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The Wolf's Gold
By Anthony Riches
This is the fifth book in the Empire Series, the story of Marcus Valerius Aquila. For those of you who do not know the series, Marcus’ family has been killed on orders from the Emperor. His father knew that there was some trouble brewing, so he sent his eldest son away from Rome, to an old friend in Northern Britannia. Marcus is now hidden away as a centurion in a Roman Auxiliary Legion using the name of Marcus Tribulus Corvus.
In this book Marcus’ unit has been moved to Dacia to defend the Empire from a growing threat, the Sarmatae. They are not the only threat, Marcus must also deal with a traitor to Rome and the blind arrogance of the son of a Senator.
Riches writes an excellent book, his characters are so vivid. They are my friends, after I finished defending the Empire with them we sat back and had a couple of pints together. He is that good at creating a connection with his characters.
What I enjoyed the most about The Wolf’s Gold, as well as his previous books, was the author’s attention to detail and the research that is evident. Riches goes into great detail with Roman fighting tactics, you develop a real understanding of the Roman fighting machine and how it was so effective. He delves into the reality of hand to hand combat, the gruesome and personal battle that it is, one where you must look into the eye of the man you are about to kill.
Over the past few books, Riches has come up with some great ways to kill the villain. I for one, will never look at a drinking horn the same way again. In this, The Wolf’s Gold does not disappoint.
For anyone who enjoys military fiction with great characters I would highly recommend the Empire Series. I have already added book VI, Eagle’s Vengence, to my kindle.