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Reviewed by Jose Cornelio for Readers' Favorite
Antonius: Soldier of Fate by Brook Allen is a compelling historical novel filled with intrigue and action, following the life of one of the powerful military figures that shaped the Roman Empire: Marcus Antonius. Antonius is respected in high circles, a man who has enjoyed a successful career, but maintaining peace in the Roman provinces is an endeavor that leaves him with little life of his own. His marriage is experiencing its own tempests and things get more complicated when his colleague Octavian rises in fame and success. Follow Antonius as he fights to outwit his colleague and bring glory to Rome, setting out on an ultimate campaign that will have him linked in an inscrutable manner to the Queen of Egypt. The fate of Rome depends largely on the choices he makes, but can he balance what he loves the most and the glory of Rome?
This well-researched and skillfully written story opens an escape route to Roman history, and Brook Allen does a wonderful job in portraying the family and social life of the key character. It explores the strained relationship between Antonius and Cleopatra, with the complications brought about by Octavian’s quest for power. Cleopatra is a well-written character and from her affair to the doomed marriage with Antonius, she is written in a way that grabs the reader’s attention. The conflict is deftly written, featuring the turmoil within Rome itself, the wars with Rome’s enemies, and the squabbles between powerful Roman leaders. Antonius: Soldier of Fate is filled with action, and is emotionally engaging and exceptional in its details. It is as interesting as any historical novel can be.