Once a soldier in an elite legion from the Danube, Aurelius Castus believes his glory days are over, stuck in Britain's provincial backwater. But history is about to take a hand, and when the king of the Picts, the savage people beyond Hadrian's Wall, dies in mysterious circumstances, Castus is selected to command the bodyguard of a Roman envoy sent to negotiate with the barbarians. But the diplomatic mission ends in bloody tragedy…
©2014 Ian Ross (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd
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"solid story, good action"
well structured, good pace, locations well evoked. narration was very good with excellent variety of voice and accent. Solid basis in history and the historical note rounded off the book nicely
"Great book, brilliantly read by Jonathan Keeble"
Jonathan Keeble is a brilliant narrator, making each character distinctive and making you see these characters as real people.
The whole episode when the soldiers go beyond the Antonine wall and meet the Picts for the first time - the feeling of unease, feeling out of their comfort zone, the alien nature of the Picts themselves and not understanding their language, and feeling so cut-off from the rest of the Roman army. This whole section of the book is utterly gripping.
I know this from having read the read the book first as an ebook, which I enjoyed, and then listening to Jonathan Keeble bring this story to life. The different voices, the accents - it all makes the story and the different characters seem much more real. I felt much more engaged in the story during Jonathan Keeble's narration.
The book made me laugh in places, but I was mostly caught up by the intense emotions that Castus and his fellow-solders went through.
The book also gives a fascinating insight into Roman warfare and life, as well as covering some historical background information that is necessary to understand the underlying intrigue that is going on around Castus and his soldiers.
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