historical · lgbtqia content

REVIEW: Sons of Rome by Karrie Roman

The Official Description: 9CE Germania

Battle weary and fearless Centurion Drusus Tuscus has only three more years in the Roman Legions and then he can return home to the mother and young brother he was forced to leave behind seventeen summers ago. Drusus has suffered much during his years in the Legions: defeats, fallen comrades and excruciating wounds, but this time the stakes are so much higher. As he prepares to lead his warriors from the safety of their winter base, across the Rhine into the wilds of Germania, he awaits the arrival of new recruits to bolster his century. With these men he will face the ferocious barbarian tribes, many still chafing under the yoke of Roman subjugation.

When his friend and Optio returns with the new men, two faces in the crowd change everything for Drusus. His brother, long lost to him and now a man, stands before him and he brings with him a friend, a man named Caius. A man who stirs the long dead fires of Drusus’s heart. Two men, neither of whom Drusus is willing to lose to a barbarian blade.

As the campaign begins, whispers of betrayal and rebellion stoke a fear in Drusus, especially as his arrogant commander refuses to take heed of the warnings. As catastrophe stalks their footsteps Drusus must balance his duty to Rome with his love for Caius. He will give everything he has to save his beloved brother, and Caius, the man who has stolen his heart.

Two lives that mean more to Drusus than his own.

Just the facts: M/M relationship, the Roman army, many battles

A lyrical and beautiful story about two men who find each other in the midst of battle.  – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit:  I began this story this morning and couldn’t stop reading it. It seemed a simple premise at first, but I found the writing completely engaging and I loved the characters.

When Drusus was a young man he left everything he knew behind him for a life in the Roman Legion. He’s Centurian when his younger brother, Cal arrives as a new recruit. Cal is with his best friend, Caius. Drusus is immediately drawn to Caius but keeps his distance. He already knows that he will find it difficult to watch his younger brother fight… he doesn’t want to lose his heart to someone only to be constantly worried about him in battle.

Caius proves himself to be a formidable soldier… he can definitely take care of himself. Drusus’ defenses, however, weaken and he finds himself getting involved with Caius.

I can’t speak to the authenticity of the writing about the Roman Legion… I haven’t read enough history to have an opinion. It was certainly authentic enough for me to get caught up in the time and not question it. The battle scenes were pretty horrifying and there was a real sense of desperation at some points. I had a lot of sympathy for the characters and their plight. I can’t imagine living in a society in which I had to commit years of my life to an army without having a choice.

The relationship between Caius and Drusus is quite lovely in spite of the difficulties they are facing. Their dream of living on a farm together and growing old… is a lovely one. There are many times during the noel that their future is uncertain and I really felt for them. A lovely story that I would gladly recommend.

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Vivid descriptions of battle, injury, dismemberment, death of supporting character, deaths in battle.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Sons of Rome by Karrie Roman from NineStar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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