The Scorpion’s Strike (Empire series)

Written by Anthony Riches
Review by Mike Ashworth

AD 186. The Scorpion’s Strike continues the story of Marcus Aquila’s fight for justice for himself and his family. Fresh from their close escape from imperial betrayal in the German forest, Marcus and his Tungrian companions find themselves ordered to Gaul. An outlaw called Maturnus and his army of disaffected deserters and freed slaves wreak havoc. Is this simple banditry, or the beginnings of a rebellion which could directly challenge the power of Rome? Led by Praetorians, what starts as a simple campaign against disaffected forces becomes a fight for survival. Marcus and his companions find that political machinations and military incompetence are just as deadly a threat as combat against a well-trained enemy.

After the completion of his very successful Centurions trilogy, Anthony Riches returns to his best-selling Empire series. The novel can be read as a stand-alone, or as the latest instalment in the series. With a strong story line, central characters and a seam of humour running through, the story is fast-paced with a very satisfying ending. The action is realistic and exciting without being graphic. This is historical fiction at its best, Recommended.