Richard Blake is a pseudonym for Sean Gabb, who describes himself on his website as a "Writer, Academic, Broadcaster, and Director of the Libertarian Alliance". Not sure if I agree with his politics, but he certainly has plenty of political savvy and writes a cracking, clever tale. And you have to admire the scholarship of an author who can write his own brilliant abusive epigram (in a style parodying Catullus), which is chanted in "Terror of Constantinople" by the crowd at a chariot race.
He originally wrote the first Aelric novel under his real name, with the title "The Column of Phocas". It's since been reissued under the name "Conspiracies of Rome".