The Gates of Hell
Augustus Caesar is determined to expand Rome to the ends of the world, and Selene—daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony—has sworn to stop him. With the death of her parents and her siblings feeding her vengeance, Selene and her husband, Juba, plot to destroy not just the Emperor himself but the entire Roman Empire as well—all by using the power of the Shards. But the five black stones—said to be the remnants of the throne of God—contain a terrible power that drains the life of those who use them. And as their plans proceed, Selene and Juba must decide whether vengeance is worth the price of their immortal souls.
Livingston tells his tale with skill, weaving the threads of the separate storylines together in a cohesive manner that’s easy to follow. You have to wait until about halfway through the story for the appearance of any notable magic, and the change in motivations toward the end of the book might seem a tad forced, but overall The Gates of Hell is an intriguing ride, steeped in historical fact and laced with a magic spark for that little extra kick.
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