by Diana Hockley
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of An Empire For Ravens, a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Also at the end of this post you can find a player for the latest Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast which features the first chapter of another one of Mary and Eric’s books, Ruined Stones (written as Eric Reed), from a different series. It is read by local actor Paddy Myers and has a Christmas time setting.
Rome, in the 6th Century AD, was a terrifying place to live and no one travelled there unless they had to. For John, the Lord Chamberlain exiled to Greece by the Emperor, it was even more perilous. When word got back to the Emperor, John would be executed for disobeying orders to remain in exile, and in danger of forfeiting his life as a Mithran convert.
John, in answer to a plea for help by his friend Felix, arrives at the outskirts of Rome to be set upon by guards. Disguised as farmers, he and his companion Marius are forced to flee, Marius falling out of the cart to certain death, and John to enter the Catacombs.
Arrested by General Diogenes’ guards, John manages to talk his way out of being incarcerated or killed and makes his way to Felix’s house, where more mystery abounds. A girl Clementina, who turns out to been having an affair with Felix, has moved in. Felix’s former servants have fled, leaving only a strange person – a cook – behind.
Followed at first by Diogenes’ henchman Viteric, and then joined by the spy as John makes friends, danger lurks in every alley and dingy house.
Starved, and terrified of the Goths which attack the city – and which John helps defend – the local populace cannot be trusted to betray or murder this tall, commanding man. There is no mistaking the former Lord Chamberlain, and word of John’s arrival and brave fighting on the battlements spreads throughout the city.
This twelfth story in the John, the Lord Chamberlain, series does not disappoint. Although the story starts slowly, it builds to a crescendo of violence, betrayal, and tragedy as the answer to Felix’s disappearance unfolds. John is an interesting and sympathetic character, enigmatic but immensely likable.
Mary Reed and Eric Mayer have produced a novel rich in history, a testament to the incredible amount of research they put into each story. One could believe that you were in the city with John, sharing his adventures, so vivid is the imagery.
To enter to win a copy of An Empire For Ravens, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “ravens,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 22, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
If you get KRL through feedburner you will not see the player, but you can go to Podbean and play the episode there!
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. They can also be found on iTunes and Google Play.
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.