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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated mature for violence

After losing his mind, Antonius Axia had his mind rebuilt by the Vestal Virgins who gifted him with fantastic deductive abilities. So when the sons of Rome’s elite are found gruesomely murdered and the Vestal Virgins are suspected of the crimes, their Chief Vestal Rubria calls upon Detectioner Antonius to solve the mystery before Emperor Nero has the Vestal Virgins killed. At the same time, a captivating female gladiator named Achilla is close to winning her freedom by dominating in the coliseum and she knows something about what people now believe is a curse on Rome.

Despite feeling rushed, this wasn’t a bad read. I liked the mystery, the setting is impressive, and the characters are fun but I don’t feel all those things don’t get enough time to develop and become more memorable. Nero has issues with Rubira, Achillia has history with some rich guy, Antonius is estranged from his son then suddenly not anymore… All of this flies by so fast, it’s difficult to get invested. The art is amazing to look at but I think this should have been longer. 3 out of 5.

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