Review: The Knife of Narcissus III by Carolyne Chand

Lucius Sentius had always assumed the debauched and corrupt days of Nero were over. He was wrong. Being celibate and sober may be good for the reputation, but it’s a dead-end path for an ambitious Roman looking to rise to wealth and power in the city.

His friendship with the man he loves has been broken by the flare of passion between them, his wife has a better command of his household than he does, and gossip around the city about his hedonistic lifestyle is growing faster than any actual attempt to be wanton. When his new brother-in-law hires him to take on a mysterious task for a powerful, unidentified patron that requires someone willing to set aside all scruples, Lucius throws himself into a chance to prove his worth.

It’s enough to make a man turn to the gods for help. In Lucius’s case, the one goddess who seems to listen—to the right sort of worship—is Venus….

Building Block Episode, Folks.

I don't know why I'm calling them episodes. Just humor me.

If you've not read the first two it's probably a good idea to step away now. 

Lucius is fumbling throughout this episode, trying to figure out what prompted Trio to bolt and coming up with very few answers. After they did the deed (and during) in II some warning signals went off that something was amiss. I had a feeling that Lucius seems to realize as well during this episode, and let's just say what's good for the goose is not good for the other goose in Lucius' opinion. What's a wealthy Roman to do without his beloved? This is Lucius we're talking about so… 

I like him. I really really like him. Trio leaving has vexed him. Trio absconds to the country and is MIA in this episode. Lucius tries celibacy but he is not cut out for it. He's just not. Dude likes to get his groove on and everyone wants in his toga. It's a public service he's performing. Really it is. Besides Venus told him to! You shouldn't go against a Goddess. Bad things could happen. Very bad.

He also decides he's going to get in shape to increase his wooing chances when Trio returns and meets a former gladiator. Close. I'm getting closer to MORE GLADIATORS gladiating!!!!! His trainer, the gladiator, his new regimen are all very amusing as are his discussions with himself. My ¢2 are Lucius needs to go into politics. He can rationalize just about anything. This skill likely will come into play soon with this mysterious shipment for the brother in law out of Alexandria not to mention retooling his reputation. Seems word is out on the cobblestones that Lucius plays on his side of the fence ONLY. 

Lucius ain't going down that pigeon hole like that! It's on like Sean. Pretty sure things are about to get interesting in the Lucius household.

I liked this episode but I wanted more insight into why Velleia treats Lucius with seemingly such contempt. I have a few working theories which are all just conjecture at this point. I'm still thoroughly invested in this series and would recommend to Roman enthusiasts. If you're going in, it's in for a penny, in for a pound.

I would like to thank the author for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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