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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 has 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.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Watchmen of Rome to be better than the print version?
Yes, I love to listen to great readers. I listen to the books while I walk our trails.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Carbo is a great character because he has his weaknesses, but he is basically a good man with a sense of justice.
Which scene was your favorite?
There is a wonderful scene when Carbo has to confront gang members in a tavern.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It made me hope that there would be more books with the same main character.
Any additional comments?
The history of this period is very good. Rome was full of gangs and also veterans who would have had some sense of honor and would have clashed with the gangs.. The premise of the story is excellent.