It’s not just Roman sandals that will be seen this summer, it’s swords and sandals on the pages of novels. A feast of fiction set in Ancient Rome has been published and we think it’s perfect as a present for Dad or for your holiday reading. Here are our picks of the best new historical adventures set in the Roman Empire.
Roma Victrix by Russell Whitfield
Russell Whitfield’s thrilling second novel follows the adventures of female gladiator Lysandra begun in Gladiatrix. The Emperor Domitian has called for a command performance at Rome’s newly built Flavian Amphitheatre, later known to history as the Coliseum. Lysandra is invited to fight Rome’s adored Gladiatrix Prima, the beautiful and deadly Illeana known as Aesalon Nocturna, the Midnight Falcon. Her record is devastating: thirty bouts; thirty wins and Lysandra has to face up to her biggest challenge yet. Roma Victrix is published in May 2011. Priced £5.40 at Amazon.co.uk.
Fortress of Spears by Anthony Riches
Published in April 2011 is the enthralling third volume of the Empire series. Anthony Riches takes the legions deep into north Britannia. Marcus Aquila – burning for revenge on an enemy army that has killed one of his best friends – is part of the select group of infantry chosen to go north with the Petriana cavalry and take the fort before the rebel army can reach it. He believes his disguise as Centurion Corvus of the 2nd Tungrians is still holding. But he is just a few days ahead of two of the emperor’s agents, sent from Rome to kill him. Priced £6.89 at Amazon.co.uk.
Hannibal: Enemy of Rome by Ben Kane
In the First Punic War, the Roman legions defeated and humiliated Carthage. Now a brilliant young Carthaginian general, called Hannibal, is out for revenge. Caught up in the maelstrom are two young boys, Hanno, the son of a distinguished soldier and confidant of Hannibal, and Quintus, son of a Roman equestrian and landowner. Although an unexpected friendship springs up between the two boys the fortunes of war separates them and they find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict in Ben Kane’s fast paced story. Hannibal: Enemy of Rome is published in June 2011. Priced £7.14 at Amazon.co.uk.
Tribune of Rome by Robert Fabbri
Robert Fabbri’s debut novel published in May 2011 follows sixteen-year-old Vespasian who leaves his family farm for Rome. He discovers a city in turmoil and an Empire on the brink. Making dangerous enemies as well as dangerous friends, Vespasian is totally out of his depth and soon finds himself ensnared in a conspiracy against Tiberius, the Emperor. He flees the city to take up his position as tribune in an unfashionable legion on the Balkan frontier, dangerous enough without renegade Praetorians and Imperial agents trying to kill him too. Priced £4.95 at Amazon.co.uk.