The Gods of War

Written by Jack Ludlow
Review by Marilyn Sherlock


The Roman Empire.  The action takes place largely in Italy and the Iberian peninsula and builds up to the fall of Numantia, Brennos’s rocky stronghold from where for years he has dominated all the Celtic tribes in that part of Spain.  Back in Rome, Lucius Falerius has died and his son, Marcellus, inherits and despite Quintus Cornelius’s best intentions to keep him out of the fighting, eventually becomes embroiled in the bitter struggle.  Then there is Aquila.  Who is this young man with the eagle talisman around his neck who joins the legions as a nobody but rises to a rank far above his station in life?

This is the third book in Jack Ludlow’s Republic trilogy and I found it difficult to get into, not having read the first two.  Although the story could be read in its own right, I found the characters confusing and kept getting lost to begin with and it would have been helpful to have known exactly where we were in history and had a short resume of what had gone before.  Only when the ultimate climax of the tale was revealed could it be placed around 134 BC.

Once into it I found the story well paced and full of action with the mysterious Aquila running as an intriguing thread throughout. This book has certainly made me want to read the first two in the series.