Titus, banished by the new Lombard King, finds himself reduced to baking bricks in Rome. Political machinations are afoot and the factions have contrary schemes for him. One faction lifts him from the brick factory to a minor office. Neither faction is ready for what a Roman of the old cloth would do.
While this historical novel is true to the times, conflicts and characters, it is breath-catchingly dramatic:
+ Watch Titus as he delivers a live-birth from a whore who has died in childbirth.
+ Watch his rage when, to demonstrate the torments of Hell, a monk casts a puppy onto burning embers.
+ Watch when he burns the Archdeacon's Tribunal of the Holy Life and arrests him.
+ And hold your breath when he faces, in single combat, naked, the man who raped his wife. Watching it, watching in dread, watching in disguise as a man, is Adria, the woman who loves him.
In the late 6th Century, a Consul with Plenary Powers wore the mantle for a bit. A true Roman. He stood up. But then he faced Papal ire and the threat of the heretic's stake.
To Abandon Rome. Buy it now.