Category Archives: Robert Fabbri

Robert Fabbri : Arminius: The Limits of Empire (2017) Review

Robert Fabbri
Switzerland (1961 – )
Robert Fabbri's picture

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

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book cover of Arminius: The Limits of Empire

A.D. 9: In the depths of the Teutoburg Wald, in a landscape riven by ravines, darkened by ancient oak and bisected by fast-flowing streams, Arminius of the Cherusci led a confederation of six Germanic tribes in the annihilation of three Roman legions. Deep in the forest almost 20,000 men were massacred without mercy; fewer than 200 of them ever made it back across the Rhine. To Rome’s shame, three sacred Eagles were lost that day. But Arminius wasn’t brought up in Germania Magna – he had been raised as a Roman. This is the story of how Arminius came to turn his back on the people who raised him and went on to commit a betrayal so great and so deep, it echoed through the ages.

Review

When i picked this book up i struggled to see where it fitted in the whole Vespasian world, Arminius and the Teutoburg Wald happened about 25 years before book 1, But slowly the author draws you into a brilliantly simple and yet complex story, told from Multi perspectives. The long dead voice of Arminius echoing from beyond the grave, ironically, only because he has adopted the roman way of chronicling his life. The voice of his Son, the voices of Romans past and present, all impacting on the stage that was one of Romes greatest defeats.

How the author ties this book into the rest of the series is amusing and clever, and made me want to reread Romes Fallen Eagle. As ever with the use of impeccable research and  superb writing skills he weaves a take both dark and terrible, fully portraying the horror and scale of the deaths on those terrible 4 days. With touches of dark humor and a very fatalistic tone the differing tones or a Sons lost life and adoration, tempered by experience to a slaves bitter resignation and humbling shame, every emotion is covered, as is every facet of the Roman mindset and how it was exploited by a barbarian from the woods.

Coupled in with this are some fantastic glimpses at the hierarchy of power with Augustus, Livi, Tiberius, Germanicus and most of all Varus and Lucius.  Robert Fabbri is a master story teller, capturing the author within his pages. I have to say that occasionally i found the narrative jarring as it dropped from past to present to past, but this was always handled with the snap shots of humour and some great characters and lines, Pickled testicles will stay with me for a while!

What really made this book for me was how Arminius slowly made his plans, how they were in part inspired by Romans at the highest level, how (whilst we know much of what Fabbri writes in Fiction) we know that Arminius must have had to be some orator and one of those people that others naturally gravitate too. There is no way he could have hoodwinked so many Romans, and also been able to talk to his fellow Germans on the same level and convince them of this ambitions. To also do this amidst the fear or betrayal, as a person in history he is not only fascinating but stands as an iconic personality… all of this comes across in the book.

So while not my fav book in the series, probably one of the most impressive.Highly original in style, hugely impressive in breadth and scope, stunningly entertaining and complex.

(Parm)

Series
Vespasian
1. Tribune of Rome (2011)
2. Rome’s Executioner (2012)
3. False God of Rome (2013)
4. Rome’s Fallen Eagle (2013)
5. Masters of Rome (2014)
6. Rome’s Lost Son (2015)
7. Furies of Rome (2016)
8. Arminius: The Limits of Empire (2017)
Vespasian Vol 1-3 (omnibus) (2014)


 

Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy
1. The Crossroads Brotherhood (2011)
2. The Racing Factions (2013)
3. The Dreams of Morpheus (2014)
4. The Alexandrian Embassy (2015)
5. The Imperial Triumph (2017)
The Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy (omnibus) (2015)

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Robert Fabbri: The Furies of Rome (Review)

Robert Fabbri 
Switzerland (1961 – )
Robert Fabbri's picture

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

The Furies of Rome

THE FURIES OF ROME

VESPASIAN VII

AD 58: Rome is in turmoil once more. Emperor Nero has surrounded himself with sycophants and together they rampage by night through the city, visiting death and destruction as they go. Meanwhile, Nero’s extravagance has reached new heights. The Emperor’s spending is becoming profligate at the same time as the demands of keeping the provinces subdued have become increasingly unaffordable. Could Nero withdraw from Britannia, and at what price for the Empire?

