Author: Thomas MD Brooke
Title: Roman Mask
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Published: June 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Won in a Giveaway)
It is Rome AD 9 and Augustus Caesar rules Imperial Rome at the height of its power, as the Roman Empire stretches across the known world. Cassius, son of one of her most powerful families, is the personification of Rome's imperial strength: wealthy, popular, a war hero with a decorated military career - none of Rome's fashionable parties are complete without him - except, he hides a secret. After his nerve is broken in Germany, the thought of genuine armed combat is enough to send him into a cold sweat of fear and shame. But this doesn't dissuade him from living off a false reputation so he can continue a life of casual affairs, wine, and parties, as he is seduced by the many vices of Rome. However his scandalous life is soon upset by a summons from the Emperor's wife. It ends his happy decadent life and returns him to Germany to assist the Roman legions in their greatest ever trial, and the events that will resound down in history, in the dark forests of the Teutoburg...
I seriously needed some good Roman drama! And this certainly filled that need. The story was fun, intriguing, and the characters entertaining.
Honestly, it was a quick read and I could hardly put it down. I’m glad my new phone has a “read out loud” option, so I had this playing while I was working. It certainly made my boring day, a little less boring. I needed to know what was going to happen next (even though I did know what was going to happen next). The writing style was easy to follow. The author did a good job bringing the lavish Roman Empire and the “uncivilized” Germany to life. Kuddos.
Oooh poor Cassius. I do feel bad for him, especially when he is forced back to Germany, but I wanted to kick him. I get being all upset about the war, but still. Parading around with his false reputation is not a good way to solve your issues. Maybe talking to someone? Or getting a job/hobby (that doesn’t involve drinking and sleeping around) would help? Just GAH! Alas, those damn proud Romans. But it was nice to see Cassius fighting his inner demons and whatnot.
At first I didn’t understand the cover, but now I do. So MUCH symbolism, I like it. :D
The only real complaint was there was a huge chunk where things were dragging. I get it was character building and showing the journey to Germany and all, but I was nearly jumping with joy when some more action was happening.
Overall, this was a good book. It was a quick read and I could hardly put it down. I highly recommend this for those that have an interest in a book about someone coming to terms with their demons in a time when showing weakness was not in your best interest. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4 stars.