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The Imperial Banner (The Agent of Rome) [Paperback]

Nick Brown
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Mar 2013 The Agent of Rome (Book 2)

272 AD

The Roman Emperor Aurelian has defeated Queen Zenobia and crushed the Palmyran revolt.

Faridun's Banner, hallowed battle standard of the Persian Empire, has fallen into Roman hands and is to be returned to the Persians as part of a historic peace treaty. But on the eve of the signing the banner goes missing.

Recalled to Syria, imperial agent Cassius Corbulo is charged with recovering the flag. Accompanied by his faithful servant Simo and ex-gladiator bodyguard Indavara, Cassius must journey across the dangerous wastes of Syria to the equally perilous streets of Antioch. He and his companions face ruthless brigands, mysterious cults, merciless assassins and intrigue at every turn.

Frequently Bought Together

The Imperial Banner (The Agent of Rome) + The Siege (The Agent of Rome) + The Far Shore (Agent of Rome)
Price For All Three: 19.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; Reprint edition (28 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444714899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444714890
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



'The Imperial Banner is Roman adventure at its best... brutal action leavened by a cynical brand of military humour, history, mystery, romance and an almost tangible sense of cohesion and camaraderie amongst Cassius and his cohorts... Cassius's next assignment can't come too soon!'

(Lancashire Evening Post)

'If you love Scarrow, adore Iggulden and of course admire Scott, then make sure you add Brown to your list. Great Stuff.' (Falcata Times)


'A masterful debut from a new author completely at home in this era'

(Manda Scott)

Once the action kicks off you won't be able to put it down. (Anthony Riches, author of the Empire series)

'Perfect pace, vivid combat sequences and superb characterisation' (Lancashire Evening Post)

'Brown promises to be one of the most exciting sword-wielding writers in an ever-popular arena.' (The Oxford Times)

'A thrilling and fascinating coming-of-age adventure' (Book Gazette)

'Nick Brown has the craft of storytelling at his fingertips ... The Siege is a fast-paced and satisfying read' (Russell Whitfield, author of Gladiatrix)

'Brown has given this Roman military/adventure story a great twist in having Cassius hail from the secret service ranks ...The Siege is also a character study and offers a rare glimpse into 3rd century Rome and her occupation of Syria.' (Historical Novels Review)

Book Description

Dark forces threaten a fragile peace.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great plot with great characters 5 Jun 2012

I will start this review with the fact that i really enjoyed Siege the first book in this series. The reason i loved it has been carried through to this book and so in my opinion has made it also a great success. The hero Cassius is a great reluctant hero, he doesn't try to go out there and do great deeds he just either stumbles into them and does his best, or he uses his great deductive skills and intelligence and drops him self right in the middle of all the trouble in the world.

Not since Saylor (Gordianus the Finder) and Davies (Falco) has there been an attempt to have a Roman detective type character, and in the case of Cassius he is a member of the 'service' the Frumentarii. The thing is, i found Gordianus the Finder to be a little implausible and Falco to be a bit of a...well caricature, where as Cassius is real, warts and all, young naive, learning on the fly, screwing up on a regular basis and hopefully learning from those mistakes. But also still a product of his patrician background with the underlying arrogance and bigotry that comes with it.

This latest book is told with all of the above, wrapped up in a powerful complex twisty plot that thrills with every page, it kept me up until 2am several nights running. The main character is balanced beautifully with his servant/ slave Simo a closet christian and all round nice guy, and the absolute star of this book Indavara, a young man abused most of his life, yet strong willed and skilled enough to have earned his freedom from the Games, yest still a man flawed (rather than the boring infallible hero).

This is a truly excellent book, definitely not your average swords and Sandals blood fest, a great plot with great characters and still loaded with action.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, but be careful 31 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed The Siege very much I'm glad this sequel avoided the dreaded 'second novel blip'. On the whole, I enjoyed it very much and will be back for more. I rate Brown highly in what's become something of a cut-throat field [pardon pun]. For what it's worth, I don't like Sidebottom, Riches is OK and Scarrow, mmm - certainly used to be excellent. Only other one I rave about is Robert Fabbri [Vespasian]. Certain differences here, I think, from previous novel, hence my caveat above. Story is fine, action moves on well, it's well-written but I was less happy with the characters. Cassius this time , for me, was a rather pompous prig and after a superb introduction, I didn't like Brown's treatment of Indavara as something of a bumbling idiot. Perhaps there's more to come - I certainly hope so, as there's room for development [which is possibly what he has in mind?]. Maybe got a bit complex towards the end [who was doing what to whom] but I did enjoy it. Strange to think that all this was going on in 270 AD in what is modern Syria. Plus ca change..............
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-crafted mystery romp 15 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I hadn't read the previous book, The Siege, so I jumped into this series not knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised.

