Nemesis (Brennus – Conqueror of Rome Book 2) by C.R. May


Most of the Roman historical fiction that I have read dates from the Late Republic on through the ascendancy of the Eastern Empire so it was a nice change of pace to read this series that takes place before Rome became Rome.  In Nemesis,the Gaulish tribe the Senones complete their conquest of Rome and sack the city. The author presents the reader with the opposing mindsets of the combatants; the warrior ethos of the Senones versus the more disciplined Romans.  Also evident is the well researched descriptions of both Senone culture and the ways of the Roman Patrician class.   Intermingled with the historical event is the continuing story of the three childhood friends, Solemis, Albiomaros and the Druid Catumanda; a story that follows the fate that binds them together.  That thread is but one of the sub-plots running through the tale and that makes for many possibilities and surprises which I enjoyed but will not reveal.  The Conqueror of Rome series is the first I’ve read by this author and I am looking forward to moving onto his other works  Just as Brennus got the Roman’s attention, so to has C.R. May gotten mine.  4.3 stars

Brennus Conqueror of Rome – Terror Gallicus by C.R. May


There were many migrations throughout the history of Europe.  This is the story of one of those tribal moves, The Senones, as they made their way from what is now northern France to the Adriatic Coast of Italy.  It is early 4th century B.C. and The Roman Republic does not take kindly to incursions into their territory.  Conflict is inevitable.  This is also the story of a young Druid, Catumanda and a young Senone, Solemis, the son of the Horsetail Clan chief.  What C.R. May has done in this wonderful tale is a great example of taking the historical record, scant though it may be, and producing a convincing re-creation of an ancient time and place.  The characters are highly developed, the scenic backdrop created in such a way that the reader can visualize crossing The Alps with Brennus or making the sea crossing with Catumanda, the action is portrayed realistically, and the pace of the book makes it easy for the reader to lose track of time and possibly losing some sleep.  Suffice to say that I enjoyed the journey through a period that is pivotal in the annals of Celtic/Gaulish history and is sure to be pivotal to Rome as well, but we’ll have to read book 2 for that part.  🙂   5 stars