The Emperor’s Knives (Empire #7) by Anthony Riches



The seventh novel in Anthony Riches’ acclaimed Empire sequence brings Marcus Aquila back to Rome, hunting the men who destroyed his family.

But the revenge he craves may cost him and those around him dearly.

The young centurion’s urge to exact his own brutal justice upon the shadowy cabal of assassins who butchered his family means that he must face them on their own ground, risking his own death at their hands.

A senator, a gang boss, a praetorian officer and, deadliest of all, champion gladiator Mortiferum – the Death Bringer – lie in wait.

The knives are unsheathed, and ready for blood.


Once again I have fallen behind in a series that I really, really like. Once again I was drawn into the world of Marcus Aquila and his search for vengeance, and marveled at the story telling ability of the author. To keep a series fresh and exciting takes some talent, and Mr. Riches is up to the task. Indeed, I have already ordered the next book in the tale. 5 stars

The Eagle’s Vengeance (Empire #6) by Anthony Riches



The Tungrian auxiliary cohorts return to Hadrian’s Wall after their successful Dacian campaign, only to find Britannia in chaos. The legions are overstretched, struggling to man the forts of the northern frontier in the face of increasing barbarian resistance.
The Tungrians are the only soldiers who can be sent into the northern wastes, far beyond the long abandoned wall built by Antoninus, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Victorious Legion is reputed to await them. Protected by an impassable swamp and hidden in a fortress atop a high mountain, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive.
Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy’s strength, ghosting through a deadly wilderness patrolled by vicious huntresses before breaching the walls of the Fang, an all-but-impregnable fort, if they are to rescue the legion’s venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous, with the might of a barbarian tribe at their heels.


One of the drawbacks to my humble skills as a book review scribe, and the numerous requests I receive to apply those humble skills, is that there is often a long gap in my reading of some of my favorite long running series’. Such is the case with Anthony Riches Empire series. It had been a couple years since I had read book 5, The Wolf’s Gold, and it dawned on me rather quickly while reading The Eagle’s Vengeance that waiting so long was a mistake. A pulsating adventure pitting Corvus and his Tungrian mates against remorseless foes, not only the painted warriors of northern Britannia, but also the plotting Praetorian Prefect. It’s an understatement to say that the action is exciting, or that the plot with its twists and turns keeps the reader turning the pages. The climatic ending, without any spoilers, is a bit frightening in its outcome, but it also sets up nicely the next volume in the series, The Emperor’s Knives, which by the way I will not wait a couple years to read. 😎  5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Wolf’s Gold by Anthony Riches


Entry number 5 in the Empire series finds the Tungrians and their colleagues up against some devious foes as they’re ordered to protect a lucrative gold mining operation.  Entry number 5 also finds the author on top of his game as he spins a yarn that is full of drama, camaraderie, plot twists and surprises.  It is certainly fair to say that Anthony Riches knows how to pen a battle scene from the grisly outcome to the imaginative tactics employed.  The author also gives us a glimpse of the future through Centurion Corvus and his dreams along with some news from Rome concerning his family and who ordered them killed.  All in all, The Wolf’s Gold is a thrilling romp through some formidable terrain both in terms of the countryside and in the Imperial political scene (in other words, if the Emperor ain’t happy, ain’t no one safe.)    🙂  4.4 stars

The Leopard Sword by Anthony Riches


While this is the fourth book in the most excellent Empire series, it is the first one that I have reviewed…when I read the first three I had yet to begin my pseudo-career as a book reviewer.   In this volume we find the Tungrians posted to their original home in Germania Inferior to seek out and destroy the bandit gangs that are disrupting the grain trade in the area.  The worst of the bandits is lead by a mysterious cavalry masked villain who goes by the name of Obduro, an ardent worshiper of the forest goddess Arduenna and possessor of a brutally efficient sword.  The author does a masterful job at giving clues as to who the masked man is while at the same time making it difficult to figure it out.  It takes a bit of doing but eventually the main character in the series, Centurion Corvus(in reality Marcus Valerius Aquila) comes up with a plan to unmask the villain.

There are also some really good subplots and back stories to go along with the meticulous research that has become a hallmark of Mr. Riches writing.  I especially enjoy the verbal jousting between members of the Centuriate and the plot twists that the author inserts to bolster the main story line.  My only complaint is a selfish one in that he kills off one my favorite characters in the series…I won’t say who it is…just that he will be sorely missed.

5 stars and well done Mr. Riches.

The Eagle’s Vengeance (Empire VI) by Anthony Riches

Need to catch up..have only read the first 3 books 🙂

For winter nights - A bookish blog

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 368
Year: 2013, Pb 2014
Buy: Hardback, Kindle, Paperback
Source: Review copy

The Eagle's Vengeance by Anthony RichesReview
Anthony Riches’ Empire series is without doubt one of the most exhilarating and heart thumping of all Roman series being published at the moment and one of its many attractions is that there is no sign of it taking a rest. This month, the sixth Empire novel is published, The Eagle’s Vengeance, and in it we see Marcus Valerius Aquila and his cohort of Tungrians return to the place where we first met them – Hadrian’s Wall.

The Eagle’s Vengeance would stand alone if you asked it to but as with most series I would recommend that you read the books in order, beginning with Wounds of Honour. You are at risk of discovering some of Aquila’s previous story if you read on.

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