Rating: 5/5 stars.
I absolutely loved The Ascendance Trilogy by this author. So when I heard of this book, I was eager to get my hands on it. This book definitely lived up to the standards set by its predecessors.
During Emperor Tacitus’s reign of the Roman Empire, Nic, a slave, is forced down into a sealed cavern, a place full of Julius Caesar’s treasure. He is sent to steal a bulla, an amulet that is believed to be filled with magic given by the gods. Magic, that some people would kill to have. Stealing the bulla for himself, Nic is determined to free himself and his sister from slavery. But instead he gets caught in a power struggle as people race to get him and make him use the magic for their own purposes. Nic is on the run, and he doesn’t know who to trust. There is a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and start the Praetor War which will tear the empire from the inside. Nic must learn to use the magic within himself to defeat the empire’s ruthless leaders if he is ever to be free and save Rome.
This book was awesome. The plot was was so good. There were so many twists and turns, betrayals, secrets revealed, and more twists that brought it to a very surprising conclusion. Just so you know, you’ll want the next book right away. It was that good. I could’ve read it in one day if I hadn’t started it so late in the day.
I love how this author tells the character’s story. The way she does first person point of view gives this kind of dry humor (that doesn’t sound childish) to the Nic’s personality, while also having this seriousness to it too. It is hard to explain, but I do love it.
Nic was fantastic. Oh my goodness! I loved his humor. The way he cared and worried about his sister was so sweet. Aurelia was a no nonsense type of girl that clashed with Nic’s personality. It was so fun to see Nic change from hating to loving her then back to hating her. She wouldn’t ever want to get on her bad side. General Radulf gives me shivers to think about. He was so twisted and evil.
Those who don’t like talk of Roman gods or the use of magic, probably wouldn’t like this much. It wasn’t anything major to me, so I was fine with it. The magic didn’t feel dark, but felt more like powers. It was really cool.
I’d recommend this to teenagers and older. It was a wonderful fantasy and historical fiction mix of a novel. The next one needs to come out sooner!