Robert Fabbri read Drama and Theatre at London University and has worked in film and TV for 25 years. He is an assistant director and has worked on productions such as Hornblower, Hellraiser, Patriot Games and Billy Elliot. His life-long passion for ancient history, especially for that of the Roman Empire, has drawn him to write his first novel. He lives in London and Berlin.
Marcus Salvius Magnus is a fanatical supporter of the Green Racing Faction and expects a wager to be honoured. Although he does not presume honesty from anyone, he does believe that a bookmaker at the Circus Maximus should record each bet scrupulously and pay the full amount due. But Ignatius, the bookmaker, is foolish enough to attempt to cheat Magnus out of his winnings, incurring not only his wrath but that also of the South Quirinal Crossroads Brotherhood of which Magnus is the leader. In the shady realm of Rome’s underworld Magnus will use the full resources of his criminal fraternity to exact appropriate vengeance.
But Magnus also has a problem: his patron, Gaius Vespasius Pollo, is attempting to get his nephew, Sabinus, elected as a quaestor. To do this he feels that the support of the senior consul, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, would be more than useful. He asks Magnus to ease the consul – a man known for his extreme violence – in the right direction.
Ahenobarbus has a passion: the Red Faction at the circus. Could it be that Magnus might wash two tunics in the same tub, bringing Ignatius down and securing Ahenobarbus’ support by attempting to fix a chariot race in a manner that has never been done before?
Short stories have become the latest thing for writers, a way to advertise their wares, a way to showcase their talent, a way to write about side characters whom the fans love and a way to write and publish those tales that they don’t have time to write a full novel about. There is no defined pattern and no right way, although advertising comes lowest on the quality level IMHO.
Thankfully Robert Fabbri doesn’t appear to be doing that, a taster but mainly a side character loved by fans and the author seem to be the driver.
Racing Factions is a fantastic tale following Magnus and the crossroads brotherhood. Someone makes the very big mistake of crossing Magnus and what unfolds is a very elaborate sting / plan of revenge. The plot is brilliantly formulated into a winding plot with surprises, action, intrigue and revenge. Robert Fabbri gets better and better, making a side character feel like he deserves a full novel if not a full series.
One thought struck me while reading about the racing factions of Rome, they were the original hooligans, long before football people fought over their support of a team, not based on any allegiance except a sports team. Its interesting to see it portrayed and also to see that society has developed in some ways and not in so many others.
Highly recommend this tale and all of Fabbri’s books
1. Tribune of Rome (2011)
2. Rome’s Executioner (2012)
3. False God of Rome (2013)
4. Rome’s Fallen Eagle (2013)
The Crossroads Brotherhood (2011)