on 10 April 2016
This is the sequel of the previous book, Sacramentum, and is very much in the same vein - i.e. an alternative history of how the modern world would look like if the Roman empire hadn't fallen (if you haven't read the first book, I would suggest you do so before reading this one). The hero/main character comes back to Rome to meet up with his old friend who is now consul of Rome. It very quickly transpires that not all is well back in Rome and despite the mounting evidence, our hero refuses to see any evil in his long-time friend and the way Rome is governed until it is too late. I can't help thinking that sometimes he is a bit too naive and that the character is not always that believable. Nevertheless, a good story that continues where the first book left.
on 21 May 2014
Having really enjoyed Berkeley's first novel, Sacramentum, I was delighted to see that his follow-up has been available for a few months now - needless to say I availed myself of a copy straight away. Getting back into that extraordinary world of Rome, but fast-forwarded to the 21st Century was truly a delight. And what a great read it is - the same characters, developed from the first book in the trilogy, together with new ones woven into the action, made it easy to slip back into that world. Having got to know those characters through the pages of Sacramentum, I think Berkeley's development of them was intelligently handled and he has certainly developed as a writer himself. This is most clearly shown in some of the conversations that he portrays, especially between Titus and his dad which are, for want of a better word, genuinely moving. As before there are numerous fiight scenes, but the author builds up the suspense to a greater extent than his previous effort and there is a real feeling of tension and menace - it was surprisingly good! I have to say that compared with his first book, Impietas is a good deal darker and the reader feels that oppression as the story gathers pace - I certainly would not wish to be an inhabitant of the 21st Century Rome he portrays - and certainly not if I was forced to live in the Imum!
No, this is definitely a worthy successor to what I felt was a good debut novel; I thoroughly enjoyed it, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced read with plenty of action and characters that the reader can empathise with and I have to say that I shall make a little more effort to keep an eye open for the final book in the trilogy. Now, when's that due to appear....?