Four stars for this one, mainly on the grounds of originality. The plot itself has a few twists although it is rather clear that Kiva, our general turned mercenary, will end up by fighting to put the Empire together. The story, the Empire, and its background of some 20 years of civil wars, is loosely based on the Roman Empire with episodes drawn from different periods pulled together. The Emperor's Gollden House is a direct reference to Nero's palace. The island on which it is located is a hint for Capri and Emperor Tiberius. The paranoia of the last emperor and some of his predecessors is mirrored by similar behavior among numerous Roman emperors over the centuries. The 20 years of civil wars and anarchy seems to allude to the 3rd century. The character of Kiva himself is quite original. Maybe he's loosely based on Stilicho but it is not too obvious.
As you might have guessed by now, and despite rather poor editing, I really enjoyed that one.
Summary - an excellent piece of historical fantasy, that starts well and just gets better and better. Pacing is good with well written action and fighting sequences (though the squeamish may wish to avert their eyes for some paragraphs!), and plenty of tensions between the characters.
I finished this on New Year's Eve, and completing the last page I felt that this was one of the best books I'd read in the year - a fair achievement given how much I've read by Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden recently.
Worth knowing that this book is self-contained, it doesn't rely on any previous knowledge or other books, so no worrying that you're trying to pick up something partway through a sequence.
I was recommended this book along with his other book Marius Mules, about the Gaulic wars with Ceasar, although this has remanants of the fall of the Roman Empire, it captures your immagination and the finale has such a twist that we could all learn from it.
I bit the expensive paperback bullit and bought Marius' Mules I,liked it and read II and III quite hapilly as well. However, "Interregnum" was very disappointing on a number of fronts. The plot itself is presumably sub-Roman, though this is never clarified; there are various simply unbelievable episodes: for eg, Kiva being active a few days after being crucifed with nails through his wrists and feet, let alone wielding a sword. However, the whole story, for me was fatally impaired by the simply shocking lack of editing. I lost count of the number of times a wrong, if correctly spelt, word was used, or a word or speech marks omitted. I can only surmise that no-one actually read this book before publication. I found this increasingly annoying and very distracting from the underlying narrative.
I am very admiring of Mr Turney's self publication, and his deserved and no doubt increasing following. I count myself as one, but can only request that in future a bit more care is given to his product before he releases it. Please get an editor or at the very least get a friend to read and red pen it first.