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The Last King's Amulet (The Price Of Freedom Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Sumo is a spoiled brat, son of a Patron(Senator) and one of the most privileged people in the city.
Burdened by debts from gambling and drinking he is forced to finally take up his period of military service.
Slowly and reluctantly he takes up the responsibility he has avoided for years as a rebellion forms amongst the Client Tribes around the city.
There is a lot of discussion of the sociological and economic premise upon which the city is founded. Sumo spends a lot of time justifying the relative merit of the City's governance versus the alternatives. Bearing in mind this is is pseaudoclassical Rome his point of view is quite interesting.
The entire book is first person from the point of view of Sumo. This leaves soem gaps in the timeline of activity. Towards the end in particular the limitations of first person narrative can be jarring - as Sumo is not aware of everything happening. A little more exposition would have helped give a better rounded ending.
A fabulous read with a very gripping evolution from fop to hero of the main character.
The secondary characters, Meran the ugliest man alive, and his love interest the young Jocasta are equally in depth. Together they struggle against very powerful enemies and events much larger than they. At times I roared out loud with laughter, the humour is well placed and delicately managed. It serves as a marvellous introduction novel to what might hopefully be a series. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and recommend it whole heartedly to anyone looking for a tale of adventure in a whole new world.
This is the first of what turn out to be three massively entertaining books, and a story that continues from one book to another. Chris could have in effect just written one huge book, but he broke it down into 3 wonderful normal size slices of entertainment.
If you like the promise of both political intrigue combined with a seriously flawed but more interesting for it hero, together with an intelligent use of magical skills and a constantly evolving and adventurous plot, then you should definitely start reading this series. I found it massively entertaining.
A really original take on Ancient Rome with magic thrown into the mix makes for a cool background but it's the characters, particularly Sumto, who held my spellbound throughout. I can't even decide what I like about him. Maybe it's that he has no illusions about himself. Anyway, I'm absolutely going to read the rest of the series and see where this leads.
I didn't identify with that part of him, and hold no sympathy for drunkards.
When the book got past the self pity stage and the hero started making something of his life, drying out and getting fit, I found the book really came into it's own.
I found it a most entertaining read as the hero gets more and more involved with army life and uses the lessons that he has learnt and read to great advantage.
I think what is missing in the first 70% of the book is the number of men in a cohort, the command structure is not quite clear, although the author does go into considerable detail.
While I would have been tempted to score the book 5 stars, the story starts dropping off at about the 70% mark, and ends rather abruptly.
Perhaps this is so that it can continue in book 2, but it leaves quite a few questions unanswered.
In reviewing this I have tried not to spoil the plot for anyone reading it.
A good read and I look forward to reading book 2.
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