My version: Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction Roman Empire, Britannia
Publisher: Head of Zeus
First published: 2014
From the cover:
An Empire in decline.
Centurion Aurelius Castus – once a soldier in the elite legions of the Danube – believes that his glory days are over, as he finds himself in the cold, grey wastes of Northern Britain, battling to protect and Empire in decline.
Here, he must face the barbarians beyond Hadrians Wall, in a mission riven withbloodshed and treachery. Can Castus keep his promise to a woman he has sworn to help? And is anything about this doomed enterprise what it seems?
War at the Edge of the World, the epic first installment in a sequence of novels set at the end of the Roman Empire, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine.
What an interesting and entertaining tale this was! Oh, and I love the title too.
The latter days of the Roman Empire is interesting me more and more, I’ve no idea why, but this really fed that interest, and then some. Good solid characters (though Castus really will have to work on getting a personality in the next book), some interesting dilemmas placed in their way and of course, what you’re really looking for in this kind of story, plenty of well-written, not to say tense, backs against the wall, how the heck are they going to get out of that, action scenes. The whole flowing as a seamless whole.
There are perhaps, one too many of the Hist. Fic. Touchstones: The phrases and words that not only gain the author acceptance into the Hist. Fic. Author’s club, but also establish them as a Real Historical Fiction Author. Because, as all Hist. Fic. Authors know, the raised eyebrows, the battle-calm, the blood hot on his hand, the wolfish grin, the dreams of dead comrades that he can remember every gory detail of his interaction with, in the dream, and that they are berating him for something he has – or hasn’t – done wrong have to be in a real Hist. Fic. book. Or it isn’t one. It does seem like, according to the books I read, that people in Ancient Times did dream a whole lot more, and more vividly, and with dire portents, than people do these days, me, for example. In Ancient Times, you saw the whole of the family of the person you killed, not an hour or so previously. I’d like to read a Hist Fic book set in Ancient Times, where the main character has a dream where they dream they are 30 years previous, in a Crit at Art School and they haven’t done the work. Just saying…well, what I’m saying – it doesn’t happen!
However, despite ignoring all that nonsense there was still more than enough left to whet my appetite for the rest of the series.