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Children of Apollo: Eagles and Dragons - Book I (Volume 1) Paperback – May 21, 2013
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About the Author
Adam Alexander Haviaras is a writer and historian who has studied ancient and medieval history and archaeology in Canada and the United Kingdom. He currently resides in Toronto with his wife and children. Children of Apollo is his first novel. Visit him online at: eaglesanddragonspublishing.com
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Lucius, whose family line is symbolized by the dragon (strength and wisdom), is a young tribune who joins the Roman Legion despite his father's protests. Lucius's leadership is tested when he confronts raiding parties that threaten to disrupt Rome's trading routes in northern Africa. Despite treachery within his cohort, Lucius's decisions saves his troops from slaughter, with the aid of a mysterious man from the desert who advises him. When Lucius harshly punishes traitors in his ranks, his bold action catches the attention of the emperor who requests his return to Rome.
In Rome, Lucius falls in love with an Athenian woman who is destined to be his wife. When he is threatened by unknown enemies, possibly from his inner circle or connected to the emperor, he must counter their sinister plot that could harm him, his love, and family.
Children of Apollo is a powerful story of an idealist Roman tribune who believes his fate is controlled by Apollo. The storytelling is vivid and action scenes are riveting. It blends adventure, political intrigue, mythical elements, and romance. When the story is told from Lucius's point of view, I am totally engaged with him on his journey. Nonetheless, when the story goes into other points of views, the flow of the story is, at times, not quite as smooth, particularly from the women's perspective. Despite this, the story is compelling and a page-turner. I would recommend the novel to anyone who loves Ancient Roman historical fiction and elements of mythology.
However, Lucius is such a compelling character--a man driven by personal honor, by devotion to his family ancestors and his gods, by fear and hesitation as to what meaning his life may have...even his complete fate-decreed adoration, mutually given as it turns out, of the woman he eventually marries--and so, I have to know how Lucius' story progresses. And to my delight, the latter half of the book, with its danger, tension and growing complexity of intrigue, drew me in and kept me fascinated and barely waiting for more.
Lucius Metellus Anguis is descended indirectly from an old proud Roman patrician line. Somehow, a dragon is integral to his destiny, as is his being protected by the god Apollo. As a soldier, he is averse to the politics of his time, the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus. But he is drawn deeper in, not always aware that it is happening. There are always plots afoot in Rome--in this case, although Septimius has two sons as his heirs, the Praetorian Prefect, one Plautianus, has his own agenda, and uses spies and assassins to accomplish his task. Will Empress Julia Domna truly protect Lucius, even if only turning him into yet another of her own pawns? Will the War god Mars offer any divine guidance to this tribune who more readily worships Apollo instead of him? Will Lucius again be with his beloved Adara? Wait with me for the next book in the series. I look forward to it.
One of the great highlights of the book is in showing Lucius' devotion to his ancestors and to the gods. These are not often elements displayed, and with such grace and natural ordinariness. Sometimes it might be deemed improper, in this age of poking at different religious beliefs. But it definitely fits with the character and makes him so much more real.
A good read with rich character development.