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Roman Sunset [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth May
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.98
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Book Description

It was a time when a civilization that had existed for over 350 years suddenly collapsed. Trade, government, education and the rule of law ceased. This was Britain at the beginning of the fifth century. Roman legions left to fight the Emperor's wars in Europe and raiders invaded, devastated the land, burnt crops, slaughtered young and old alike and took the rest as slaves. Small groups survived, but with dwindling food supplies they faced death from starvation in the coming winter. Retired soldiers and their families found safety in an old cavalry fort after their farms have been destroyed. They took in refugees, including a village elder and a brewer and his daughter escaping from a sacked city.
The soldiers want to maintain the Empire's rules until the legions return, however, the vilage elder has lost all confidence in the protection of Rome and seeks safety in a new settlement in the hills. The brewer's daughter cannot consider a future while her boyfriend remains a slave in a distant land.
They all know the raiders will return. to survive, they must resolve their differences, work together and fight back against their enemies.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 666 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004H4XO1W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #196,266 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant Tale of a Fascinating Time Period 14 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Tens of thousands of stories exist about England during the exciting days of the Renaissance, during the elegant days of Jane Austen, and during the rough-and-tumble days of the medieval period. Yet very few stories tell us of what came before; of the foundation of England's culture through the cauldron of turmoil that was left behind when the Roman troops abandoned this quiet corner of the world. Author Elizabeth May takes us back to the year 410, when the power vacuum left by the departure of Rome's soldiers created massive upheavals and challenges.

Elizabeth has clearly done her research. From Corstopitum to Ad Gefrin, from Eburacum to Hadrian's Wall, she brings to life the locations and characters of this historic time. I especially appreciate that her appendix lays out which locations are real and which were added in for the purpose of the story.

This is not just the tale of a few Roman soldiers. Instead, Elizabeth deftly interweaves the desires and points of view of many groups. Yes, there are the soldiers who remained when the main forces withdrew, who the locals still look to for defense and support. There are the city-dwellers who have gotten used to generations of Roman-led culture, who have come to believe that fine glassware, Italian wine, and elegant fabrics are a normal way of life. There are the rural villagers who chafed under the taxes and appreciated their end. Then there are the many disparate tribes who had been friend or foe of the Romans and who now vie with each other to carve out a place in the new landscape.

Elizabeth's knowledge is clearly there, and she brings it to life in a way which draws in the reader. This is not a dry recital of facts.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
History tells us the Romans started to leave Britain at the end of the fourth century, retreating due to other, more pressing priorities in the Empire; the people of this island stronghold were told they would get no more centralised support from Rome. But what of those who were left behind through choice or circumstance after much of the Roman legions had gone? Those who chose to retire in Britain? Those who had married whilst on British shores and had children to whom this land was home? Those from British tribes who had been trained by the Romans for military life?

Roman Sunset by Elizabeth May tells of those who were left behind, chose to stay or settle in Britain, some believing their mighty Empire would one day return in force to plunder the riches of British lands. Men who lived in strongholds harried by tribes intent on increasing their dominion over northern lands. The story interweaves stories of Romans with characters born and bred in Britain:

* A brewer and his daughter escaping the sack of their city Eburacum (York) by an alliance of four Pictish tribes
* Two brothers, trainee leatherworkers from Eburacum, who are taken by the Picts as slaves
* A village headman who has lost family and home to the Picts, who wishes to set up a new home for his people in a fortified village in the hills

The time - early fifth century AD. The landscape of the book - northern England and southern Scotland, including places we know now as Carlisle, Edinburgh, York, Kelso and Hadrian's Wall. The back of the book contains notes on history, places and major characters - useful reference material as the plot does shift frequently to threads of the story involving different people and places.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A insight on a little known period of history 2 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I often wondered what happened in AD410 when the Roman legions left Britain. This book filled in a large gap in my knowledge as to the gradual decline of Roman Britain and the predominance of Anglo-Saxon Britain. The book is well written with a good charachter base. The glossary as the end is useful too. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in Roman Britain or who like historical novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The End of an Era 1 July 2012
By J. N. Bullock VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The period of history that covers the collapse of the Roman Empire is one that should be approached with caution as it heralds the start of the dark ages where accurate information of events small and large is difficult to research. This book makes a pretty good attempt at the task however and author Elizabeth May deserves congratulations for her efforts.

Set just after the fighting legions have left Britain forever the story tells of the efforts of those who remain to try and salvage and protect their society. The characters come from many backgrounds and the author has woven an interesting plot that I found enthralling and educational. There are one or two research clangers that those who know the Roman period well may spot but they are quite minor and are easily overlooked.

All in all a good tale well told.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Roman Sunset by Elizabeth May 15 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I ventured into a time and place I have not spent much time in...the post-Roman world of Britain. A time in which the Roman Legions left Britain in order to protect the Empire against Alaric's depredations. With the mighty army gone for good, there was very little to stand in the way of marauders shattering the peace of the countryside as Scots, Picts, Angles etc looked for easy pickings.

The author has put together an intriguing story of how the remnants of the legions and the survivors of the vicious sackings of the villages and towns strive to start a new existence. That is the main plot but there are plenty of sub-plots to keep one turning the pages, such as captured and enslaved villagers and their various plights, the joining of disparate forces to contend with warlike tribes, etc etc.

As well crafted as the story is, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of "vocal authenticity", that is the lack of rough language and mannerisms one would expect from ex-legionaries, tribal warriors and the like. Language is a very powerful tool and I found the paucity of gruffness even to be a tad unbelievable. Without the coarseness, the story suffers from character depth and development.

I will read the sequel for as I said, the story is a good one. I give this book a rating of 3.6.

A note on Hoover Book Reviews new rating policy:

In order to have a little more leeway in rating a book we at Hoover Book Reviews are adopting the following policy. The system will still be based on 1-5 stars but with tenth of a point intervals, so a book that we in the past have rated 5 stars can now be more accurately fixed at say 4.5 or 4.2...etc etc. Of course this will only be reflected in the review itself as I cannot change Amazon's restrictive, whole numbers only method.
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Promising-looking book, but needs some more proof-reading 1 18 Oct 2011
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