"My name is Lucius Aurelius Valens, and I am a soldier in the service of Rome."
A young Roman officer with a strong sense of justice and duty thwarts corrupt officials plundering the province of Syria and is marked for death. To save his life, he is sent to command a cavalry regiment stationed in ever-restless Judea. He expects only the thankless task of maintaining the Roman peace in a land where he and his soldiers are despised and feared. But this peace is shattered when he and his men discover the massacre of a detachment of Praetorian Guards and the man they were protecting--a member of the Roman Senate and an ally of the emperor Tiberius himself. Plunged straight into a deadly web of murder and intrigue, Valens soon realizes far more is at stake than just his own life and honor.
"I can only tell you what I saw and heard and felt and learned."
Valens must find those truly responsible. If he fails, he will be forced to destroy the nearest village in savage reprisal. But time is running out fast and there are many--including some under his own command--who are sure the Roman peace can only be maintained by terror and the use of overwhelming force. To save innocent lives, he must first pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding the senator's strange journey through one of the empire's most dreary backwaters. What was Decimus Junius Silanus seeking? And why was he killed?
"You must judge for yourselves whether I speak the truth--or whether I have simply lost all sense and reason...."
Surrounded by strange prophecies, eerie omens, and hidden agendas, Valens races to uncover the truth, to confront a ruthless, powerful enemy, and to meet a destiny that he could never have imagined.
"The Tribune does for ancient Rome what The Name of the Rose did for medieval Europe and Gorky Park did for the corrupt Soviet Union."
-- Kevin J. Anderson, bestselling author of the new Dune series
"The Tribune offers a captivating look into the life of an honorable Roman soldier...While the mystery surrounding the murder of the Roman senator provides a compelling story, the finale of the novel packs an even greater punch."
-- Sheri Melnick, Romantic Times
"Patrick Larkin, co-author of five other thriller and espionage novels, writes directly, with a compelling narrative and descriptive detail...Larkin has a talent for evoking atmosphere and creating characters. Rather than parade his research, he skillfully and naturally weaves relevant facts into scenes and dialogue, which, in a historical novel, is no small accomplishment."
-- Adelaida Lower, Historical Novels Review, Issue 25, August 2003
"[The Tribune] is historical fiction for everyone. The way the author introduces characters, presents background, and explains the machinations of Roman politics makes this book easily accessible to anyone with even a passing interest in the period. The mystery is only one layer of this complex story. Revelations continue to the final page. I'm looking forward to more...[4 Daggers]"
-- Deborah Hern, coordinator of The Mysterious Corner at the Romance Reader's Connection
"Being a whistleblower is risky business, especially in ancient Rome... Larkin's story is ambitious and well plotted...fascinating premise."
-- Publisher's Weekly
About the Author
Larkin and his family live near Austin, Texas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fantastic account of the emotions of battle. Enjoyable read. My wife and I recommend this one.
If you like reading about Roman soldiers fighting with honor, you'll like this story.
I have to say that the story line in this book was definitely out of the ordinary and very creative. The story begins in Antioch during the reign of Tiberius. A Roman Tribune runs afoul of the powers that be in exposing corruption. After an attempt is made on his life, for his own safety he is sent to Judea to command a calvary regiment. He is also asked to escort a young Jewish boy to Jerusalem. Along the way, The Tribune comes across the massacre of a Roman senator and his Praetorian guards. That is when things really get interesting. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the second book in the series.