The mystery plot that Corbulo must uncover is convoluted without being incomprehensible, and takes the characters through interesting and varied twists and turns. The writing is clever; clear and lucid whilst at the same time building up a rich world populated by authentic characters. It felt believable. One of the best points about The Imperial Banner was that I was clueless until the reveal of who was behind the mystery. Sometimes a book reads far too predictably and I can guess very early on whodunit, and that really sucks a lot of the excitement and energy out of a mystery novel. I’m glad to report that wasn’t the case here, and towards the end I even began to suspect someone else entirely, without the novel obviously misdirecting me towards that suspicion.

I also can’t help but appreciate how the author balances contemporary sensibilities with modern values. Corbulo and the other characters talk out of their times, but not too much, expressing enough doubt or wondering to make them identifiable with the 21st century reader. Pacing is great too, every few pages offering scenes that advance the plot and developments that make you feel like you’ve progressed, however at the same time dangling the solution just out of reach - definitely frustrating, in a compelling, page-turner way!

All in all I would definitely recommend The Imperial Banner. It’s solidly enjoyable, cleverly written, and I must admit I’m rather intrigued to read the first book and the soon to be released third instalment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
For some reason that I cannot fathom, I have yet to read The Siege (Agent of Rome), the first of Nick Brown's Roman tales featuring imperial agent (or corn man) Cassius Corbulo. However, having now read the second in the series, this year's The Imperial Banner, I'll be putting that right. Fortunately, although the same characters are featured - especially the wet-behind-the-ears Corbulo and his reliable and kind Christian servant Simo - Imperial Banner does stand alone very well indeed.

Nick Brown transports us back to late 3rd-century AD Palmyra. Queen Zenobia has been defeated and she is the captive of Rome and its emperor Aurelius. Manoeuvres are afoot, though, to bring about a historic peace treaty between the Roman and Persian Empires. Vital for this is the ceremonial handing over by Rome of Faridun's Banner, the treasured standard of Persia. It's unfortunate, then, that the banner appears to have gone missing, stolen by person or persons unknown. Cassius Corbulo, a reluctant agent who had been attempting to keep a very low profile in some quiet town with fig trees, is recalled to Syria and given the lethal mission of tracing the footsteps of the men (and fellow agent Gregorius) who had been attempting to escort a great Persian treasure, including the banner, to its new Roman masters but had instead disappeared off the face of the earth.

Corbulo is given an extra pair of hands to help. They belong to Indavara, the ex-gladiator.

The Imperial Banner has an explosive opening chapter - we find ourselves in the gladiatorial arena as Indavara faces his twentieth bout. Should he survive it, and it's considered very unlikely he will considering the forces he must overcome, then he will be freed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Loads of good stuff
Read the first novel, and not disappointed by this one either, good fast paced story telling, not leaving time to get bored, and detail abound. Looking forward to the next one.
Published 2 months ago by breach
3.0 out of 5 stars A new Roman series that's thoroughly entertaining
This exciting new series stands-out within a highly competitive, crowded genre alongside authors such as Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden to name but a few. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lucinda
5.0 out of 5 stars Different But Good Different
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Nick Brown's first book The Siege, and so was really looking forward to The Imperial Banner. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Je Salter
4.0 out of 5 stars Agent of Rome, the Imperial Banner, Nick Brown- Book review
The Imperial Banner is the second book in Nick Brown's The Agent of Rome series and sees us return to the third century and our inexperienced, unlikely hero Cassius Corbulo. Read more
Published 9 months ago by adam-p-reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
For those that like this genre you will love this series from Nick Brown, it has everything you would expect, intrigue, good battle and fight scenes and the storyline and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dean waters
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment...
From an exciting first chapter, full of wow factor promise, I felt this went downhill for the rest of the book and in fact two months on I have forgotten large parts of it which... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. S. W. Henry
4.0 out of 5 stars More excellent Roman deeds.
Thoroughly enjoyed yet another Nick Brown book - very easy to read, good flow - excellent style. Just wish he was more prolific, not enough books !
Published 11 months ago by Mr A J McKeown
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
After years of war, Rome is finally ready to sign a historic peace treaty with the Persian Empire. Before signing the treaty the Persian's are demanding the return of Faridun's... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nick Britten
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining Roman thriller
The second in this new Roman series sits within a pretty crowded market and some very well-known authors. I enjoyed the first book and this follow up is just as good. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Nick Brett
4.0 out of 5 stars spot on
my father is reading this book at present which i doubt will not take him long to read it as he enjoys these sort of books
Published 16 months ago by Mr S Ansell
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