Imperial Assassin Book 1
by Alex Gough
Narrated by David Thorpe
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Pub Date 25 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 10 Sep 2021
A desolate wasteland. A mission gone wrong. An impossible goal.
Roman scout, Silus, is deep behind enemy lines in Caledonia. As he spies on a raiding party, he is abruptly discovered by an enemy chief and his son. Mounting a one-man ambush, everything quickly goes wrong and Silus must run for his life, the head of the enemy leader in his hands. Little does he know the price he will pay...
As Silus is inducted into the Arcani, an elite faction of assassins and spies, he must return to Caledonia and risk everything in the service of his Caesar. The odds don’t look good. But failure is not an option.
A blood-soaked and unputdownable thriller set in Ancient Rome, anchored in detailed historical research, perfect for fans of Ben Kane, Conn Iggulden and Robert Fabbri.
A Note From the Publisher
'Gritty and real, exciting and pacy, this is first-rate historical fiction, and Gough is clearly ready to take his place among the leading writers of the genre,' SJA Turney, author of the “Praetorian” series.
|DURATION||12 Hours, 59 Minutes|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 15 members
That you netgalley for a review copy of the audio book
This book is fast paced and unlike many other books in this historical period it focuses on a spy rather than the roman court and is interesting a highly recommend
Fantastic read. Alex Gough hits the right physical and emotional beats to create tone, urgency, suspense, and drive the story forward. I enjoyed (I didn't enjoy how it happened) the set up between the antagonist and protagonist. And there were plenty of twists that kept the story moving, even within a chapter -- a detail that I enjoy when done well. Great job. Great read.
CONTENT WARNING: gore, mention of rape, harm to an animal, profanity, violence, death of a child, mention of slavery, murder, torture
I actually got into this series thanks to a NetGalley approval for the fourth book in the series (which I didn’t realize was the fourth book in the series at the time). Once I was hooked on the series, I immediately wanted more and struggled to find it through my local library. So obviously, when the audiobook for the first book became available, I nearly danced for joy when it was approved.
David Thorpe is the narrator, and I absolutely loved his accent. I could listen to this man speak all day long (and actually ended up doing exactly that). But reader/listener beware: this is a book about war, so there’s a lot of violence, and some brief mention of rape. There’s also quite a bit of profanity, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The characters are amazing. Silus is a scout, and after making a split-second decision, everything seems to go wrong, although it does change the course of his military career. His character is so well-developed, and then other characters are slowly integrated in the beginning of the story, allowing us to get to know them. Major players include Atius, who basically becomes Silus’s partner, as well as Maglorix, a tribal chieftain providing insight into the other side of the story, and Caracalla, the son of the current emperor of Rome.
It was an intriguing look into history, where rather than focusing on the politics and upper echelon of society, it stayed in the mud with the soldiers of the army. Staying fixed on Silus’s journey from scout to Arcani was fascinating, and it was clear that the author had done immense amounts of research for this book. I found myself immersed in the story playing out, and I could empathize with both sides of the conflict — the Caledonians wanted to stay free, and the Romans were always looking to take over more lands to expand their empire.
While there weren’t a lot of major plot twists, there was a level of tension that was maintained throughout the story that kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out what would happen next. I was fully invested in the story from start to finish. The pacing was a little slow at some points, and the denouement felt a tiny bit anticlimactic after the characters spent nearly the entire book seeking revenge, but overall, I’m not sorry that I invested the time reading this. It was a well-written and interesting story, and I’m absolutely going to continue. It doesn’t hurt that I already know that the fourth book is exceptional, and I can only expect the two books in between to improve from this one.
I received an audiobook from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The characters are well written, the world building is phenomenal, and the knowledge of Roman history was incredible. The plot moved along nice and quick and it didn’t seem to slow down and plateau at all. I thought the narrator was absolutely excellent, he really brought the characters to life.
This book is a faced paced thriller set in an ancient Roman world full of action, violence murder and death with a wonderful set of characters to go with it. This was my first book by Alex but it won’t be my last!
Author: Alex Gough ~ Title: Emperor's Sword ~ Narrator: David Thorpe
Content: 4 stars ~ Narration: 4.5 stars
Content Warnings: profanity, sex, violence, gore, murder, slavery, mentions of rape, death, death of a child,...
I rarely read this type of books. But, I often watch movies and series exactly like this.
Set in Caledonia, roughly today's Scotland, in the time of Ancient Rome. Silus, a roman scout of mixed roots, doesn’t know what he started when he makes an instant decision.
Emperor’s Sword is a fast-paced historical thriller. It is full of action, rough and ruthless, as life in those times was. Not all the point is in the violence. You can, as I did, enjoy a lot of details about Roman life, settlements, houses, and more. If violent content is a problem for you, I should warn you: there are quite some trigger warnings. There is a lot of blood, violence, gore, and more. So I would recommend this novel to readers who like fast-paced, action-filled historical thrillers and, of course, expect this kind of content.
Excellent narration and accents make this book even better. Performed by British actor David Thorpe. Narration fits this kind of novel, and I think I enjoyed this novel even more in an audiobook form.
Thanks to the Saga Egmont Audio for the ARC and the opportunity to listen to this! All opinions are my own.
TW: Murder, sexual assault, animal abuse, violence, gore, profanity, death of a child
This was my first book by this author and I’m so glad to say that it didn’t disappoint me. The story is about a Roman scout named Silas who while spying kills an enemy chief and takes his head. At the moment his hadn’t realized what kind of events this one decision would set into motion.
Pretty early on I knew this book was very violent with lots of murder, gore, bloodshed. Which is to be expected from a book about ancient Rome. Sometimes it made even me pause and say yikes so that says a lot. I didn’t mind this but I put up some trigger warnings anyways. But as brutal as some of the scenes were, the author also added some humor in the story which I could appreciate a lot.
The secondary were equally great to read about, although Silas kept being my favorite. I really rooted for him even though his enemy Maglorix was also really justified with his actions, in my opinion. We were also introduced to emperor Septimius Severus who was co-emperor with his sons Caracalla and Geta. Most of the spotlight was on Caracalla and his relationships with his stepmother. I really liked this because then it wasn’t all about Silas and his revenge journey. It made for a nice change in pace.
I do have to admit that at the start of the book I had to get used to the narrator David Thorpe since it was the first time I listened to an audiobook that was narrated by him. I guess I just had to get a feel on the way he narrated but I ended up loving all the different voices and accents that he did. I wouldn’t mind listening to more his work.
For some reason I just love books set in ancient Rome that are big on the battles and carnage and grittiness. Which is exactly what I got with Emperor’s Sword by Alex Gough.
I think I may have just found a new favourite historical author.
This was an excellent book set in Roman Britain, with feuding sons of the Emperor and the British getting restless at the occupation by the Romans. The two sides in this revolt certainly don’t hold back and are quite ruthless in how they deal with each other. Beware the body count is high.
Within this scenario we met a Roman Scout, Silus, who during an ambush kills and takes the head of a Tribal leader. This sets in action great consequences for him, his family and the Romans. He is a great character and I can’t wait to read more of his exploits in the other books in the series. Fast moving, blood thirsty, well written and supported by a group of great characters. What is not to love!
If you enjoy Roman History books then I feel this series is a must for you and I highly recommend it. The narrator did a great job of reading the book and it held my interest throughout. I’m totally hooked!
Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publishers for providing a copy of this book for me, for an an open and honest review.
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