Oh yeah. THIS is the story I was waiting on! While I did enjoy book #1 (Caligula) I REALLY liked this one. Why? I think this one has more action and less “the elephant whispers”. Not that I don’t like Bersheba but I want the death, blood, torture, and gore! To be fair, both books have that but this one has more of it. ‘Claudius’ picks up three/four years after ‘Caligula’ and Rome is going back after Britain. Rufus has had the (mis)fortune of being too good at what he does and has been rewarded with an honorary Praetorian commission… with all the hardships and extra hardships that come with it.
‘Claudius’ is a true Roman novel in every way. From the battles with more blood than an exploding vampire, to the graphic descriptions of dismemberment, to the maze of Roman politics, Douglas continues one hell of a tale. Narcissus is the puppet master, Claudius is the lead actor, and Rufus is the bit player. Not because he’s isn’t important, but rather because he and his elephant are at the Emperor’s bidding. And since being the Emperor of Rome means you have to have some sort of serious mental disorder, Claudius wants “his” elephant to fight against the Britain’s.
Unfortunately the Britain’s will not go quietly; Julius Caesar was witness to that. So Rome and her ego, I mean Emperor, plan another slaughter. I enjoy reading about the plights of the other side and Caratacus and his people provide the perfect fodder.
Rome wasn’t the only nation that had honor and they weren’t the only nation to bathe in blood. Both sides prepare… and the gods wait.