Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Nova Praetorian
Author: N.R. Walker
Heroes: Quintus Furius Varus/Kaeso Agorix
Genre: MM Historical
Length: 394 Pages
Publisher: Blue Heart Press
Release Date: October 24, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.
Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realises the gods have favoured him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.
Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.
And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian–the new guard–rise.
I loved this book. I was concerned at first that the ancient Roman terminology would be too much, and throw me out of the story, but it never happened. If anything, I learned quite a bit and am now ready for my turn on Jeopardy. Alex, I will take Gladiators for $1000, please. Seriously, this is so well written that I was instantly transported to a time and place that we can not truly imagine, nor consider the blood-ripened landscape as a place for love and romance amongst all the violence and death…but it worked. It so very much worked.
Quintus is the owner of a Ludus, a gladiator training facility. He is not only the owner and a trainer, but he is also one of the best at fighting. He is larger than most and most definitely fearsome, but he is also fair, and kind, and truly wants what’s best for his men…and women. Who knew there were female gladiators? Not me. Then we have Kaeso, a slave, who was recently stolen from his lands in Iberia and sold to a traitorous and evil Senator with selfish designs on his political career and has not a care in the world for those he is sworn to represent. It is at the Senator’s home that Quintus and Kaeso meet, work and train side by side, and fall in love. Now all they need to do is somehow figure out who is the real threat, figure out how to get Kaeso away from the Senator, and survive the brutality that is Ancient Rome.
I highly recommend this book. I sat on it for awhile because of baseless concerns, and I hope you take this review to heart and give it a shot. Our boys have to fight for it, but they do it so well and they get their happy ending… and it was worth every minute.
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*