Twilight of Empire: War at the Edge of the World

Written by Ian Ross

War at the Edge of the World joins the crowded market of Roman military books in Britain, but with a key difference, the time in which it is set. Constantine is perhaps one of the most significant of all Roman emperors, not least because he was (maybe) the first Christian emperor. However, the story begins in the time of Diocletian’s tetrarchy, also a key period of the later Roman Empire. War at the Edge of the World picks up Constantine’s story from his time as a general in the Roman province of Britainnia, following the career of the no-nonsense centurion, Aurelius Castus. It explores the delicate political situation between Rome and her northern neighbours, taking Castus on a dangerous mission north of ‘the wall’.

The honest, loyal military man simply following orders is a cliché of historical novels, exploited by Ross in the character of Castus, a hardened centurion. Other complex characters come and go, but his nature stays true throughout, an anchor in an otherwise changing, deceitful world. The battles described are vivid and intense and the story full of twists, making it a good read.

Overall, this is solid military fiction, the like of which fans of Riches and Kane should read. I am looking forward to the next instalment in this new saga!