Review: The Knife of Narcissus V by Carolyne Chand

The quest to find his wife’s lover has embroiled Lucius Sentius in corruption and debauchery at a high level. The men he must confront are tied to the emperor, and the price of their help involves a strange game of humiliation. The corruption of a city that shrugged off mad emperor Nero, and replaced him with a new brand of decadence, fits Lucius like a well-draped toga. If he’s willing to wear his new guise.

Velleia has been carrying a secret not so different than Lucius’s own: love lost to distance and circumstance. To help the wife he now respects, he will have to take the risk of becoming the man his reputation claims him to be.

His brother-in-law Aulus’s secrets are just business: a shipment of smuggled goods that is drawing Lucius ever more deeply into dangerous intrigues. And looming over it all, Trio is due to return to the city of Rome.

Whatever secrets Trio is carrying have built a wall of thorns between him and Lucius, a wall Lucius is no long sure he has the means to tear down. Lucius may already be what Trio feared he would become. Revealing the truth of their lives could be too painful for both of them.


Trio returns and the mysterious shipment lands! 

Now we're getting somewhere. This shipment will have farer reaching consequences than I originally thought, or so it seems. And, p.s., kudos to Ms. Chand for her extensive research. Really. I had to look it up and all I can say is-WANT!

As I said in my review of IV, I think we're barreling headlong into an excruciating decision for Lucius. I've been trying to remain objective, to not pick a side but… I fear my attempts have been in vain. I've chosen and I've decided if Lucius doesn't choose wisely… well, let's just say I'm not opposed to taking drastic measures.

Other events seem to be streamlining the story down to this choice. Naturally, Lucius continues to have some interesting experiences that expand his… ahem, knowledge. 


To be fair to Lucius, his name and reputation seem to be recovering and he's carving a place for himself in Rome, though I do hope the guy in the garden doesn't turn out to be a whackadoodle and/or a thorn in his side.

I continue to be impressed by this writer, this story and this episode did not disappoint.

*side mouths* Especially that scene in Ostia.

The conclusion for our Narcissus is shaping up to be (as we say in the sticks) a humdinger.

Can't wait.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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