04 April, 2015

#BookReview :: The Golden Dice (Tales of Ancient Rome #2) by Elisabeth Storrs

During a bitter siege between Rome and the Etruscan city of Veii, three women follow different paths to survive.

Caecilia, Roman born but Etruscan wed, forsakes Rome to return to her husband, Vel Mastarna, exposing herself to the enmity of his people while knowing the Romans will give her a traitor’s death if Veii falls. Semni, a reckless Etruscan servant in the House of Mastarna, embroils herself in schemes that threaten Caecilia’s son and Semni’s own chance for love. Pinna, a destitute Roman prostitute, uses coercion to gain the attention of Rome’s greatest general at the risk of betraying Caecilia’s cousin.

Each woman struggles to protect herself and those whom she loves in the dark cycle of war. What must they do to challenge Fate? And will they ever live in peace again?

The Wedding Shroud was one of the most interesting historical romances that I have read in quite some time. So I wasted no time in picking up its sequel.

In this instalment we see Cecelia in a new light. She has taken control of her own life and married Mastarna by her own choice. She is now a wife and a mother who is well settled in the Entruscan lifestyle. Still, there are people who believe her to be a traitor and distrust her. The bond between Cecelia and Mastarna has become stronger over the years yet there’s an undercurrent that makes you feel shaky about their relationship. Elisabeth Storrs introduces to two new and strong characters – Semni and Pinna. Both have a connection and a lot on stake at the war. They each tackle things in their own ways but their goals are the same – to keep themselves and their beloveds safe. Three women, one war and the hand of fate…

Ofcourse after an interesting beginning to the series, I was expecting a lot of fireworks from this one and my expectations were met full on. I loved the fact that the author introduced two new characters here who share the center stage with Cecelia. Their ranks are of course lower than that of Cecelia and it was interesting to get a second and third perspective of everything. I liked Pinna – she comes off the street and is now the concubine or Marcus and so he also has knowledge of some secrets that afford her a comfortable lifestyle. However, she falls for another man unexpectedly who happens to be Drusus, the man Cecelia once had cared for. Pinna is a true fighter by her spirit. Semni on the other hand tested my patience often with her self-destructive nature – if only she would do the right thing, right away! I just could not make myself to like her. Drusus was a surprise element in the book. He turned out to be the other person who I loved to hate in this book as he turns out to be this hostile and cruel man.

The plot continues to thicken and the author keeps the readers indulged with her remarkable narration style. She pays a lot of attention to details and everyday nuances of her characters that help make this world more and more real. Pinna being in the Roman camp helped as it gave us the view to both the camps. Filled with politics, exploitation, deceit and romance, this novel is a complete page turner. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series – Call to Juno.

Review Copy received via NetGalley

1 comment:

  1. Seems a bit mysterious, will be interesting to read.. Thanks for the review