Book review: Brothers in Blood by Simon Scarrow
Nearly nine years after the Roman invasion of Britannia, the Emperor Claudius’s troublesome province is still threatened by violent rebellions.
But a spy at the heart of the Roman army could put the lives of thousands in danger… and spell disaster for plans to subdue unruly local tribes.
Brothers in Blood is the thirteenth book in top-selling author Simon Scarrow’s heart-thumping action series which features two of the most charismatic warriors in historical fiction.
Veterans Prefect Quintus Lucinius Cato and his bluff Centurion sidekick Lucius Cornelius Macro are the army’s most feared soldiers and their complex, compelling characters have matured and evolved with every story in this top-notch, popular adventure series.
Devious plots are afoot in Rome in AD 52 and imperial secret agent Musa carries a message that could undermine the ageing Emperor Claudius’s attempts to gain a permanent foothold in Britannia.
The agent’s luck runs out when he is kidnapped and, under torture, reveals that his treacherous master, a man close to the emperor, is on a covert mission to sabotage the army’s campaign against Caratacus, commander of Britannia’s native tribes, and eliminate the two soldiers who could stand in his way.
In Britannia, meanwhile, the Roman troops are poised for a fresh, frontal assault on Caratacus’s tribal forces whose constant attacks are costing supplies, men and morale.
What they don’t know is that a spy has already infiltrated their ranks and his job is to conspire with Caratacus and a powerful noble of the northern tribes. United, they would make a powerful enemy and the province could fall, playing into the hands of the ambitious traitor in Rome.
Unaware of the betrayal, Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro are spearheading the troops in pursuit of Caratacus and his men through the mountainous lands of the Silurian tribes. If they can crush the rebel leader, Britannia can finally be regarded as pacified.
But the perilous secret plot threatens not only Rome’s military goals but also the lives of their greatest warriors…
Scarrow’s books offer all the thrills and spills of classic adventure fiction but with ingenious, twisting-and-turning storylines that place politics, philosophy, history and intrigue at the heart of the action.
In Brothers in Blood, authentic events and people blend with a high-octane plot that see Cato and Macro taking on enemies from both within and without, and struggling to keep one step ahead in alien, hostile territory at the far reaches of empire.
Let battle commence…
(Headline, hardback, £18.99)