The Mask of Command

by Ian Ross

Part of the Twilight of Empire Series

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on The Mask of Command

Six years after the battle for Rome, the truce between the two emperors has failed and Aurelius Castus is again in the frontline.

The Mask of Command Synopsis

When a treacherous act of murder throws the western provinces into turmoil, Aurelius Castus is ordered to take command of the military forces on the Rhine. But he soon discovers that the frontier is a place where the boundaries between civilisation and barbarism, freedom and slavery, honour and treason have little meaning. At the very heart of the conflict are two vulnerable boys. One is Emperor Constantine's young heir, Crispus. The other is Castus's own beloved son, Sabinus. Only Castus stands between them and men who would kill them. With all that he loves in danger, Castus and a handful of loyal men must fight to defend the Roman Empire. But in the heat of battle, can he distinguish friend from enemy?

Win the Poldark Series 4 Box set!

Win the Poldark Series 4 Box set!

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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The Mask of Command Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in the series, War at the Edge of the World. Click here to read the full reviews.

  • Sarah Musk - 'An exciting, entirely believable book set beyond the Roman wall in fourth century Britain.  If you love Roman battles and warfare you will love this book.'
  • Pam Kennedy - 'Wow, fantastic. There aren't enough words to describe this book.'
  • Les Warriner - 'I loved this book! I was both captivated and fascinated by the rapid progress of events, and the seeming ingenuity of the methods of war and death.  I found the book impossible to put down at times.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'This is not my usual read but I thoroughly enjoyed it...I learnt a lot about this period of history and would recommend this book to readers who may not be familiar with this historical period.' 
  • Ray Orgill - 'This story is both fast and furious with fortunes swaying first one way and then the other and nothing is quite so simple as we have been lead to believe..'
  • Jane Macleod - 'If you enjoy historical novels with a large chunk of action, if you enjoyed the film 300 then this is for you.'

The Mask of Command Press Reviews

'What a cracker! ... Wonderful... A must for those interested in Roman history, especially of the late period, and a good read for book groups too. Fantastic'  Nudge Book

'As with this whole series the research is exemplary, the attention to detail is first class, and yet not thrust down the reader's neck, it's subtle and yet intricate, and the battles are a joy to read. Another absolute winner'  Parmenion Books

'Doesn't disappoint. Every maleficent twist and turn of Roman politico-military life is here together with Ian Ross own brand of excitement and adventure making it a should-read'  The Bookbag

'With plenty of intrigue and bloody action, this is historical fiction at its rollicking best'  Sunday Sport

'This tense, immersive novel is driven by the forceful yet always human Castus ... the best of a fine series, this also stands very well on its own'  Sunday Express

'A corking story, thoroughly exciting and with some of the best fighting sequences I've read in Roman military fiction. I'm such a fan of this series but The Mask of Command could well be the best so far'  For Winter Nights

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781784975272
Publication date: 13/07/2017
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781784975272
Publication date: 13th July 2017
Author: Ian Ross
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 464 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical fiction,

About Ian Ross

Ian Ross was born in England and studied painting before turning to writing fiction. He has travelled widely and worked as a bookseller, tutor and university lecturer while developing his writing abilities. A year in Italy teaching English and exploring the ruins of empire reawakened his early love for ancient history, and he returned to the UK with growing fascination for the period known as late antiquity. He has been researching and writing about the later Roman world and its army for over a decade, and his interests combine an obsessive regard for accuracy and detail with a devotion to ...

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