Lesser Tribune Marcus Venandus, Legion officer exemplar, was exiled to the disease-ridden hell hole known as the Fire Islands as punishment for the failed political machinations of his father. While the days of the powerful witchdoctor kings throwing skeletal armies against the shields of the legion have faded into history, all is not right at the edge of the world. Unrest is boiling once again as long dead darkness seeps back into the islands. With the legion more concerned with its personal rivalries than with its duty, it will fall to Marcus and his small, highly disciplined, command to put the horrors of the past back in their graves and literally save Aquila from a fate worse than death.
About the Author
Gilbert M. Stack has been creating stories almost since he began speaking and publishing fiction and non-fiction since 2006. A professional historian, Gilbert delights in bringing the past to life in his fiction, depicting characters who are both true to their time and empathetic with modern sensibilities. His work has appeared in more than a dozen issues of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Michelle, and their son, Michael.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
How do you describe something you've had a life-long fascination with? For as long as I can recall, I've loved reading historical fiction. And no era is quite as fascinating to explore as that of ancient Rome—or in this case, Aquila. In his new Legionnaire series, Gilbert Stack doesn't just explore it—he owns it. Not initially realizing this was a piece of fantasy, I was quickly drawn into life in this Romanesque outpost where you could literally smell the Praetor's sweat and hear the creak of leather sandals. By Mars, many times while reading it I wished I owned a gladius so I could go outside and hack branches from trees—pretending them to be the enemies of Marcus Venandus. But this is no simple piece of fiction based around the legions of Rome. This initial piece of Mr. Stack's new series offers the fan of High Fantasy a taste of what might have been. The enemies of Aquila are not always couched in human guise, for in this world magic is real—and quite deadly. Any Caesar sitting in his loge would give this story a thumbs up, and so do I.
This book by historian Gilbert Stack has a great premise - how would a Roman Legion incorporate magic and the supernatural? The author demonstrates how a small highly disciplined command can defeat a much larger undisciplined force. The work also reminds me of the Bernard Cromwell’s Sharpe series where a shrewd commander who is unpopular with his peers but respected by his men is very successful. The characters are well drawn, there are clever plot twists and I look forward to seeing the characters again in other books in the series.