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War At The Edge Of The World

Ian Ross
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
This fictional novel is set in the Northern part of Britain in late Roman times, with the antagonist crossing Hadrian’s Wall into the land of the Picts to face undue horrors although there it’s too early in history for deep fried Mars Bars.

I found it well written and intelligent, and you didn’t need a degree in Ancient History to follow the various themes and the state of the Roman Empire at the time in which the book is set. It is a fairly standard thriller action type of novel with intrigue and treachery around every corner and is standard in these types of books, the hero escaped unscathed from many encounters with the occasional flesh wound whilst all around him lie the dead and dying.

The book has a subtitle The Twilight of Empire and I suspect that this will be the first in a series of book surrounding the main character Centurion Aurelius Castus and his adventures. This book whilst completing all the main story lines does have an obvious what’s going to happen next feel about it.

There is of course the usual love interest which as is the case in these books cannot be simple but is complicated by which side of Hadrian’s wall you belong!

The author is touted as an expert on Roman history so the accuracy of the writing with regard to historical truth should be fairly high and to be fair it does all seem to fit it with what I remember from various visits to sites and other readings.

I did find it enjoyable, the author is not afraid to kill of large numbers of his characters in the many battles and fights but seems to be able to conjure up replacements quickly and seamlessly into the story so things can continue at the same pace.

I’d give it 3 and a half Mr Mushroomheads.
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