I've read all the books in the "Empire" series since I stumbled over the first one in a hotel. Like the others, "The Emperor's Knives" is a cracking read. One star deducted for the quite shoddy editing; several times the names of characters change mid-paragraph, and there are numerous spelling and grammatical errors. Hopefully these get sorted out in future editions.
Anthony Riches Empire series goes from strength to strength with every succeeding novel, for me The Emperor's Knives is the best yet, without giving away spoilers, the narrative is, as usual fast paced (so much so that I was up until 2 in the morning ) all ones senses are alerted, full of murky intrigue, the visceral gore of the gladiators and the arena, to the smells and sounds of every day life in ancient Rome. The characterisations of the main protagonists have been explored to the full and you end up with the feeling that you were there in another life. Highly recommended.