Empire: Thunder of the Gods

Written by Anthony Riches
Review by Chris James

Thunder of the Gods is the eighth book in Riches’ Empire series, taking the hero, Marcus Aquila, and supporting cast to the far east in the late 2nd century Roman Empire. Thus, the Emperor is Commodus, and the Empire has come out of a period generally regarded as its high point, not that this was necessarily the perception at the time.

Like previous instalments of the Empire series, the novel is a military page-turner whilst also having a few twists in the plot. This time, the Tungrians (auxiliary cohorts) are pitted against the might of the Parthian Empire, the greatest rival to Rome since Republican times. The stage is therefore set for a great story, and the book does not disappoint. It is assured, informed and engaging. Whilst it could be read alone, the reader would be advised to start with the first Empire novel (Wounds of Honour) and decide to continue with the series based on that book. It gets my recommendation!