Rome is burning. Only one man can save it.
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The Spy: Sebastos Pantera, assassin and spy for the Roman Legions, is ordered to stop the impending cataclysm. He knows that if he does not, his life - and those of thousands of others - are in terrible danger.
The Chariot Boy: Math, a young charioteer, is a pawn drawn into the deadly game between the Emperor and the Spy, where death stalks the drivers - on the track and off it Rome The Emperor's Spy (Rome, #1) by M.C. Scott
Sebastos Pantera, the Leopard, such a wonderful name - has returned to Gaul after working under cover in Britannia, that wild and untamed province of the Roman empire. There he had become absorbed into the lives of the Britons, living a double life for 5 years before tragedy ends that phase in his life and he is transported back into the service of Nero, his lord. Nero has a job for him; he must stop an ancient prophecy from being fulfilled, or Rome will burn, a little boy he loves will die and many other lives will be in jeopardy.
Math, as the boy is known is drawn to Pantera who becomes his mentor and in drawing Math into Nero's world, he also embroils other characters in the plot: Hannah, the exotic beauty from Alexandria with a secret so dangerous, it could destroy them all; Ajax, the scarred charioteer whom has looked after Math since he was born and Shimon,the Hebrew who knows Hannah's secret. Somehow the characters are all destined to meet and each have their part to play in finding a way to destroy the prophecy.
But none of them could count on the evil that watches them; silent,hidden and unexpected. It will eventually catch up with them and when it does, there will be no telling what horrors await them.
M.C. Scott is a new author that I have discovered. She has the ability to turn a sentence into a work of art. during my time reading this novel, many a time I found myself drawing breath at her talent for crafting words that will mesmerise you with its erudite beauty.
"For the barest fraction of a heartbeat, those river-water eyes looked straight at Math.
who looked away, and was left shaking as if he had the ague. When he dared to look
again, Pantera was gone, threading his way through the heaving crowd, stepping lightly
over the dog dirt and the coiled ropes, and evading the running children with an unconscious
Scott's characters are both colourful and alive with realism. They bounce of the pages in a way that will have you thinking of them day and night. You care about them, you know them like your friends, your enemies and your loved ones. As each chapter ended, I was ready for the next, desperate to know what happened next until only sleep stopped me from reading more. The plot is carefully laid out and nothing is left to the imagination.
I'm not a great Roman scholar, but Scott appears to have done plenty of research and writes with confidence but adds an author's note at the end. Her chariot racing scenes were fantastic and I got a real sense of being there in that arena, driving a team of horses in a race of death, leaving me with no doubt that she could craft the details of them as if she had actually been there. This book in my opinion is a literary masterpiece.
Pantera is my favourite character. He returns to northern Gaul from Britannia having experienced terrible tortures - his broken body and mind still in the process of healing. He plans to go into anonymity, to live out the rest of his years away from the toxic atmosphere that surrounds Nero. But Pantera's plans are thwarted; Nero will never let him go. Pantera must embark on the task bestowed upon him by the narcissistic emperor Nero and soon becomes aware that his mission will take a dark course - one where he and the lives of the friends he has made will face increasing danger from the terrifying Saulos, a creature who will stop at nothing to see the prophecy fulfilled. Pantera is a wonderful dark, brooding and enigmatic character with a tormented past. Math is the young boy who is sent to follow his every move and becomes both frightened and fascinated in the subject of his quest. Soon Math comes to love Pantera and despite Pantera's efforts to rid himself of another responsibility, Pantera is also drawn to the boy and Hannah who looks after him. Ajax is also another of my favourite characters, and his identity is a mystery but revealed at the end. this book will take you on a journey that will cover two continents. It will mystify you, excite you and make you long for more and Pantera will stay with you for ever.
"His eyes, should you ever see them, are green-brown, like the shimmer of sun on river water. At first glance, he looks through you - unless he wished to kill you. Then he looks straight at you."
You can find this book on Amazon US and Amazon Uk
You can find this book on Amazon US and Amazon Uk
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