Release Date: 07/07/11
AD262 - the Imperium is in turmoil after the struggle for the throne. Furthermore, Ephesus, Asia’s metropolis, lies in ruins, shattered by a mighty earthquake. Its citizens live in fear as the mob overwhelms the city, baying for blood to avenge the gods who have punished them.
Yet an even greater threat to the Empire advances from the North. The barbaric Goth tribes sail towards Ephesus, determined to pillage the city. Only Ballista, Warrior of Rome, knows the ways of the barbarians, and only he can defeat them.
The Goths’ appetite for brutality and destruction is limitless and before long Ballista is locked into a deadly bloodfeud, with an enemy that has sworn to destroy him – and the Imperium - at all costs.
Fans of Roman Historical Fiction will undoubtedly have tried at least one Harry Sidebottom title. They’re well written, beautifully researched and have memorable characters who find ways to help keep Rome on top of the world, stamping their own brand of Justice in their size x steel studded caligae.
What unfurls in this title, for me, is Harry’s best book to date, from its almost Gemmellesque prologue to its heavy adventure of bloody slaughter as our hero, Ballista, faces the might of the Goths in a no holds barred battle to the death. Back this up with great prose, some deliciously soldierly dialogue and tie it up with an almost mythical reading of pace and you know that it’s going to be a book that will be hard to put down. Great stuff.