A powerful tale of adventure and intrigue, devotion and betrayal and the power of love with a touch of mysticism. This well written book has been throughly researched as benefits a work of historical fiction. In the postscript we learn that the principle characters really existed. The authors ability to draw their portraits allows the reader to come to know them, like them and perhaps even identify with them. The extensive use of latin words and phrases demands concentration but soon becomes familiar enough not to slow the reader and adds to our enlightenment.
We are treated to details of the make up of a typical Roman legion and its day to day functions from the food they ate to the uniforms they wore as well as their weapons. The reader can follow Roman engineers as they build roads, bridges and fortresses with helpful descriptions of the tools they used.
We know from history that there were powerful Britanic women like Bodica during the Roman occupation so our Barbarian Princes has precedent. The coming together of a Roman leader and such a woman presents a novel twist.,
It would have been helpful to have current British cities included in the facing map. In two occasions we hear a ranking Roman officer “holler” his demands. The word holler seems out of place. These minor quibbles aside I found Ristino’s novel both entertaining and informative and a really good read.