Book 2 of the Warrior of Rome series
The second book in this series begins immediately where the first left off. We are thrown straight into a desperate dash across the desert to reach Antioch and tell the (Eastern) Emperor how Arete had fallen to the Sassanids.
Though still incredibly well written, this book does tend to sag in the middle following a quick battle with the Sassanids as Ballista is sent off on what at first glance seems an unnecessary mission to persecute Christians. Though short and kind of interesting, it detracts from what we have come to expect from this series, that is, the excellently detailed and flowing battle scenes. Perhaps the real Marcus Clodius Ballista was indeed sent off to put Christians on trial but it makes this series feel a little bloated as it gets bogged down too much in the politics that until that point had gelled rather well with the action.
Looking forward to the third book in the series already though!