As the bankers of the Empire scramble to call in their loans, Vespasian is sent to Londinium on a secret mission, only to become embroiled in a deadly rebellion led by Boudicca, a female warrior of extraordinary bravery. As the uprising gathers pace, Vespasian must fight to stay ahead of Rome’s enemies and complete his task- before all of Britannia burns.

 

Review

Somehow i managed to let this title get away from me, let my “to be read” pile defeat me for a bit. But with the pending release of Arminius (and a kick up the butt from the author) i made space and read this title…. and WOW i’m glad i did.

Its easy to say this book is better than the last as a reviewer, but not always why. This time… WOW this is the best book yet in this series.

WHY?

Vespasian returns to Britain, and you know its all about to kick off with Boudicca and the rebellion. But more than anything its how we get there, how Vespasian has to return to Britain, its the political machinations of Rome, the depravity of Nero, the corruption of Seneca. There is growth of the family in the guise of Titus and Domitian, both good and bad and many things have changed for everyone’s fav character Magnus.

This book does much to drive forward Vespasian in his ambitions for Emperor, the thought that it might be more than fancy starts to really show its self in the elevation of his family and the slide to depravity of the empire. It feels a much more personal tale, the raw fear of everyone as Nero twists the empire to his whim and fancy. Vespasian and and his brother come across old enemies and pay old debts. Along the way the true horror of the Roman world and rebellion is laid bare, but also the building blocks for its future and also maybe its future destruction… such is the scope of this tale.

This book for me was very evocative of others that have touched upon the same period, Douglas Jackson being most brought to mind as it covers the destruction of Camulodunum in such a dramatic fashion his telling is still my fav scene in historical fiction, Robert Fabbri does much to bring that to life in his destruction of London. This whole book is a massively powerful look at the destructive nature that can be unleashed by greed and corruption, how ignoring the masses can lead to a revolution that will sweep all ahead of it.

This is a tremendously well written and researched book, but most of all it is an explosion of action , fear, drama and violence told by a master storyteller. Seven books in and this series just gets better and better….. what can come next?

i look forward to finding out

(Parm)

Series

 

Vespasian
1. Tribune of Rome (2011)
2. Rome’s Executioner (2012)
3. False God of Rome (2013)
4. Rome’s Fallen Eagle (2013)
5. Masters of Rome (2014)
6. Rome’s Lost Son (2015)
7. Furies of Rome (2016)Vespasian Vol 1-3 (omnibus) (2014)
The Alexandrian Embassy (2015)


Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy
1.5. The Crossroads Brotherhood (2011)
2.5. The Racing Factions (2013)
3.5. The Dreams of Morpheus (2014)
The Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy (omnibus) (2015)
Arminius: The Limits of Empire (2017)

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Robert Fabbri: The Alexandrian Embassy (Review)

 

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.

Author Website

The Alexandrian Embassy

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book cover of 

The Alexandrian Embassy

AD 39: Rome. Marcus Salvius Magnus, leader of the Crossroads Brotherhood, is buying a dangerous cargo of illegal weaponry. When a deal which will ensure Magnus’s dominance over Rome’s criminal underworld goes sour, Magnus must regain the shipment by any means necessary…

As the rival West Viminal Brotherhood threatens his whole operation, Magnus fights to outwit his opponents whilst juggling the threat of the law and the demands of his patron. With enemies, plots and intrigue on all sides, can Magnus manage to evade death long enough to emerge victorious?

Review

This novella astounded me when i checked the page count, 61 pages. It flew past, but at the same time it always felt like a full complete storyline.

The Crossroads brotherhood is excellent, funny, imaginative and action packed, a real page turner. I like to save these for special occasions (in this case Christmas) to have the time to sit and enjoy the full thrill ride from start to finish in one sitting.

