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Published by Tor Macmillan, 10 October,
2013. ISBN: 978-0-2307-6682-2
Lucan Drakenfeld is an
officer of the Sun Chamber, used to investigating cases for the Vispasian Royal
Union wherever he is posted.This is no
exception.It is, however, complicated
by the fact that the investigation on this occasion is for the King of the city
of Tryum, a
city where his own father used to be the officer before his death and
expectations are high.Not only this,
but the politics of the situation mean that solving the crime could lead to
revolution or military intervention.
The case is further wrought with difficulties as it seems
that the death of Lucan’s father is not as straightforward as was first
thought.Lucan wants to know how he died
The backdrop of this novel is heavily inspired by the
ancient world of Rome
and is a cunning mix of history, fantasy and crime.There are elements of Gibbons and Grave along
with Saylor, Harris, Davis and even Pliny, mixed into this engaging
narrative.Whilst the author has
transported the story into the fictional city of Tryum
there is no doubt that it resembles tales of ancient Rome
and Athens in
terms of some of the sights and sounds.It would not satisfy a pedantic historian, but then it is supposed to be
fiction and as such is a rich and nicely written addition to the crime shelves.
An entertaining novel with the spice of ancient civilisation
and the modernity of a sly and thoughtful murderer.Add to this a locked room mystery and you
have the recipe which Drakenfeld creates very well.I look forward to more.
Reviewer: Amanda Brown.
Mark Charan Newtonwas born in 1981, and holds a degree in
Environmental Science. After working in bookselling, he moved into editorial positions
at imprints covering science fiction and fantasy. He has written for a variety
of non-fiction publications including The Ecologist and The Huffington Post, as
well as science fiction for BBC Radio 4. He currently lives and works in Nottingham.