Saturday, November 14, 2015

Roman Mask by Thomas M D Brooke

Roman Mask
by Thomas M.D. Brooke

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: June 29, 2015
Publisher: Thomas M D Brooke
ISBN-13: 9781783017966
Genre: Historical Fiction |War
Print Length: 390 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rome AD 9
Augustus Caesar rules Imperial Rome at the height of its power, as the Roman Empire stretches across the known world. Cassius, son of one of her most powerful families, is the personification of Rome's imperial strength: wealthy, popular, a war hero with a decorated military career - none of Rome's fashionable parties are complete without him - except, he hides a secret.

After his nerve is broken in Germany, the thought of genuine armed combat is enough to send him into a cold sweat of fear and shame. But this doesn't dissuade him from living off a false reputation so he can continue a life of casual affairs, wine, and parties, as he is seduced by the many vices of Rome.

However his scandalous life is soon upset by a summons from the Emperor's wife. It ends his happy decadent life and returns him to Germany to assist the Roman legions in their greatest ever trial, and the events that will resound down in history, in the dark forests of the Teutoburg...

 Roman Mask by Thomas M D Brooke

Roman MaskVisit Rome at the height of its power through the eyes of a hero who hid his shame at the accolades he thought he didn’t deserve. Cassius was living a lie and he knew it, silencing his torment with wild living and alcohol. As the son of a powerful Roman family, he has prestige. As a hero, he had the adulation of the masses. He had fought in Germany, distinguished, but broken, he ran and now was his chance to truly earn the title “warrior hero” when the Emperor’s wife summons him to her side with a command. With no way out, Cassius was to go back into the bloodiest battles Rome of AD 9 would ever see. What he didn’t expect was to have a young and brash young soldier at his side, by far the best swordsman to be seen. This is Cassius’ story, as he grows from a spoiled socialite to a true warrior and commander when the odds are not in his favor and Rome’s mighty legions are brought to their knees on the battlefield against the German warriors defending their homelands.

Feel the desperation of a force reeling from their greatest defeat ever. Endure the lack of true leadership by men ill-prepared to wage real war and be amazed at their willingness to fall on their own swords to save face. As Cassius takes on more and more of the strategic planning, he finds he has the intelligence to map out the paths of least resistance and the charisma to command men to follow him, even when it is surely to their own deaths. There is a traitor among them and Rome is being repeatedly stabbed in the heart, the blood of their warriors coating the battlefields as the monstrous Germans hack them to pieces, enjoying the torturous screams of their enemies. Where will Cassius lead his followers? Will he ask more of them than he is willing to give? What happened to the coward who ran scared as in his place stands a great warrior, a leader of men, willing to die for those around him if it would give them even a slight chance to live.

I read Roman Mask in one sitting; it was that powerful, that mesmerizing and that well-written. Thomas M.D. Brooke is a master storyteller as he brings the glory and the shame of war to life in a time long ago when Rome thought it was its right to rule the known world. Vicious battles, brave soldiers, bloody battlefields and the brutality of hand to hand combat when one misstep means certain death. Mr. Brooke does not argue the rights of one country over another; he presents a tale of war, of one man’s battle within himself and his chance for personal redemption and honor.

There is tentative romance, heroes falling to the blade as the villain survives. This is war at its worst and best. Heroes will rise, as will the strong and the very lucky, deceit will be uncovered and inhumane torture will turn your stomach, but war is to the death, to the victors go the spoils. Through it all, one man distinguishes himself for the sake of his countrymen, but will he be rewarded if he survives or will knowing he has done the best he could under the worst of circumstances be the only acknowledgement he needs? Powerful reading that should be on everyone’s shelf.

I received this copy from Thomas M.D. Brooke in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I love anything to do with the Roman Empire, and this sounds very intriguing. Thanks for the review.

  2. This book made me feel like I was immersed in Ancient Rome. I couldn't wait to read this book as this part of history fascinates me since I don't know much about it but was eager to learn. Cassius first comes home as a "war hero" but struggles with his true account of what happened in the Germanic territories. He's living a "lie". He is sent back to assist by the Emperor's wife. Here he has a chance to right the wrongs and obtain redemption. The only set back for me was the war scenes began to lose me as there is a lot of them and they are very descriptive. (I won this book through Tome Tender in exchange for my honest review.)