Here’s the blurb:
Warrior and combat medic of the Twenty Second Legion, Titus Cervianus, must fight the armies of the fabled Warrior Queen in this blistering new Roman adventure from Simon Turney.
Egypt, 25 BC. Titus Cervianus is no ordinary soldier. And the Twenty Second is no ordinary legion. Formed from the personal guard of a conquered king, the Twenty Second’s ways are strange to soldiers of the Empire – yet the legion has proved itself in the blistering heat of the desert.
Cervianus and his comrades march into the unknown as he and the Twenty Second Legion contend with the armies of the Bellatrix: the Warrior Queen of Kush. The Kushites and the Egyptians are united against the Roman presence in their lands – but there are complex political and military forces at work. Deep in the deserts, Cervianus and his comrades must brace themselves for a furious onslaught as they take on the might of the Bellatrix.
Bellatrix is the sequel to The Capsarius, (find my review here) a book that I thought was fantastic. I’ve been desperately waiting for Bellatrix, and it doesn’t disappoint.
From the first page, we’re plunged once more into the heat and cold of Egypt’s desert, an intense journey that makes for difficult reading at times. Our Capsarius is sorely tested. He’s not happy to be there, but he has orders to follow, and follow them he must. Luckily, his tent-mate, Ulxsses, is at his side, and just about manages to refrain from causing trouble for quite some time. Not that he manages to continue to do so for long.
This truly is a story about surviving against the odds. If you think the desert trek is bad, then things are only going to get much, much worse for our soldiers.
What I enjoy most about these stories of The Capsarius is the complete change of scene. I don’t read huge amounts of Roman-era fiction, although it’s a period that’s certainly growing on me, but even I know many of these stories take place in Europe or the UK. Egypt is completely new, and the clash of cultures between Rome and the Kush, is one of the highlights of the books.
Bellatrix is a worthy sequel to The Capsarius. You can taste the sand in your mouth and the pounding heat on your head as the story surges towards its stunning conclusion. Highly recommended.
Meet the Author
Simon Turney is from Yorkshire and, having spent much of his childhood visiting historic sites, fell in love with the Roman heritage of the region. His fascination with the ancient world snowballed from there with great interest in Rome, Egypt, Greece and Byzantium. His works include the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series, the Tales of the Empire and The Damned Emperor series, and the Rise of Emperors books with Gordon Doherty. He lives in North Yorkshire with his family.
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