It is always nice to meet someone who shares my passion for the ancient world and it is why I am always delighted to showcase other authors work on my site. Today I am delighted to introduce Graham Clews who made contact with me and told me about his trilogy on Eboracum, set in ancient Roman Britain. I have attached the description to the first novel of the trilogy, ‘The Village’ and underneath Graham has written a few words about the series, and why he felt impelled to write it.
Thomas M D Brooke
From the time Cethen Lamh Fadha and his sharp witted wife Elena see a Roman ship slam into their village dock, to the clash of arms that takes place almost two years later as a result, their life is an uprooted trail of turmoil. Led by a Brigante king who, at times, seems to be an affliction that rivals that of the Romans, the couple find their paths reluctantly crossing that of Gaius Sabinuis Trebonius, senior tribune of the Ninth Hispana Legion.
Gaius himself is no more pleased than Cethen and his wife by their chance encounters. With a sometimes erratic Governor overseeing command of the Ninth, and his own wife doing more harm to his career than good, he finds himself snared in his own tangled web of troubles and intrigue, Gaius’s fate is, nonetheless, firmly tied to that of the Brigante chieftain and his wife, often at great cost to both body and soul.
With historic characters in the background such as the cynical Vellocatus, former shield bearer to Venutius and the man who married the aging king’s divorced wife; and Cartimandua, a pragmatic but very human queen, the story moves quickly. Along the way the reader meets others far less known; Criff, the bard, who subtly keeps his feet in either camp, in more ways than one. Morallta, a Carvetti warrior whose lust for battle and rude distain is matched only by her odd pleasures; Cian, a brother whose brash temperament injures himself more than others; and Titus, the Ninth’s veteran primus pilus, who sometimes should know better, just to mention a few.
A note from the Author, Graham Clews on why he wrote the Eboracum trilogy.
Eboracum is the name for the ancient city of York. It’s where I grew up. It’s where I biked to school on streets first laid down by the Romans. It’s where I walked medieval battlements built atop the ruined walls of the Roman fort. It’s where a school history class might take place in the York museum, itself. The history of York is the history of England, and as I grew older I wanted to write about it; not only about the city, but also the people who lived there.
The Eboracum trilogy covers the first thirty-five years of Roman occupation. Beginning with Eboracum, the Village and ending with Eboracum, Carved in Stone, the series is a saga. It follows the fate of two families: that of the Roman engineer responsible for the original timber fortress, and that of the minor Brigante chieftain, who fled the site. Their story begins in A.D. 71 with the rebellion of Venutius (Book I); it moves to Agricola’s drawn out campaign that ended in the Grampian Mountains circa A.D. 83 (Book II); and concludes with the major uprising of the northern tribes in A.D. 105 (Book III). The three books are populated by every day believable characters to whom we might relate even today—warts and all. People who are simply living in a far harsher time. The background is well researched; the action, including the romance, is hard and convincing; and the story itself is laced with dark humour, the foibles of everyday life, and a down-to-earth realism.
You can buy this novel here