Fourteen-year old Lucius Junius Brutus yearns to join the army of King Tarquin the Proud, Etruscan ruler of Rome. When he successfully swims the Tiber River before sundown on the longest day of the year, he counts on the King choosing him as a warrior. But Lucius' father has other plans: to make Lucius a priest and guardian of the dusty scrolls of Rome's legendary lawgiver, Numa Pompilius. Obeying his father, Lucius arrives at the shrine only to find it is a place of magic empowered by Numa's grammarly scrolls. If Lucius can master the scrolls' potential, he will not only defeat the human and ghostly forces that terrify and threaten Rome, he will become the master of the city and even the world. Can Lucius resist the temptation of becoming a king even prouder than Tarquin?
The Mirror and the MageFeatured
Lucius is a young man whose life has been planned out for him for quite some time. His older brother is a soldier for the king, something the king wishes of him as well once he finds out that Lucius swam the dangerous river and survived to tell the tale. But Lucius has a destiny that is bigger than that. His family has a sacred duty and he is to become a priest.
With the tutelage of an older priest named Glyph, he is able to learn to use a can that can control grammars and make them do spectacular things to combat anything that threatens Rome. He is preparing for something big, something we aren’t quite sure of yet.
With the eventual help of a girl from his childhood and a man named Logophilus he is even able to master the use of a mirror to enter another reality. All in the name of protecting Rome.
I enjoyed parts of this story, but others seemed to drag quite a bit. The names, which are probably authentic, are long so every time I saw certain ones, the story would be broken up. There are also many words that I assume are Latin, but weren’t completely explained. I spent much of the book confused. I still don’t know if I completely understand his quest.
The writing itself is actually pretty incredible. It’s the story I wasn’t sold on. But, good writing can make up for those deficiencies and this did in a way.
The book was an original take on magic in an amazing setting. Great world building, entertaining writing, and likable characters make for a good read.