We are into the second session of The Leopard Vanguard completing up to half of the book. The end of the first session saw Tullus leaving behind everything to venture out into the unknown. And there he meets Paullus, head of a travelling troupe and a leopardess, Celestra along with the other members of the troupe. Tullus seems to find peace working in the troupe. The leopardess takes a liking to him and they become a successful act and bring popularity to their troupe.
At the same time, the chaos in the kingdom is worsening and the merchants are suffering under Camus Scorpio, the underground king. Eliana comes to the rescue of the merchants and try to get justice for them. Meantime, the death of Paullus puts Taullus on the road back to his former place to avenge his friend where he gets to know the plight of the merchants and decides to help them out, which is where this part ends.
The bond of Tullus and Celestra seems to be of a magical nature and he seems to be training in the art of incantations in addition to his act. That's the only fantastical part in 50% of the book. The book has been shelved as a Historical Fantasy. I agree that the author has done a very good job of basing it in Rome but the magic/fantasy parts seem to be sort of missing. On second thought, maybe basing an imaginary set of characters can be taken as the fantasy part? I am confused.
As I said in my earlier post, Eliana is still in the picture playing an important part as the merchants' Champion. I liked her a bit better in this part. And then there's Anna, another complication to Tullus' life. I didn't like Tullus' decision in her case. The book becomes a bit more raunchy and I had to expend a bit more energy to get over those parts. It was quite distracting from the story but it didn't stop me from continuing my read. Now I am looking forward to the next part anxiously!!
Read Sue's thoughts here, Bedazzled by Books
So is anyone reading this book? Any thoughts on it so far?