“We are born alone, and we die alone. In between we may be touched by love, but we are still alone.”
A rousing opening to a historical epic fantasy series based on the northern European clash of expanding Rome with the resident Celtic and Germanic populations. Good characterization and storytelling. Deep point of view of main characters shows all to be flawed, driven and occasionally very wrong. Just like us.
“I’m not saying not to fight. I am saying do not hate. It is not war that leads to murderous excuses but hate.”
By making one of the Roman officers and one of the Briton elite followers of “the Way” (as an early name for Christianity) Seddon introduces a new dynamic to this retelling of the Boudiccan Rebellion of AD 60. It works, mostly. As with most you-are-there historical fiction, principal characters pop up in illogical places and slip through the fingers of fate with amazing ease, but that’s mostly to keep the plot coherent. The combat is as gruesome as expected for that time without dwelling on the gore. Motives are fairly and honestly explored on all sides. Many historical figures have cameos. Good pace.
Quibble: Yes, many authors are willing to place the apostle Paul in Briton at about that time, but his life could just as well have ended with his first visit to Rome.