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Britannia: Part I: The Wall [Kindle Edition]

Richard Denham , M J Trow
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Book Description


The story opens in 367 AD. Four soldiers - Justinus, Paternus, Leocadius and Vitalis - are out hunting for food supplies at an outpost of Hadrian's Wall, when the Wall comes under attack.

The four find their fort destroyed, their comrades killed, and Paternus is unable to find his wife and son. As they run south to Eboracum, they realize that this is no ordinary border raid. Ranged against the Romans at the edge of the world are four different peoples, and they have banded together under a mysterious leader who wears a silver mask and uses the name Valentinus - man of Valentia, the turbulent area north of the Wall.

Faced with questions they are hard-pressed to answer, Leocadius blurts out a story that makes the men Heroes of the Wall. Their lives change not only when Valentinus begins his lethal sweep across Britannia but as soon as Leo's lie is out in the world, growing and changing as it goes.


367 AD is one of the critical dates in British history, but the year means little to most people now, and it is only rarely mentioned in historical books. Britannia: Part I - The Wall introduces the reader to this tumultuous age, as we share the adventure, confusion and bewilderment of our heroes - four common soldiers stationed at Hadrian's Wall. We find them caught up in the madness of a chain of events which will eventually lead to the fall of Roman Britain, and the descent into the Dark Ages.

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Denham
Richard Denham was born in the military town of Aldershot, the son of a sergeant in the British Army and now lives in Farnborough.

Ever since studying the Romans at school, he has taken a keen interest in them, specifically Romans in Britain. As a boy growing up with swords, knights, tanks and all things military he also developed an interest in the legends of King Arthur. Being self taught and very demoralised by the romantic fairytales, he discovered to his delight that the "real world" was in fact much more interesting and linked to Roman Britain, proving yet again that the truth is both stranger and more fascinating than fiction.

The inspiration for the Britannia series was the cold, impassive footnote Richard would constantly come across "Romans leave Britain". This would have been, for those who lived it, an apocalyptic time never known before; with the Romans having lived, fought, laughed, married and raised children on our island, "leaving" could never be as simple as that.

He more or less decided then and there that he would write a series of books one day, shining a light onto this forgotten time. This might have remained an idea for "sometime in the future" until chance meeting with well-established author and historian M.J Trow made it all seem possible. From this meeting came a collaboration resulting in "The Wall".

M J Trow
A bestselling author of over sixty books, including forty novels, Mei Trow is nevertheless always looking for the next new idea.

A military historian by training and consummate story-teller by inclination, he had never thought of writing about the Romans' last hurrah in Britain until he met Richard Denham and then it seemed an obvious subject for a blockbusting series.

Using Richard Denham's exhaustive knowledge and his own wide-ranging grasp of history, Mei has brought his skill in bringing the past to life to the table in this collaboration. Reviewers have often mentioned how he makes historical characters seem as though the past is "now" and not a dusty "then" and he has made this as true for fourth century Britain as for Tudor or Victorian England (the Marlowe and the Lestrade series).

As a history teacher for more years than he cares to remember, making the past live is his passion and nothing pleases him more than the many reviews that say "I wish he had been my History teacher!"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 817 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing (31 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,404 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale 7 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Picked this up on a whim and am really glad that I did. Initially thought that it was going to be one of those run of the mill Roman stories but soon got hooked and was drawn into it.
Well written with strong characters and one or two surprises. Really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone interested in Hadrians Wall and the start of the withdrawal of the legions from Britain.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "Barbarian Conspiracy" of AD 367 30 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was initially a bit weary and hesitated before ordering this book, mainly because I was afraid that it would be yet another “swords and sandals” novel to add to the quickly growing number already published. While it is that, there is also quite a bit more to it and this book was mostly a good and exciting read, even if a few things did not work out very well for me.

To begin with the (numerous) positive elements, the topic chosen is original, with the story starting with a fast pace as our four heroes, soldiers from one of Hadrian Wall’s garrisons who were of hunting beyond it discover that it has been overrun. They also quickly discover that the whole of the Wall has been breached and the garrisons destroyed by a vast and mysterious coalition of “barbarians” (Scots, Picts, Saxons), along with insurrections from some of the Brigantes and desertions from some of the Roman (semi-barbarian or descendants from Germanic troops) auxiliaries.

