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BRITANNIA: Part II: The Watchmen by Richard…

BRITANNIA: Part II: The Watchmen

by Richard Denham

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Rousing action/adventure novel, sequel to the authors' Britannia: The Wall. a nail-biter all the way, with unexpected plot points. This tells of the further lives of the three surviving "Heroes of the Wall": Leocadius, Vitalis, and Justinus, and the rise and fall of the imperial usurper Magnus Maximus. It begins a few years after the Barbarian Conspiracy. The womanizer and gambler Leocadius, now Consul [Mayor] of Londinium, is murdered and thrown into the Thamesis, or is the body his? Vitalis goes with his sister to Gaul--Augusta Treverorum [today's Trier]--to search for her husband, the Decurion Calpurnius, who has mysteriously disappeared. Justinus, the Commander of the Wall, fights bloodthirsty tribes--some from Hibernia [Scotti, Attacotti], and Picts as well as Saxons. He and the queen of the Votadini fight to regain control of her fortress, Din Paladyr, from the man who had engineered a successful coup. Magnus Maximus also fights hostile tribes and then travels to Gaul to face Emperor Gratian in an exciting showdown.

I enjoyed the battle and skirmish sequences, of which there were many. The arena sequence in Augusta Treverorum was one of the best I've read. Although gladiatorial games had been outlawed officially by the Christian government, such things were winked at and went on in the provinces. I got a good feeling for the era. At this point, I don't see how there can be another sequel to the novel, but....

Highly recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Apr 16, 2015 |
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