Amulet II: The Gallic War (A Roman Novel (Roman Amulet Series) by Fredrik Nath Book 2) is the second book of a series of three. It is an historical novel set in the Roman Republic (68-62 BC) reflecting fictional events in the life of Aulus Veridius Scapula, a Ninth Legion soldier. The first book related how his parents were murdered and he became a soldier in the army of Lucullus in Armenia. Injured in the battle, he returned to the care of the Queen of Pontus to recover from a serious head injury. His cousin Marcus had inflicted that injury because he wanted to get his hands on an amulet that contains the secret of the location of deeds to a property that will make him fabulously wealthy. At the end of the first story, Marcus has obtained the amulet.
In this second episode, Aulus travels to Rome to escape the returning King of Pontus. On the way, he falls in love with Aripele, a beautiful young prostitute who is also travelling to Rome to find Aulus’ friend Junius, since they were lovers. In Rome, he has to rejoin his legion to pursue his cousin and find out where the amulet is. He enters his old legion and travels to Gaul in the army of Julius Caesar where he distinguishes himself in battle. He is sent home however, because of a technicality, which leads to his dishonorable discharge from the army. He returns to the waiting arms of his lover.
Once back in Rome he steals the amulet and gains revenge upon Marcus’ slave, Cerberus, who killed his parents. Once in possession of the deeds he discovers that he needs considerable funds for legal fees to re-establish ownership of the land. He turns to the arena where he applies his considerable skills and raises money by betting on himself.
The book ends with the pregnancy of Aulus’ now wife, Aripele, and a foreboding of what is to come.
The premise of the story continues that of the first book: Even inside the most violent men in those times, there was a true emotional life. The violence is external and mechanical. Love, friendship, and humour were not absent they were only obscured by the day-to-day brutality of their lives.
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