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Warrior of Rome: Fire in the East
by Harry Sidebottom

Release Date: 10th Jul 2008
Publisher: Michael Joseph
ISBN: 978 0 7181 5329 8
RRP: 12.99

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The Roman Empire, a city in need of defence and a northern Barbarian...

Treachery, sabotage, and bloody war... Warrior of Rome: Fire in the East is a story steeped in ancient Roman history. It is unsettled times and the empire is stretched to breakpoint. In typical bloodthirsty fashion, Rome is determined to keep its stranglehold on the known world.

It is at the battlefront that we first see Ballista, a young barbarian originally from what we now know as Germany. This young warrior, sick of the failing siege led by Emperor Maximinus Thrax, catapults himself into the Roman world by assassinating the same emperor. Decades later, the same Ballista, now a man, has been charged by the current Emperors of Rome to go East and defend the city of Arete against an impending attack from the Persians, leaving behind his beloved wife, Julia and his young son.

The journey to Arete itself holds its own perils and Ballista is tested from the off. Faced with dissent from local governors, who refuse to lend troops to the cause, Ballista realises that his orders may be more difficult than he thought to carry through. Arriving at Arete, it slowly becomes clear that not only does Ballista have to prepare to fight the enemy without, but that there is danger threatening from within the walls itself.

Drenched in historical recounts of Roman artillery, stratagems, siege and fighting techniques - Warrior of Rome will engross anyone with even a vague interest in Roman times, although, at times this can make the prose dry and difficult to swallow. Fire in the East superbly transports us back to an ancient Roman empire and backstabbing politics that riddled it. Warrior of Rome promises to be an enthralling new historical fiction series. Oh, and there is plenty of laviciousness and maiden groping for those who need a break from all the bloody death.

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