I really hope that one day Magnus can have his own novel, or feature fully in the Vespasian series, he is my fav character in Fabbris world of Rome. This story continues the look at the working of the brotherhood and Magnus relationship with various members of the Roman elite. it also offers some great little looks at the political landscape and the progress of Vespasian and his family.

if you have not tried the Vespasian series then any of the Crossroads Brotherhood is an excellent way to dip your toe into his writing style, and also enjoy a great tale.

one of my favorite authors

(Parm)

Series

 

Vespasian
1. Tribune of Rome (2011)
2. Rome’s Executioner (2012)
3. False God of Rome (2013)
4. Rome’s Fallen Eagle (2013)
5. Masters of Rome (2014)
6. Rome’s Lost Son (2015)
7. Furies of Rome (2016)
Vespasian Vol 1-3 (omnibus) (2014)
The Alexandrian Embassy (2015)

 

 

Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy
1.5. The Crossroads Brotherhood (2011)
2.5. The Racing Factions (2013)
3.5. The Dreams of Morpheus (2014)
The Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy (omnibus) (2015)

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Robert Fabbri : Rome’s Lost Son (Review)

Author

About Robert Fabbri

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.

More Info: Author web site

ROME’S LOST SON

VESPASIAN VI

romes lost son

Rome, AD 51: Vespasian brings Rome’s greatest enemy before the Emperor. After eight years of resistance, the British warrior Caratacus has been caught. But even Vespasian’s victory cannot remove the newly-made consul from Roman politics: Agrippina, Emperor Claudius’s wife, pardons Caratacus.

Claudius is a drunken fool and Narcissus and Pallas, his freedmen, are battling for control of his throne. Separately, they decide to send Vespasian East to Armenia to defend Rome’s interests. But there is more at stake than protecting a client kingdom. Rumours abound that Agrippina is involved in a plot to destabilise the East. Vespasian must find a way to serve two masters – Narcissus is determined to ruin Agrippina, Pallas to save her.

Meanwhile, the East is in turmoil. A new Jewish cult is flourishing and its adherents refuse to swear loyalty to the Emperor. In Armenia, Vespasian is captured. Immured in the oldest city on earth, how can he escape? And is a Rome ruled by a woman who despises Vespasian any safer than a prison cell?

Review

Somehow i missed reviewing and reading Vespasian 5 Masters of Rome, so when Rome’s Lost Son arrived i made the decision to re-read the entire series. I’m so glad i did, not only did it allow me to totally immerse myself in Robert Fabbri’s version of Vespasian s Rome, it also allowed me to watch the masterful and methodical way that Robert Fabbri grows his characters, melding the facts we have with the fiction that could have been. Giving a potential insight into the mid of the future emperor.

Master of Rome sees a huge leap in Vespasian’s thinking, where he learns to put his morality to one side in favour of finding preferment for his family, to put them in a safer position, to enrich them. He basically reaches the point of if you cant beat them join them… then plan to beat them. Each book bring the history of those that have gone before, the things that have been learned, in the same way a person would become the collective sum of their parts. Masters dispelled any thoughts Vespasian might have had about gods not impinging on his world and life. Making him take notice of the story of his auspicious birth. it brought Caratacus to Rome, someone i feel who will be important in book VII.

Rome’s Lost Son sees a change in power, political machinations on a massive scale, a new emperor and Vespasian taken to hell and back, The stage is laid further for the year of the four emperors, there is a lot of ground still to cover, and surviving Nero will be no mean feat, but this series has some splendid tales ahead..  I think both books V & VI are stunning stand out Historical and Political Thrillers, made more so by reading the series back to back.

Highly recommend reading both Masters of Rome and Rome’s Lost Son..and if you have not read the series, the books are listed below… read them, you will love them

(Parm)

Series

 

Vespasian
1. Tribune of Rome (2011)
2. Rome’s Executioner (2012)
3. False God of Rome (2013)
4. Rome’s Fallen Eagle (2013)
5. Masters of Rome (2014)
6. Rome’s Lost Son (2015)
Vespasian Vol 1-3 (omnibus) (2014)
Tribune of RomeRome's ExecutionerFalse God of RomeRome's Fallen Eagle
Masters of RomeRome's Lost SonVespasian Vol 1-3

 

Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy
1.5. The Crossroads Brotherhood (2011)
2.5. The Racing Factions (2013)
3.5. The Dreams of Morpheus (2014)
The Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy (omnibus) (2015)
The Crossroads BrotherhoodThe Racing FactionsThe Dreams of MorpheusThe Crossroads Brotherhood Trilogy

 

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Robert Fabbri