Thrilling, authentic, and action packed, this novel introduces soldier hero Marcus Valerius: a centurion stationed on Hadrian's Wall in the second century during a revolt against the Roman Empire. Marcus Valerius Aquila has scarcely landed in Britannia when he has to run for his life - condemned to dishonorable death by power-crazed emperor Commodus. The plan is to take a new name, serve in an obscure regiment on Hadrian's Wall, and lie low until he can hope for justice. Then a rebel army sweeps down from the wastes north of the wall, and Marcus has to prove he's hard enough to lead a century in the front line of a brutal, violent war.
©2009 Anthony Riches (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
Britannia has been subdued - and an epic new chapter in Marcus Valerius Aquila's life begins. The murderous Roman agents who nearly captured Marcus have been defeated by his friends. But in order to protect those very friends from the wrath of the emperor, he must leave the province that has been giving him shelter. As Marcus Tribulus Corvus, centurion of the second Tungrian auxiliary cohort, he leads his men from Hadrian's Wall to the Tungrians' original home in Germania Inferior. There he finds a very different world from the turbulent British frontier - but one with its own dangers. Tungrorum, the centre of a once-prosperous farming province, a city already brought low by the ravages of the eastern plague that has swept through the empire, is now threatened by an outbreak of brutally violent robbery. A bandit chieftain called Obduro, his identity always hidden behind an iron cavalry helmet, is robbing and killing with impunity. His sword - sharper, stronger, and more deadly than any known to the Roman army - is the lethal symbol of his unstoppable power. And now he has moved beyond mere theft and threatens to destabilize the whole northern frontier of the empire.
©2012 Anthony Riches (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton
Fresh from their victory in Germania, Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians have been sent to Dacia, on the northeastern edge of the Roman Empire, with the mission to safeguard a major source of imperial power. The mines of Alburnus Major contain enough gold to pave the road to Rome. They would make a mighty prize for the marauding Sarmatae tribesmen who threaten the province, and the outnumbered auxiliaries are entrusted with their safety in the face of a barbarian invasion. Beset by both the Sarmatian horde and more subtle threats offered by men who should be their comrades, the Tungrians must also come to terms with the danger posed by a new and unexpected enemy. They will have to fight to the death to save the honour of the empire - and their own skins.
©2012 Anthony Riches (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton
In the enthralling third volume of Empire, Anthony Riches takes the legions deep into north Britannia, where the survivors of the rebellion still hope for revenge. The Romans have vanquished the rebel alliance, leaving Calgus, Lord of the Northern Tribes, the prisoner of the chieftains he once led. But the new Roman leader will not let them rest. He forms an audacious plan to capture Dinpaladyr, the Selgovaes' fortress of spears, and return it to the hands of a trusted ally. Marcus Aquila - burning for revenge on an enemy army that has killed one of his best friends - is part of the select group of infantry chosen to go north with the Petriana cavalry and take the fort before the rebel army can reach it. He believes his disguise as Centurion Corvus of the 2nd Tungrians is still holding. But he is just a few days ahead of two of the emperor's agents, sent from Rome to kill him. Pitiless assassins who know his real name, and too much about his friends.
©2011 Anthony Riches (P)2011 Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks
The Tungrian auxiliary cohorts return to Hadrian's Wall after their successful Dacian campaign, only to find Britannia in chaos. The legions are overstretched, struggling to man the forts of the northern frontier in the face of increasing barbarian resistance. The Tungrians are the only soldiers who can be sent into the northern wastes, far beyond the long-abandoned wall built by Antoninus, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Victorious Legion is reputed to await them. Protected by an impassable swamp and hidden in a fortress atop a high mountain, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive. Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy's strength, ghosting through a deadly wilderness patrolled by vicious huntresses before breaching the walls of the Fang, an all-but-impregnable fort, if they are to rescue the legion's venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous, with the might of a barbarian tribe at their heels.
