Twilight of Empire III: Battle for Rome

Written by Ian Ross
Review by Christopher James

Battle for Rome is the third novel in Ian Ross’ Twilight of Empire series, following Constantine’s rise to power from Britain to Gaul and, in this novel, to Rome itself. It is set in the 4th century AD, a period of turbulent civil war in the fallout after the first tetrarchy and the abdication of Diocletian, concentrating on the conflict between Constantine and Maxentius. This was a very important period for the Roman Empire which is often overlooked in favour of earlier periods.

The protagonist in the series is Aurelius Castus, a soldier whose fortunes parallel those of Constantine. In this book he has become a tribune in Constantine’s army. Best described as a likeable rogue, Castus’ attentions are split between his duty as a soldier and the actions of his new wife; he is a simple man thriving in a complex world. Like the other books in the series, it is a solid read, delivering what fans of the genre would expect. Recommended.