Title: Wounds of Honour
Author: Anthony Riches
First published January 1, 2009
341 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780340920305 (ISBN10: 0340920300)
Fresh off the boat in Britannia, Marcus Valerius Aquila finds himself in a race for survival. The infamous Emperor Commodus has sentenced him to a shameful death, forcing Marcus to flee and adopt a new identity.
Hiding in plain sight, he joins a little-known regiment stationed on Hadrian’s Wall, biding his time until he can clear his name. But when a fierce rebellion erupts in the northern wilds beyond the Wall, Marcus is thrust into the fray.
Tasked with leading a century of soldiers into the heart of battle, he must prove his mettle and fight to survive in a savage and unforgiving warzone.
About the Author
Anthony Riches has had a passion for war and soldiers ever since he was a child listening to his father’s tales of World War II. He pursued his interest by earning a degree in Military Studies from Manchester University.
In 1996, a trip to Housesteads inspired him to start writing what would eventually become Wounds of Honour. Nowadays, he resides in Hertfordshire with his wife and three children.
In “Wounds of Honour,” author Anthony Riches takes readers on a thrilling journey through the Roman Empire during its waning years. This book, first published on January 1, 2009, is a captivating blend of historical fiction and military adventure that will appeal to fans of both genres.
Riches’ writing style is immersive, drawing readers into a world of political intrigue, brutal battles, and complex characters. The novel follows our heroic protagonist, Centurion Marcus Valerius Aquila, as he battles a treacherous enemy and navigates the shifting political landscape of the Roman Empire.
Set in the early 3rd century AD, the story takes place in the Danube frontier, on the border of the Roman Empire. Marcus, having earned himself the nickname ‘the Bravest’, is initially posted away from the front line but after a childhood friend is betrayed, he is sent to the front line with his double centurion rank.
There, Marcus finds himself embroiled in a bloody battle against the invading Alamanni tribe. Along with his comrades, Marcus fights for the glory of Rome as well as his own sense of duty and honour.
Riches does an excellent job of balancing action and character development. He provides the reader with a strong sense of the time period and culture, while also allowing them to connect deeply with the characters.
The novel’s pacing is also well-done, with thrilling action scenes balanced out by moments of introspection and reflection. Although the story is set in ancient Rome, it is easy to see how it relates to current events and issues.
The themes of duty, loyalty, and honour are timeless, and readers will undoubtedly find themselves reflecting on these ideas as they follow Marcus on his journey. One minor flaw of the book is that some of the supporting characters are not as fleshed out as they could be.
However, this is a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent novel. Overall, “Wounds of Honour” is a highly recommended read for fans of historical fiction and military adventures.
Riches’ skillful writing and attention to detail make this book a standout in the genre. It earns a well-deserved four out of five stars.