Path of Nemesis, Book 3

From the publisher:

War still rages at the edge of empire while centurion Albinus Silus fights at its beating heart.

Gone is the boy who joined the legions. What remains is a man torn apart by the savagery of battle, the heartache of lost love.

He does not know what became of his wife, and now he must balance being both a soldier and a father.

And yet, for all his pain, he shall have to endure more than he ever thought he could. His valour in the northern wars has not gone unnoticed, and now he is to be given a special mission.

Marcus Aurelius’ star falls with his health. One day the sun will rise on his successor and son, Commodus. But he must be ready, must know what it is to lead. Centurion Albinus has been chosen to educate him.

From Pannonia to Rome, to the far reaches of the east, Albinus must protect Commodus from enemies both inside the empire and out.

Can he keep the Caesar safe? Can he nurture him, teach him what it is to be a man? Can he be the Shield of the Rising Sun?

The perfect next series for fans of Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow.

This is the third of three novels set in the Rome of the first and second centuries A.D. The stories revolve about the career of a soldier that fought for the Roman empire during a lifetime spent as a professional warrior attached to one of the legions that comprised the army of that nation. I did not have the opportunity to read the first two and did miss some of the actions described in which Albinus Silus, the soldier described took part in. While pertinent events were described in retrospect it would have been better to read the books as the character and feelings of Silus are carefully outlined. Additionally, based on this book I did miss literature of an excellent nature.

Albinus’ wife had to flee her marriage; a decision described in a previous book and leaving a son to be raised by one parent. He is still looking for her but tied to his enlistment in the army. During a battle with attacking Germanic tribes, Albinus distinguishes himself by stopping an attack by the enemy using a unique means to do so. The battle took place in the midst of winter across the frozen Danube and Albinus stops the enemy by chopping up the ice in front of a charge by them. His action is noted by Marcus Aurelius, the ruler of Rome who rewards him by making him the protector of his son, Commodus, who is next in line to rule the nation.

The novel continues with Albinus’ actions to protect Commodus as well as raising his son in the midst of an adventurous career as a professional soldier. Lofthouse has done the research necessary to bring to life a tumultuous period for the Roman empire with the rise in Christianity and many wars enveloping the nation.

A well-done engrossing novel even if not read in conjunction with the first two.

10/2020 Paul Lane

SHIELD OF THE RISING SUN by Adam Lofthouse. Lume Books (October 1, 2020). ISBN: 978-1839011979. 304 pages.


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