©2013 Anthony Riches (P)2013 Hodder & Stoughton
The Battle of the Lost Eagle saved Hadrian's Wall, but the new Roman governor of Britannia must stamp out the rebellion of the northern tribes or risk losing the province. Rampaging south with sword and flame under the command of their murderous chieftain Calgus, they have stretched his forces to the limit. For Marcus - now simply Centurion Corvus of the 1st Tungrian cohort - the campaign has become doubly dangerous. As reinforcements flood into Britannia, he is surrounded by new officers with no reason to protect him from the emperor's henchmen. Death could result from a careless word as easily as from an enemy spear - worse, one of them is close on his heels. While Marcus is training two centuries of Syrian archers to survive a barbarian charge and then take the fight back to their enemy, the new prefect of the 2nd Tungrians has discovered his secret. Only a miracle can save Marcus and the men who protect him from disgrace and death.... Anthony Riches once again brings meticulous research together with brilliant storytelling to capture the authentic feel of what life was like for the Roman Army in a brutal war with a remorseless enemy.
©2010 Anthony Riches (P)2011 Hodder & Stoughton
The seventh novel in Anthony Riches' acclaimed Empire sequence brings Marcus Aquila back to Rome, hunting the men who destroyed his family. But the revenge he craves may cost him and those around him dearly. The young centurion's urge to exact his own brutal justice upon the shadowy cabal of assassins who butchered his family means that he must face them on their own ground, risking his own death at their hands. A senator, a gang boss, a praetorian officer and, deadliest of all, champion gladiator Mortiferum - the Death Bringer - lie in wait. The knives are unsheathed, and ready for blood....
©2014 Anthony Riches (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
"A master of the genre." (The Times) The ninth novel in the thrilling Empire sequence leads Centurion Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians to the battlefield that was one of Rome's most disastrous defeats. The Tungrians have no sooner returned to Rome than they find themselves tasked with a very different mission from their desperate exploits in Parthia. Ordered to cross the river Rhenus into barbarian Germany and capture a tribal priestess who may be the most dangerous person on the empire's northern border, they are soon subject to the machinations of an old enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage their plans before they have even set foot on the river's eastern bank. But after their Roman enemy is neutralised, they face a challenge greater still. With two of the Bructeri tribe's greatest treasures in their hands, they must regain Roman territory by crossing the unforgiving wilderness that was the graveyard of Roman imperial strategy 200 years before. And capture by the Bructeri's vengeful chieftain and his warband can end in only one way - a horrific sacrificial death on the tribe's altar of blood.
©2016 Anthony Riches (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton
The eighth book in the Empire sequence takes Centurion Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian legion on a dangerous mission to the heart of the Parthian empire. With Rome no longer safe, Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered east, to the desolate borderlands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries. Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected Third Legion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts. And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital, Ctesiphon, on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends.
©2015 Anthony Riches (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
With his compelling Centurions trilogy complete, Anthony Riches returns to his best-selling Empire sequence of novels with his storytelling skills polished to perfection.
Set in the second century AD, The Scorpion's Strike continues the story of Marcus Aquila's fight for justice for a family ripped asunder by imperial assassins. Still seeking revenge, Marcus finds himself thrown back into the heart of the chaos that is shaking the Roman Empire to its roots.
Fresh from their close escape from imperial betrayal in the German forest, Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered to Gaul, where an outlaw called Maturnus is wreaking havoc. Havoc that may be more than mere banditry, as deserters and freed slaves flock to his cause: rebellion is in the air for the first time in a generation.
And if escape from Rome's memories is a relief for the young centurion, he soon discovers that danger has followed him west to Gaul. The expedition is led by Praetorians whom he has every cause to hate. And to fear, if they should discover who he really is.
