“Spartacus: Talons of an Empire is a fine adventure tale full of derring-do and hand-to-hand combat.”



One of my favourite subjects at school was history, and I later went on to gain a BA Hons in history with the Open University. However, I didn’t really get on with the history of the Roman Empire. Of course most of us know about Spartacus of course, even if it’s only from the 1960 movie. However, it seems that the man’s body wasn’t found at the time his final defeat.

That little titbit comes from Southworth’s historical note at the end of the book. It does mean that the field is open for authors to move the hero around the Roman Empire and allowing him to fight and kill as many men as he wishes.

Southworth’s Spartacus is not just an efficient killing machine looking for revenge though, oh no. He comes across as sensitive man who loves his family along with hating the Romans, especially the one who orders the death of his son. However, he accepts the Romans’ offer to work for him. As the story roles on it becomes clear that respect, and perhaps love, a love that only comes about between brothers in arms develops between the two men.

As with all stories about the Roman Empire, violence, politics, corruption and back stabbing are not far from the surface, and this one is no different. At the back of the story line is the ultimate downfall of one of Roman’s most powerful men. This downfall is begun with the main plot of the story line, the fall of a man who rules a city who seems to be defying the Empire – but is he? Buy it, read it and you will find out.

So what can I say about this one. I loved it and I already have the two follow-ups and one more from this writer. Again, it’s an easy read for me, and that always helps. There’s plenty of historical content but I suppose some will say there’s not enough and others say the opposite. Whatever, it’s a cracking read and well worth the effort of doing so.


Reviewed by:

Ron Clark

Added 11th June 2016

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Ron Clark