Longsword by David Pilling

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Siege of Rome

My third release for this month - if you include the re-release of Book One of Caesar's Sword, is the sequel, CAESAR'S SWORD (II): SIEGE OF ROME. 

Book Two of the series is set shortly after the events of The Red Death, which saw Arthur's grandson, Coel ap Amhar, rise from a lowly slave to a charioteer in The Hippodrome, to a respected soldier in the Roman army led by Flavius Belisarius, the last great general of imperial Rome.

Belisarius has re-conquered the old Roman province of North Africa, and brought the mad King of the Vandals, Gelimer, back to Constantinople as a captive, along with heaps of treasure. Encouraged by this success, the Emperor Justinian has made Belisarius a Consul, and plans to take back Italy and the lost city of Rome. Once the capital and beating heart of the Roman Empire, Rome has for over a century been in the hands of the 'barbarian' Goths and Ostrogoths. Justinian entertains grand dreams of restoring the shattered Western Empire, and ruling over East and West in the manner of his predecessors.

Emperor Justinian I
To this end, he sends Belisarius with an army of twelve thousand men, mostly mercenaries and foederatii troops, to recapture Sicily and the Italian mainland. The Goths are in turmoil, as their kings are murdering each other left and right, and Justinian hopes his golden general can take advantage of the chaos. Before long, however, a new and vigorous Gothic monarch emerges from the ruck, and the Romans find themselves stranded and hideously outnumbered in the middle of hostile territory.

Armed with just his famous grandfather's sword, Caledfwlch, and a heap of fortitude, Coel must fight to defend the walls of Rome and preserve his own life from the ever-growing numbers of deadly enemies and assassins who wish him ill...

Caesar's Sword (II): Siege of Rome

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