The fifth book in the Empire sequence (following The Leopard Sword) takes centurion Marcus to Dacia, to save the empire's best gold mines from an unexpected enemy. Praised by authors as varied as Conn Igguleden, Ben Kane and Manda Scott, Empire is set in the 1800s against the background of the Roman Empire in a time of unrest.
Fresh from their victory in Germania, Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians have been sent to Dacia, on the north-eastern edge of the Roman Empire, with the mission to safeguard a major source of imperial power.
The mines of Alburnus Major contain enough gold to pave the road to Rome. They would make a mighty prize for the marauding Sarmatae tribesmen who threaten the province, and the outnumbered auxiliaries are entrusted with their safety in the face of a barbarian invasion.
Beset by both the Sarmatian horde and more subtle threats offered by men who should be their comrades, the Tungrians must also come to terms with the danger posed by a new and unexpected enemy.
They will have to fight to the death to save the honour of the empire - and their own skins.
This is fast-paced and gripping "read-through-the-night" fiction, with marvellous characters and occasional moments of dark humour. Some authors are better historians than they are storytellers. Anthony Riches is brilliant at both. - Conn Iggulden
A damn fine read . . . fast-paced, action-packed. - Ben Kane
Stands head and shoulders above a crowded field . . . . real, live characters act out their battles on the northern borders with an accuracy of detail and depth of raw emotion that is a rare combination. - Manda Scott
Muscular in prose and approach, the novel is riveting and direct. - History Today on THE LEOPARD SWORD
This is a fast-paced, action-packed read. Anthony Riches brings alive the harsh reality of the Roman world - the period, people, and culture - in a frenetic and exciting novel which is well researched and tinged with humour. The battle scenes are vivid and expertly told . . . Difficult to put down, this is a welcome addition to the genre . . . Recommended - Historical Novels Review on THE LEOPARD SWORD
Anthony Riches began his lifelong interest in war and soldiers when he first heard his father's stories about World War II. This led to a degree in Military Studies at Manchester University. Inspired by a visit to Housesteads in 1996, he began the story that would grow into his two Roman series: Empire and The Centurions. He is also the author of a contemporary action novel, Nemesis, published in 2021. Married with three children, the author lives in Hertfordshire.