S.J.A. Turney's Books & More

Reviews, news and inside the world of books.

Watchmen of Rome

with 4 comments


I had the privilege to be one of the lucky few to read a proof copy of this novel quite a while before it was released. The story revolves around a retired soldier returning to Rome only to find himself drawn into unexpected conflict when he steps in to save an innocent from local thugs. Through a series of unforeseen events, he ends up owning a tavern in the city and becoming involved with the not-particularly-respected local vigiles (watchmen and firefighters).

Soon, he finds himself caught in the middle of deadly enmities and a plot by a foreign priestess to destroy Rome for what it has done to her people. Carbo is no hero, no noble or champion, but on his shoulders and those of his disprespected friends rests the future of the city and possibly the Empire.

This book has been produced through a small independant press, having read the early draft I can already say that ‘Watchmen’ is easily the match of any of the Roman fiction out there published by the major houses and they missed a gem in it.

The book is a good example of an action adventure plot at its best, with a pace that doesn’t let up throughout, with no slow parts or chunks that could have been cut. Characterisation is strong, particularly in the case of Carbo, who while being the protagonist is far from a heroic character. He is a realistic, believable fellow, who does what he must and what he feels needs doing not for the glory of success or the desire to follow a moral path as much as through expediency and necessity. Also, I particularly liked his friend in the vigiles, as I’m sure you will too.

The crescendo as the book lunges towards its finale is fabulously portrayed, very visually and with edge-of-your-seat action.

In short, the book is one of the better reads in the genre and I would urge anyone to take a chance and give it a read. If you love Rome, action, adventure, intrigue and comedy even, you’ll enjoy it.

A top read,

Written by SJAT

July 7, 2014 at 9:57 am

4 Responses

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  1. Is it available on Kindle?


    Stephen Flanagan

    July 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    • Hi Stephen. Can you believe this comment disappeared into spam without warning almost two years ago! Sorry, matey. For what it’s worth, the answer is yes!



      May 24, 2016 at 7:34 pm

  2. Thanks so much for this review! Scary releasing your first offspring to make its own way in the world!


    Alex Gough

    July 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    • My pleasure. Credit where it’s due… 🙂



      July 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm

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