ROME: The Coming of the King

Written by Manda Scott

Review written by Michael Jecks

ROME: The Coming of the King
Bantam Press
RRP: £14.99
Released: 12th May 2011
To my shame, I have not read any of Manda’s previous works. It is unforgivable to have missed out on her best-selling Boudicca series, because all the comments prove that Manda has a rare skill with her period, and the subject matter surely deserves a look.

However, sadly all too often a writer must miss out on the books he wants to read simply because there isn’t enough time for his own research and writing! So it was a delight to be sent this to read and review.            

ROME starts in AD65 in Palestine. Emperor Nero’s most trusted spy, Sebastos Pantera, is seeking Rome’s most dangerous enemy. This Saulos is a man with the skill and ruthless determination that could bring Jerusalem to the boil. He has already caused enough damage, engulfing Rome itself in a catastrophic fire, and Pantera must find him and destroy him. But already Saulos has made friends and allies. And his ambition is vast.            

Saulos knows he must catch Pantera and kill him for his plans to work. So he sets a trap to entice the spy, to undermine all his friends and allies so that Pantera doesn’t know whom he can trust, and then, when he is alone and desolate, Saulos will kill him. Scott writes with an engaging conviction that grips the reader to the last page. Whether she is describing the intricate politics of the kingdom or the motivations of a priestess, her characters are all instantly believable, as are their faiths and superstitions. She can bring their beliefs to life after two thousand years and make them clear, as though she was there herself.This is a great book for a long summer’s day with a Pimms or beer. And as for me, I am going to have to go back to her other books now.
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