by Derek Birks
Even after years of Roman rule, Britannia is a conflicted and largely untamed land.
Disgraced Imperial Officer, Dux Ambrosius Aurelianus, flees to its shores seeking sanctuary in the land of his deceased mother. His years of loyal service to the emperor count for nothing now. He must carve out a new life beyond the empire.
Accompanying Ambrosius is a disparate group of fellow refugees: Inga, a freed Saxon slave, his bucellarii – warriors sworn to him – and the surviving members of his estranged family.
The burden of command weighs heavy on his shoulders, for when he lands in the country, winter is fast approaching.
But the weather is not the only thing inhospitable towards the newcomers.
Plagued by troubles, Ambrosius faces opponents among both the native Britons and Saxon settlers. He discovers that no-one in Britannia – least of all, the High King, Vortigern – still fears the soldiers of the decaying empire.
When those he loves are savagely abducted and betrayal divides his company, Ambrosius is left with only a handful of his bucellarii. Though heavily outnumbered and unfamiliar with the land, Ambrosius remains undaunted.
Pitted against powerful opponents, the Roman will need new allies if he is to free the hostages and make Britannia his home.
There will be blood.
Well now, that was as exciting as it gets, my fellow readers. But, then again, the author does seem to relish in getting his characters into a boatload (or in this case a Roman villa-load) of trouble. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, he does such an excellent job at keeping me turning those digital pages. A plan to live in peace as far from Rome’s faltering empire as possible is an admirable one, though I’m sure Ambrosius and company would rather have found it without all the stress, turmoil, and blood. Fast paced action, surprising twists of fate, formidable foes, and a nice docile puppy make this tale hard to put down. Oh, and the betrayal of a family member still needs to be sorted out, so my guess is that the author will be putting Ambrosius through another boatload of trouble in the next episode. 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