Little is historically known about the real nature of the simultaneous attacks, except that they seem to have been rather devastating. They allowed for long-range raids to reach deep into Roman Britain and pillage it quite thoroughly. Moreover, two of the Island’s most senior officers were vanquished and killed when trying to stop the invaders. The exact circumstances of their defeats and demise are largely unknown, but the author’s reconstruction, and the assumption they make about the Romans having initially seriously underestimated the opposition are plausible and even likely.

Then you get the Roman counter-attack, with a contingent of Rome’s crack troops under the overall command of the highly talented Count Theodosius, who was one of Emperor Valentinian’s best generals and top “trouble shooters”, to use modern parlance.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumping good read 15 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book as a gift and I am so glad I did. It's not the usual thing I read but I absolutely devoured it; the story zips along at a cracking pace and you really care about all of the men of The Wall. I won't spoil it by giving any hints about what happens to them all, but the usual M J Trow mix of sadness and just a little wry humour is there in this collaboration. I gather from the title this is the first of a series and I can't wait for the next one. A great read.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good amount of brutality and gore 31 Aug. 2014
By Noelle
The year is AD 367 and four Roman soldiers of different age and rank return to their fort after hunting for deer to feed their garrison. They find everyone at the fort slaughtered, horses taken and food pillaged. Their fort is one of many along Hadrian’s Wall, a defensive fortification built by Romans in AD 122 and separating Britannia – the furthest extent of Roman rule – into a north and a south. North of the Wall are a dozen wild peoples, while south of the Wall there is Roman rule and an uneasy peace with other tribes living there. The four soldiers are 19 year old Leocadius, a foot soldier who is a womanizer and braggart; Vitalis, also a foot soldier, who is two years younger and still in reality a boy untried in battle; semisallis Paternus, who has a wife and child living at another fort; and Justinus, a phlegmatic circitor or cavalry non-commissioned officer, who at 30 years old considered an old timer and is their leader by rank. Horrified by what they find, they decide not to bury the dead but are led bu Justinus to the next nearest fort, in the hopes of finding reinforcements. There they find the same scene, but Paternus’ wife and son are is not among the dead. The soldiers follow along the road between the forts, finding more slaughter and raiding, while heading south to a major town in the region. When they stop to rest by a cold stream, they are nearly discovered by the raiders, tall blond men riding Roman cavalry horses and speaking an unknown language. What were Saxons doing in Britannia?
Thus begins Brittania -The Wall, an historical novel which has excitement, a good amount of brutality and gore, as befits the times, and wonderful historical detail and content.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Storyline 7 Aug. 2014
By Sandie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy learning about the Roman Empire and have recently been on holiday to Northumberland, walking Hadrian's Wall. The book I find is easy to read, a good storyline, gripping me from the start. Only at chapter 4, but it is interesting. If you like history, or the Romans then I would recommend this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collapse of a civilization 2 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm about 50% through and find it gripping, it recreates, believably, the time when Roman rule in Britain was nearing its end and those in authority believed it couldn't be happening. A situation, perhaps, similar to that existing in Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau uprising and, possibly, even closer to home. I was so impressed that I checked to see if volume 2 was available; sadly, not yet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 13 days ago by Top class
3.0 out of 5 stars At times it felt like a series of short tales
Set in circa 370 ad the story tells a tale of an assault on the wall and the battle to restore order in the declining years of Rome's time in Britannia. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Mark I. Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
What a brilliant read! A real page turner from start to finish. Highly recommended.
Published 29 days ago by amy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good real lots of action
Published 1 month ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Griping Roman Literature
Would never have thought I would give this book top marks. But after a yellowish start, first two paragraphs or so where the big story is set up, a simple lie that grows into an... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mark Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars The end of an era
The start of the removal of the Romans from Britannia and the rise of the so called barbarians on the borders of the wall- a last ditch effort to remain in charge and the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rosemary E Fletcher
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Rather heavy going. I got a bit con fused with names and places.
Published 1 month ago by J A L Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes this wall is rather hard to climb.
I love books set in Roman Britain and it is refreshing to find one featuring the latter times rather than the early occupation. It is a good story, too.
But... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Norma Miles
3.0 out of 5 stars Britannia
Not a bad book at all but not the best by a long way. I will probably read the next book but only if it is available to loan on Amazon prime.
Published 1 month ago by a w watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An exciting read. looking forward to reading part 2
Published 1 month ago by John Herbert
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