Ferox returns in:-
The Wall is the latest - and for the moment the last - in the series of Ferox stories and brings him back to his old stamping grounds in the north of Britain. After many years spent abroad, performing dirty and difficult jobs for Hadrian, Ferox is re-united with his beloved Claudia Enica, and with other people and places from the past. We get to visit Vindolanda again, although since the earlier stories the fort there has been rebuilt and a new garrison is in place. Yet the old rivalries between the communities on and beyond the frontier are still there - as is the competition and treachery among the highest ranks of the Roman state.
The Wall concludes the City of Victory trilogy, and finally sees Hadrian’s ambitions coming to fruition as he becomes emperor. For anyone in Britain, the most famous thing he would ever do was to build Hadrian’s Wall and the story culminates in his visit to Britannia in 122. Yet it does not start there, and the background to Ferox's adventures tries to explain why the great wall was built and what it was meant to do.
Where possible, I like to set episodes in the stories in real places, and this time several feature. At Vindolanda, archaeologists found a very large building outside the walls of the fort from this period and have suggested that it was a mansio, or way station for an important dignitary, quite possibly Hadrian himself during his visit to the north. That was good enough for me, so more than one chapter features this place. When Hadrian visits the initial work areas on the Wall, he stops at places like Haltwhistle Burn, where the outline of the fortlet is visible. More happens at the well displayed remains of Poltross Burn (Milecastle 48) and then along the stretch of Wall at Willowford to the west.
From the dust jacket:-
AD 117: Britannia Roman centurion Flavius Ferox is trying to live a quiet life of dignified leisure, overseeing his wife's estate and resisting the urge to murder an annoying neighbour – until someone does the job for him.
Dragged back into a life of violence, Ferox finds himself chasing raiders, fighting chieftains and negotiating with kings. Under the new emperor, Hadrian, the whole world seems to be changing: old friends are now enemies, enemies claim they are friends, and new and deadly threats lurk in the shadows.
When Hadrian himself comes to Britannia to inspect his great wall, war erupts suddenly. Ferox is the only one who can save the emperor – but with his family, and his own life in danger, he must first decide whose side he is on ... .
The Wall is released in Hardback and e-book on 8th June 2023 and in paperback in December 2023.
|© Adrian Goldsworthy 2009|