Blood and Steel

by Harry Sidebottom

Part of the Throne of the Caesars Series

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on Blood and Steel

A fabulous foray into the past, AD238 is the Year of the Six Emperors and makes for a fascinating and compelling tale. This is the second in the ‘Throne of the Caesars’ series, it’s best to start at the beginning with ‘Iron and Rust’ and read the books in sequence, otherwise you really will miss out on the story. There are a lot of characters jostling for dominance, however the chapter headings with dates and locations really helps to contain the story so it doesn't run away from you. The Roman way of life, culture and principles of the times are intriguing and sit perfectly alongside the warring factions. The author creates a world that is easy to imagine, this was a particularly hazardous time to be an Emperor, to live a long life it was best not to enter the power struggling political arena, however it’s remarkable place to be able to visit from the safety of your armchair. ~ Liz Robinson

 

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
‘Harry Sidebottom is an extraordinary writer, who, whether in the closed-doors, small-room power-play of imperial politics, or on the grand-scale narrative of epic set-piece battle, underpins his thrilling storytelling with incredible authenticity and historical insight. His Throne of the Caesars promises readers fiction where Patrick O’Brian meets A Song of Ice and Fire.’ - Katie Espiner, Publishing Director, HarperFiction

Liz Robinson

Blood and Steel Synopsis

From the bestselling author of WARRIOR OF ROME comes the second book in an epic new series set in third century Rome; a dramatic era of murder, coup, counter-rebellions and civil war. In a world of battle and betrayal men will fight - and kill - to sit on the Throne of the Caesars. Rome, AD238 Emperor Maximinus' reign hangs in the balance. At the helm of an empire that is bleeding manpower and money to sustain his wars in the north, rebellions flare in the far reaches of its territories. In Africa, Gordian the Elder and Younger are proclaimed as the new Augusti. A family descending from the imperial bloodline, they represent a chance for the establishment to take back the empire. In Rome, the first blood of the revolt is shed when an assassin murders Maximinus' prefect and announces to Rome that their ruler is dead and the Gordians have taken the throne. Still bitter at having a soldier from the barracks wearing the imperial purple, the Senate endorses the rebellion: the Gordiani are hailed as Emperors. But as chaos descends on the capital, news reaches Maximinus of the betrayal. A man of war, he acts with decisive brutality and violence. On the dusty plains outside Carthage, bloody battle will determine the fate of the Roman empire.

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Closing date: 31/08/2018

We are offering THREE lucky people the chance to win the Series 4 box set of the hit ITV period drama (RRP: £24.99). 1796: To defend Cornwall and those he loves from an empowered George, Ross must learn to play the political game on a journey that takes him to the nation's capital and into new perils. While Demelza manages the Poldark’s affairs at home, Elizabeth moves to further secure her marriage. Drake struggles in resigning Morwenna to life with Osborne and the Enyses are tested as never before. Prime Minister Pitt calls an election and uncertainty grips the country. While Ross watches Cornwall suffer under the power of Truro’s MP, George Warleggan, Demelza’s infidelity leaves her strained between her husband and a lovesick Hugh, who is set to rival George in the upcoming election. The Enyses contemplate having a child and Elizabeth seeks the same to secure her marriage. Meanwhile, Morwenna uses Osborne’s affair with her sister Rowella to keep the reverend’s advances at bay and Demelza seeks to reconcile rival local Lords Falmouth and Basset. The draw closes on the 31st August and the winner will be notified by the 7th September.

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Blood and Steel Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in the series, Iron and Rust. You can read their thoughts below or click here to read the full reviews.

  • Jane Gilman - 'It has everything. Political intrigue, gossip, social climbing of the 1st order. Plot and counter plot to rival the best thrillers.'  
  • Pam Kennedy - 'A very good book, I really enjoyed it.'
  • James Ryall - 'The start of an exciting journey in 3rd century Rome. The story does suffer from introducing so many characters and setting the scene. However, I am looking forward to the next book in the series.'
  • Dana Captainino - 'Overcomplicated and too many characters.  Disappointing.'
  • Jane Nicol - 'An interesting, very detailed story of a violent age, a few too many battles for me!'
  • Benjamin Mercer - 'Sidebottom succeeds in bringing to life the intrigue, the tension, the grit and the violence of a Rome fractured by the loss of its emperor.'
  • Alan Brown - 'The beginning of this story conceals a masterpiece of historical fiction. The story is told in a clear cut fashion necessary for a plot with so many characters, locations and twists.'
  • Sarah Jones - 'The story is highly detailed and well researched, with much for those who have an interest in Roman history.'
  • Cathy Petersen - 'Political mistrust and paranoia, violent bloodshed, passion and tragedy - welcome to Rome AD 235.'
  • Lindsey Whittle - 'Exciting story, lots of atmosphere and gory battles. An interesting view into a little-known episode of Roman history.'
  • Jo-anne Atkinson - 'A view of the factions fighting to take Imperial power during a turbulent time in Roman history.'

Blood and Steel Press Reviews

Praise for BLOOD & STEEL: 'Absorbing, rich in detail and brilliant
THE TIMES Praise for IRON

& RUST: 'An amazing story of bloodlust, ruthless ambition and revenge
THE TIMES Praise for Harry Sidebottom:

'Sidebottom's prose blazes with searing scholarship'
THE TIMES

'Superior fiction, with depth, authenticity and a sense of place'
TLS

'A storming triumph...wonderful fight scenes, deft literary touches and salty dialogue'
DAILY TELEGRAPH

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007499915
Publication date: 25/02/2016
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780007499885
Publication date: 21/05/2015
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007499915
Publication date: 25th February 2016
Author: Harry Sidebottom
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 448 pages
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical fiction,

About Harry Sidebottom

Harry Sidebottom was brought up in racing stables in Newmarket where his father was a trainer. Educated at various schools and universities, including Oxford, he took his Doctorate in Ancient History at Corpus Christi College. He has taught at various universities including Oxford, where he is now Fellow and Director of Studies in Ancient History at St Benets Hall, and Lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College.He has travelled widely, especially around the Mediterranean, including trips travelling as a guest speaker on a Cunard liner and a memorable solo journey into Albania not long after the fall of the ...

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