Book Reviews: Caesar's Not Here: The Inauguration Of Pompey's Theatre & The Witches Of Avalon

Hello everyone,

I have two new novels for you today. Enjoy!

Caesar's Not Here: The Inauguration of Pompey's Theater by Alex Johnston
Did you miss Marcus Mettius? I certainly did. Our favourite Roman salesman is one witty character who always finds himself in trouble. Usually because of Julius Caesar. But, as the title gives away, Caesar's not here this time. But that doesn't mean that Mettius can rest safely...
It does seem so at first. He has been invited to the inauguration of Pompey's theatre, an enormous complex that also features a dining area, a shopping centre, and a temple of Venus! Our Marcus is enjoying the gory games and the delicious food together with his beautiful date, the tavern maid Portia, some of his best friends, and a few of the most influential figures of his time. When, suddenly, something unexpected and dangerous happens...
This novella is a bit different from the others in the series. All the action occurs on the few days the festivities take place, and a huge chunk of the story is dedicated to their description. But that doesn't mean the book is slow and boring. Johnston can't do boring. His new novella is just as funny as all the others. It just provides a snapshot into a specific, limited, event that took place in the final years of the Republic, allowing the reader to enjoy it as if he/she were there.
As always, the characters talk in an anachronistic, modern way. That's something that usually bothers me in historical fiction works, but not here. It just fits, and makes the story more engaging.
If you've enjoyed the other Marcus Mettius' adventures, or just like a short, funny story, pick this one up. I promise you'll enjoy it.
Available at: Amazon UK and Amazon US
Rating: 4/5

The Witches Of Avalon by Lavinia Collins
I remember thinking, when I was reading the Guinevere trilogy, what an intriguing character Morgan, the half-sister of King Arthur, was and how I wished she had her own book. So, you can imagine how happy I was when, a while ago, Lavinia contacted me to ask if I was interested in reviewing the first book of her new trilogy, The Witches Of Avalon, starring Morgan as the lead. I said yes straight away!
As always, Lavinia Collins doesn't disappoint. This first book sees Morgan grow from an innocent child to a young woman who discovers betrayal, the cruelty of a men's world, and sex. War is looming, and danger seems to lurk behind every corner, especially when Merlin is around. A witch, Morgan turns to her magical powers to keep herself and her loved ones safe. But, even then, it seems only dark magic can give her the freedom and safety she craves. But is she willing to embark on a road from which she can't turn back?
Once again, Collins has created complex, intriguing characters, and a vivid world that makes you forget the Arthurian legends are just that, legends. They seem real. It's also refreshing to see them told, for a change, by the female protagonists who are often relegated to one-dimensional characters in the background. Here, Morgan comes forward to tell her own story. And it's a very compelling one.
If you like the Arthurian legends, or even just a good story, check it out.
Available at: Amazon UK and Amazon US
Rating: 4/5

What do you think of these books?

Disclaimer: these books were sent by the authors for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.