Robert Fabbri Rome’s Executioner (The second book in the Vespasian series)
Robert Fabbri was born in Geneva in 1961. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham and London University. He worked for twenty-five years as an assistant director in the film and television industries. Having had his fair share of long, cold nights standing in the rain in muddy fields and unbearably hot days in deserts or stuffy sound stages he decided to start writing. Being a life-long ancient war-gamer with a collection of over 3,500 hand-painted 25mm lead soldiers and a lover of Roman Historical Fiction the subject matter was obvious. His first novel, Vespasian: Tribune of Rome, was published in May 2011 by Corvus, the genre imprint of Atlantic. The second book, Rome’s Executioner, will be published in May 2012. With the third book, The False God of Rome, already complete he has just embarked on book four which has a working title of Rome’s Fallen Eagle. There will be seven books in the series as well as spin-off short stories revolving around Vespasian’s friend Magnus and his crossroads brethren; the first of these, The Crossroads Brotherhood, will be published on Kindle on 25th December 2011.
Thracia, AD30: Even after four years military service at the edge of the Roman world, Vespasian can’t escape the tumultuous politics of an Empire on the brink of disintegration. His patrons in Rome have charged him with the clandestine extraction of an old enemy from a fortress on the banks of the Danube before it falls to the Roman legion besieging it.
Vespasian’s mission is the key move in a deadly struggle for the right to rule the Roman Empire. The man he has been ordered to seize could be the witness that will destroy Sejanus, commander of the Praetorian Guard and ruler of the Empire in all but name. Before he completes his mission, Vespasian will face ambush in snowbound mountains, pirates on the high seas, and Sejanus’s spies all around him. But by far the greatest danger lies at the rotten heart of the Empire, at the nightmarish court of Tiberius, Emperor of Rome and debauched, paranoid madman.
When i saw book one of this series last year i was very interested, Vespasian , a name to get any Roman History lovers pulse racing, this is a man involved in some very interesting points in Romes long and chequered history.
When you add to that the glimpse we have had of this man in Simon Scarrows Eagles series, im sure his future appearance in Henry Venmore-Rowlands new series (starting with the Last Caesar in June). This is not just an interesting figure, this is a man of the moment, it seems the time of the 4 emperors is something that we are heading towards in multiple books, and what an amazing ride it is.
Vespasian: Tribune of Rome in 2011 was an amazing book, and with every book two you worry that it cannot be repeated by a new guy on the block, was it a flash in the pan? Well certainly not in the case of Robert Fabbri and Rome’s Executioner.
For me the highlight of this series is similar to Conn Igguldens Emperor series, it’s taking a major figure from history but not from the record books, but taking him from birth, from the unknown years, breathing life into him filling in the details, the actions the thoughts the intimacies, the loves, the losses, the victories and the friends that might have shaped this person into the man he became, a Great Emperor who shaped an empire, and a dynasty.
The Emperor series launched Conn Iggulden into one of the shining lights of the Historical Fiction genre, and in my opinion the Vespasian series is its equal in writing and its superior with some of its characters. Fabbri’s battle scenes are simply brilliant, starting with a sudden ruthless explosive violence when needed, but also a slow steady burn, building in intensity for the major battles which leaves the reader the option of tearing through the chapters at light speed to get to the dramatic conclusion, or savoring each and every slash and cut and political maneuver (which in this book there are many).
to quote my good friend Kate http://forwinternights.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/vespasian-ii-romes-executioner-by-robert-fabbri/ “The False God of Rome is the next in the series and it can’t come soon enough.”
So in Summary: An action packed tour of the Roman world and its politics at its worst. And one of its greatest Success Stories. Vespasian.