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, was published in May 2012. With the third book, The False God of Rome 1st Jan 2013, 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, was published on Kindle on 25th December 2011.
False God of Rome
Vespasian is serving as a military officer on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, suppressing local troubles and defending the Roman way. But political events in Rome – Tiberius’s increasingly insane debauchery, the escalating grain crisis – draw him back to the city. When Caligula becomes Emperor, Vespasian believes that things will improve. Instead, he watches the young emperor deteriorate from Rome’s shining star to a blood-crazed, incestuous, all-powerful madman. Lavish building projects, endless games, public displays of his relationship with his sister, Drusilla, and a terrified senate are as nothing to Caligula’s most ambitious plan: to bridge the bay of Neapolis and ride over it wearing Alexander’s breastplate. And it falls to Vespasian to travel to Alexandria and steal it from Alexander’s mausoleum. Vespasian’s mission will lead to violence, mayhem and theft – and in the end, to a betrayal so great it will echo through the ages
Sometimes going to the TBR (to be read) pile can be a chore, how do you pick a book from so many genre’s and often so much class? But then there are a few authors who just leap to the top of the pile and take that need for choice away. Robert Fabbri is one such author and his Vespasian series to date has been well told and action packed… So how does this latest 3rd part of the tale compare?
As usual we follow Vespasian, possibly (in my opinion) either the luckiest or sharpest General / Emperor Rome ever had. This man outlived one of the most insane periods of Roman history as well as being very successful General, he then went on to be one the greatest Emperors of Rome. This book as well as the first two of the series is set in his early life. He has now made it to Jerusalem, his brother is now a Quaestor and is embroiled in the ever present politics and struggle between the Jews and the Roman invaders. Vespasian himself is off in the desert carrying out his own dangerous mission and back in Rome the arch nutbag Caligula has his own mission for Vespasian, dropping in a nice link to the great Alexander (the subject of the mission). In books one and Two we saw Caligula and Vespasian become friends, in book three we see how being Emperor changes one man and changes a relationship beyond anything you could expect, some friendships…. well, we all have had friends we wish we didn’t!
Fabbri as ever brings the roman world to life, the heat and size of its empire, Jerusalem, and the depth of character of the great names involved in the tale. The pace as usual is electric, its one of those books that you have to force yourself to put down to go to sleep. (i wish i had had a whole day to sit and read it).
This is highly recommended and 3 books into 2013 this one is top of the charts so far.