The Wolf of Britannia: Part I

Written by Jess Steven Hughes
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

Between 27 and 40 AD, Britain is inhabited by several tribes, all ruled by kings, each with his own parcel of land. They have to defend their lands not only from the Romans, but also from other tribes. Caratacus, a young prince of the Cymbeline tribe in lower Britain, wants to unite several of the tribes to eventually defend themselves against the Romans. Presently, the tribes trade with Rome, but he feels someday the Roman army may want to conquer their country like they did in Gaul. There are those, like his brother Aminios, who want to side with the Romans because they wish to take over more territory and become friends with Rome when their army invades Britain.

This book is Volume I of the saga of Caratacus, a real-life leader of the Cymbeline tribe prior to the invasion of the Roman army under Emperor Claudius in the middle of the 1st century. This book is a well-written and well-paced story of early British life and the power struggles that flourished during this time. The author has managed to mix fictional and historical characters, although there is very little written history available for this period other than those of a few Roman writers. The tension builds between the tribes as they each try to gain control of Britain. The battle scenes are realistic, conveying the chaos and panic during the fighting.

I found this book entertaining to read as I became immersed in the story. I highly recommend this novel of early Britain and look forward to reading its sequels.