©2019 Anthony Riches (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
The 11th novel in Anthony Riches' best-selling Empire series takes Marcus Aquila and his most trusted allies to Egypt. After saving the emperor's life in Rome, Marcus and his comrades have been sent across the sea to the wealthy, corrupt Greek metropolis of Aegyptus, Alexandria. An unknown enemy has slaughtered the garrison of the empire's last outpost before its border with the mysterious kingdom of Kush. Caravans can no longer reach the crucial Red Sea port of Berenike, from which the riches of the East flow towards Rome. The emperor's most trusted and most devious adviser has ordered Marcus' commander Scaurus and his trusted officers to the south. With orders that are tantamount to a suicide mission and with only one slim hope of success. Can a small force of highly trained legionaries restore the empire's power in this remote desert no-man's-land, when faced by the fanatical army of Kush's iron-fisted ruler?
©2020 Anthony Riches (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
The action-filled climax of the epic story of the Batavi uprising in AD 69, from the author of the best-selling Empire series. Victory is in sight for Kivilaz and his Batavi army. The Roman army clings desperately to its remaining fortresses along the Rhine, its legions riven by dissent and mutiny, and once-loyal allies of Rome are beginning to imagine the unimaginable: freedom from the rulers who have dominated them since the time of Caesar. The four centurions - two Batavi and two Roman, men who were once comrades in arms - must find their destiny in a maze of loyalties and threats, as the blood tide of war ebbs and flows across Germania and Gaul. For Rome does not give up its territory lightly. And a new emperor knows that he cannot tolerate any threat to his undisputed power. It can only be a matter of time before Vespasian sends his legions north to exact the empire's retribution.
©2018 Anthony Riches (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
The author of the best-selling Empire sequence continues his new epic of the uprising of the Batavi in AD 88. The Rhine frontier has exploded into all-out war. Summoned back to their homeland by their new leader, Kivilaz, the Batavi cohorts, so recently proud soldiers of Rome, find their lands transformed. All Roman influences have vanished after a battle in which two legions were humbled by the rebels, then chased away to lick their wounds in their fortress, the Old Camp. As the most experienced men in the Batavi army, the veteran soldiers are sent south again alongside an army of warriors from the German tribes, tasked with spearheading the fight to destroy the Roman stronghold and remove the threat it poses to their homeland. Swiftly besieged, and with little hope of relief, the defeated 5th and 15th legions grimly defend an undermanned fortress against both the Batavi and their enraged barbarian German allies, united under the banner of the priestess Veleda. But a relief column under a driven Roman general is marching north, with a burning need to restore Rome's pride - and the events that follow will determine the fate of both the Old Camp and Roman rule on the northern frontier.
©2017 Anthony Riches (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
Rome, AD 68. Nero has committed suicide. One hundred years of imperial rule by the descendants of Julius Caesar has ended, and chaos rules. His successor, Galba, dismisses the incorruptible Germans of the Imperial Bodyguard for the crime of loyalty to the dead emperor. Ordering them back to their homeland, he releases a Batavi officer from a Roman prison to be their prefect. But Julius Civilis is not the loyal servant of empire that he seems. Four centurions, two Batavi and two Roman, will be caught up in the intrigues and the battles that follow - as friends, as victims, as leaders and as enemies. Hramn is First Spear of the Bodyguard. Fiercely proud of his men's honour and furious at their disgrace, he leads them back to the Batavi homeland to face an uncertain future. Alcaeus is a centurion with the tribe's cohorts serving Rome on the northern frontier - men whose fighting skills prove crucial as Roman vies with Roman for the throne. A wolf-priest of Hercules, he wields the authority of his god and his own fighting prowess. Marius is a Roman, first spear of the Fifth Legion: a self-made man who hates politics but cannot avoid them in a year of murderous intrigue. Aquillius, former first spear of the Eighth Augustan, like Hramn, is in disgrace for refusing to dishonour his oath of loyalty. But their paths will lead them to opposite sides of an unforgiving war. And Civilis, Kivilaz to his countrymen, heroic leader, Roman citizen and patriotic Batavi, will change the course of both the empire's destiny and that of the centurions.
©2017 Anthony Riches (P)2016 Hodder Headline Limited