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Britannia: Part I: The Wall Paperback – 28 Mar 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing (28 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909869945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909869943
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Denham
Richard Denham is the son of a retired sergeant in the British Army and is interested in military history. He has a young son named Tristan, and struggles to deny that he is named after one of King Arthur's knights.

Richard enjoys collaborations and is the co-author of the popular 'Britannia' series with M. J. Trow. The series follows a group of soldiers and their descendants through the madness of a chain of events which will eventually lead to the fall of Roman Britain and the descent into the Dark Ages.

Richard has also co-authored 'The Citizen Survivor' series with Steve Hart, who is one of Britain's top survivalists.

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!"


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who are fascinated by the exciting history of the later Roman Empire will enjoy this romp. Richard Denham rightly points out that few people know about the importance of the year 367 in English history. Hadrian's wall was breached by a conspiracy of Scots, Irish and Germanic tribes who shook the Western Roman Empire, which struggled to recover. The crisis is experienced through the eyes of four soldiers: Justinus, Paternus,Leocardius and Vitalianus who become known as "Heroes of the Wall". This fast moving story takes us through the attack and the Roman response. The story also examines the complicated story of the rise of Christianity and the Pagan response to it.

I feel that the characters could have been fleshed out more, they are a bit wooden. The plot lines are good with some surprising story lines and endings.I enjoyed the book and i certainly recommend it to lovers of historical fiction.
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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
Unfortunately, "The Wall" - an opening novel in what must be at least a duology by Richard Denham & M J Trow suffers from both historical inaccuracy, modern vernacular and phrases uttered from the mouths of ancient characters, sloppy grammar, and being "overstuffed". By the latter, it is meant that the authors have crammed every Roman word, place, action and belief they have ever learned about Roman Britain into four hundred plus pages. The result is a poor effort that will barely have the likes of Simon Scarrow or Harry Sidebottom yawning about lower book sales, let alone quaking in their caligulae.
Yes, I am being harsh, but given the advent of the e-book, the opening of the novel marketplace to anyone to write their beloved opus has meant a swamping of mediocre offerings and this is one of those. This is not to say there isn't a faint glimmer of promise. The authors know a little bit about the period - or, at least, have read a lot about it - and, at times, the action of the novel - usually when a two-character interaction is occurring - keeps the reader interested enough to turn the page. Possibly what saves it is the four characters, which gives the authors four chances at hooking the reader. Given the differing personalities you're likely to find one interests you. In my case, Vitalis. Leocadius will appeal to 20-somethings but he's, well, he probably reads FHM magazine; Paternus is dour but moral, a candidate for Stockholm Syndrome...in this case Votidinari Syndrome; Justinus is most like a character you'd find in Scarrow's books. Almost a bit like Centurion Macro, if more two-dimensional.
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