Kirkus Indie Review

A thriller for history buffs, this extensive novel speeds through the rise of the Roman Empire.

How do you become the most powerful man on Earth? Don’t make mistakes. Parrelli’s portrayal of the meteoric rise of Octavian (now known as Augustus Caesar) shows how few Octavian made. His enemies met swift ends as soon as politics allowed. With all his resounding successes and rare failures, Octavian seems almost inhuman—similar to Shakespeare’s portrait of him in Antony and Cleopatra, which Parrelli’s plotcentric narrative doesn’t markedly revise. The last days of Rome’s republic overflow with betrayals, reversals of fortune, loaded rhetoric and military maneuvering, and Parrelli gives each moment its due while expanding on the lead-up and fallout from each event in a realistic, if cursory, fashion. Still, Parrelli’s fidelity to the Roman historians and his use of maps within the text make for a remarkably accurate portrait of the actual events in Octavian’s life.

The exciting, authentic plot will keep the pages turning.