From the Realm of Time: A Novel of The Fourth Century Roman Empire
Late in the 4th century CE, Rome faces many enemies on its northern frontiers and is losing too many battles. General Marcus Augustus Valerias, a Roman general with an illustrious career, is starting to feel his age, although others still rely on his strength and wisdom. His victories have brought him an estate in northern Italy, wealth and respect. He has a beautiful wife, Claire, who is a princess from a tribe in Britannia.
Yet Valerias is depressed, thinking his useful life fighting for Rome is almost at an end. Events, however, prove otherwise. He is called to demonstrate his leadership again in an effort to destroy an enemy that threatens not only the Roman Empire, but his own beloved family.
This novel is a sequel to Into the Realm of Time and is fiction set against a background of historical facts. At times it reads more like a series of interlinked short stories as more characters are introduced and their backstories related. Each tale is individually engrossing, as is the novel as a whole. Maps and a glossary are included, together with a cast of characters. These are a useful reference for keeping track of characters and unfamiliar place names.
From the Realm of Time reads like a labour of love. Prill has an immense knowledge of and dedication to this period of Roman history. He presents telling details of battles and skirmishes together with excruciating detail of the torture of prisoners unlucky enough to have survived the fighting.
There is perhaps too much narrative – too much telling rather than showing – which could be an effort to include additional detail and motivation. But for those looking for an honest and thoroughly detailed look at the later days of the Roman Empire, this book will be a treat.