About the book
A gripping historical thriller and third instalment in The Rome’s Invincibles saga. The battle for control of Rome continues. Will Octavian succeed in defeating the dangerous pirate Sextus Pompeius?
Octavian has defeated and killed Caesar’s assassins, but the road to absolute power is still long and treacherous. Threat now comes from Sextus Pompeius – a cunning pirate active along the Italian coasts, who terrorises Perugia’s citizens with his constant attacks.
Octavian and his associates don’t have time to celebrate their victory in the final battle in the civil war before another even more bloody threat arises: the one presented by Sextus Pompeius at sea.
The long campaign against the pirates proves frustrating, and often sees Octavian close to defeat and even death. Everything seems to conspire against him: his enemy appears to be receiving divine assistance, public opinion is against him, the soldiers lack confidence in their commander, and rebellion is just around the corner…
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Andrew’s previous books are out now! http://amzn.to/2wUtqZv
Andrew Frediani is an Italian author and academic. He has published several non-fiction books as well as historical novels including the INVINCIBLE series and the DICTATOR trilogy. His works have been translated into five languages.
War was in the air. Ortwin could feel it. He was warrior with a long military career behind him – first in the service of Ariovistus, then in the service of Caesar and finally in the service of Octavian – and he could immediately sense an impending conflict. And he couldn’t say that he was sorry: without a war, Octavian used him simply as an assassin and with so many of the murderers of Julius Caesar still at large he could be kept busy for a long time. When an official rival to fight appeared on the horizon, however, his commander did not hesitate to send him to the front, aware as he was of Ortwin’s value as a warrior.
He had been fighting civil wars for a long time now, however, and they seemed more and more senseless. In the last three years, he had fought Julius Caesar’s enemies, then returned to his native Germany to reclaim a throne for his woman, Veleda. But he had failed and became a mercenary in Rome, putting himself at the service of his old commander’s heir and entering the sect of Mars Ultor to avenge the most worthy man he had ever served. He had killed with his own hands at least two of Caesar’s assassins – Trebonius and Decimus Brutus Albinus – and been present at the deaths of the Casca brothers, Cassius Longinus and Marcus Brutus. And he had already fought in civil wars at Modena and Philippi.
Amongst the troops there had been rumours that the defeat of Brutus and Cassius would put an end to the infighting, but they had turned out to be about as far from the truth as it was possible to be. Sextus Pompey was stronger than ever and had no intention at all of bowing down before the triumvirate. Lepidus had been confined to Africa but was certainly contemplating his revenge and still possessed a vast clientele. Mark Antony was in the East and, yes, for the moment he and Octavian seemed to be getting along, but Ortwin had been around ambitious men for too long not to know that sooner or later they would come into conflict.
And now he foresaw the arrival of a civil war in Italy against Lucius Antonius.
The rebellion was already taking place – it had been dormant for months and over the past few weeks had begun to manifest itself. Ever since he had assumed the consulate, Mark Antony’s brother had been voicing virulent support for the rights of those whose land was being confiscated; instead of promoting and facilitating the provisions of the triumvir regarding the allocation of plots of land to veterans as chief magistrate of the Republic, he was fanning the fire of discontent and defending the alleged rights of all those whose land had been seized for the soldiers. For months now he had been blaming Octavian for applying the law with excessive zeal, accusing him of all sorts of crimes: of insufficiently compensating the dispossessed, not consulting Antony, confiscating land in cities not covered by the legislation so as to curry more favour with the soldiers, honouring not only the veterans of Philippi, as had been agreed, but also other units which had had nothing to do with the war; continuing to enlist recruits in Italy and increasing the size of his army despite the agreement he had made with his counterpart, which involved the two triumvirs dividing the empire with an equal number of legions.
“You know very well that everything Lucius Antonius accuses Octavian of is true,” said Veleda, interrupting his thoughts. “So what are we doing here?”
The woman rode by his side, as always. And as always, she liked to provoke him with rhetorical questions, never failing to remind him of her contempt for the Romans. She had never managed to grow fond of the memory of Caesar, who was responsible for the ruin of her father Ariovistus, let alone feel any kind of bond with Octavian – although she too was part of the cult of Mars Ultor and despite having saved the man’s sister.
“We will carry out our orders,” he said quietly, urging his horse on again and gesturing to the squad following him to do likewise. It was time to scout farther afield from the place chosen for the meeting where Octavian and Lucius Antonius would attempt to resolve their differences and avoid war. The consul did not appear to have prepared an ambush, but there might be troops hidden further away. Octavian, on the other hand, had positioned his reserves well beyond the reach of his rival’s cavalry. “Even when the orders are wrong?” said Veleda, wiping the perspiration from her face with the stump of her right arm and urging on her own horse.
Before you go we have an interview with Lisa Hobman on the blog you can read that here ~ Lisa Hobman Interview
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