The fourth in the Agent of Rome series. And an excellent series it is too, with the author growing in confidence and ability.
Cassius Corbulo is a “grain-man”, in essence a Roman spy sent on a variety undercover missions. Smart, but no warrior, he needs the assistance of his bodyguard and his slave to get by. The dynamics of the relationships between them are one of the highlights of the series, they don’t always get on and there is a slave and master relationship that they struggle with but feels realistic. Good strong characters they have developed through the series. And while this is obviously a Roman action thriller, there is also a vein of humour with some nice one liners (also in keeping with the characters).
Here the mission is to lead a small group of soldiers to recover a sacred item from a tribal leader. So it is about the journey, the character dynamics, the politics of the time and some action of course.
You sense that Nick Brown is in his stride and enjoying working with the characters he has developed. A real talent here that offers something a little bit different from the other action stories set in this era.