given a special mission.
Marcus Aurelius’ star falls with his health. One day the sun will rise on his successor and son, Commodus. But he must be ready, must know what it is to lead. Centurion Albinus has been chosen to educate him.
From Pannonia to Rome, to the far reaches of the east, Albinus must protect Commodus from enemies both inside the empire and out.
Can he keep the Caesar safe? Can he nurture him, teach him what it is to be a man? Can he be The Shield of the Rising Sun?
What a beautifully heart pulverising read! You’d be forgiven for assuming this tale followed on from the last instalment, same style, same pace.. wrong…it flows on but the style is different..It’s a thousand times better if that’s even possible since I’ve loved every book in the series.
I had high expectations based on previous offerings from the author but what a real treat they gave me this time… it’s not just the story of Albinus Silus.. It’s the story of Licina, Calvus, Habitus and so many more as we learn the fate of Albinus through the eyes of his son Faustus as told by the ever protective Calvus.
An air of melancholy surrounds Faustus and while we learn of a few events quickly.. some take more time to play out.. the wounds run deep.
Calvus has sworn to take care of Albinus’s boy no matter what.. it’s time he learned about the man his father was. As the plot progresses you really do see similarities between father and son.. they both struggle with being associated with their father..they feel as if they are in their shadow fighting to just be accepted as who they are.. but do they really know who they want to be?
What worked super well in the story is the historical setting…Young Commodus! Yes please. It was the perfect amount of historical detail weaved into a spectacular tale. It’s the kind of historical novel I like.. I love the historical detail, but I don’t always need reams of description. Sometime I just want action ha ha.
When I read the 1st book in the series I commented on the emotions Albinus and his solider brothers openly showed.. It wasn’t something I was used too.. I’m used to my soldiers farting, pissing and dying but in a bit of a turn of events it’s exactly what I needed in this instalment and the author got it spot on..I’ve been emotionally invested in these guys all along and I didn’t know it until it came to the end..the end hurt..like a sword thrust to the chest.. it hits hard.. and even through you knew all along something like this could happen you never thought the day would come.
I’ve read all of Adam Lofthouse’s books so far and every time I feel the same thing.. this is the best yet from him.. He always has me hooked… I never quite know where the plot will go and those twists give me the good old hand over mouth “oh sh*t” type moment.
What I want from a book.. what I need.. is that urge after reading it to tell everyone about it. If you get a knock at the door it will just be me selling Shield of the Rising Sun!
Buy a copy! 🙂