Synopses & Reviews
For three centuries, the stone barrier we know as Hadrian's Wall shielded Roman Britain from the unconquered barbarians of the island's northern highlands. But when Valeria, a senator's daughter, is sent to the Wall for an arranged marriage to an aristocratic officer in 367 A.D., her journey unleashes jealousy, passion, and epic war. Valeria's new husband, Marcus, has supplanted the brutally efficient veteran soldier Galba as commander of the famed Petriana cavalry. Yet Galba insists on escorting the bride-to-be on her journey to the Wall.
Is he submitting to duty? Or plotting revenge? And what is the mysterious past of the handsome barbarian chieftain Arden Caratacus, who springs from ambush and who seems to know so much of hated Rome? As sharp as the edge of a spatha sword and as piercing as a Celtic arrow, "Hadrian's Wall evokes a lost world of Roman ideals and barbaric romanticism.
Topics for Discussion Why does the author choose to tell the story through the interviews of Draco and develop his relationship with the slave, Savia? What does this add to the story? We know now that Christianity eventually won, but it must have seemed unlikely at first. What was it about the story of a crucified Jew that was so effective in a world used to multiple gods and deified emperors? What parallels do you see between a Roman Empire trying to sustain its boundaries and the United States of today?
About the Author
William Dietrich is a novelist, Pulitzer-winning journalist, historian and naturalist who lives on an island in Washington State.
". . . page-turning stuff . . . Lively, authoritative and edifying . . . the best yet from Dietrich." Kirkus Reviews)
"A gripping and literate work that will haunt you long after you've put it down." (Michael Curtis Ford, author of The Ten Thousand and Gods and Legions)
A novel of swirling emotions, ancient warfare, and the final great clash of Roman and Celtic culture.
The Wall. When the Roman emperor Hadrian first envisioned the awesome edifice in A.D.
122, he used stone, wood, and iron to shield Roman Britannia forever from the unconquered Celtic barbarians. Stretching over seventy milesto divide the island, Hadrian's Wall has maintained the security of the Roman Empire's northern outpost for more than two hundred years. Now a Roman bride has come who will unleash jealousy, passion, and an epic war that will shake a tired and tottering empire to its core.
Tribune Marcus Flavius has secured command at the Wall not through battles fought or wars won, but through his arranged marriage to Valeria, a senator's daughter. He replaces a brutal veteran, Galba Brassidias, an ambitious soldier whose skill in battle is rivaled only by his Machiavellian brilliance. But Galba will do anything it takes to regain his position and dominate the young woman who fascinates and infuriates him.
The intrigue on the Roman side of the Wall is matched by the plotting of Celtic warriors determined to rid their land of the invaders. They are led by the dynamic and mysterious barbarian chieftain Arden Caratacus, a man who seems to know as much about hated Rome as he does of his own people, and who is determined to win the young woman for himself.
Theirs is a story of swirling emotions, ancient warfare, desperate romance, and the final great clash of Roman and Celtic cultures. All will be decided on the field of battle, where the fate of an empire may rest in the strength of Hadrian's Wall.
About the Author
William Dietrich is the author of twelve novels, including five previous Ethan Gage titles—Napoleon's Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, The Dakota Cipher, The BarbaryPirates, and The Emerald Storm. Dietrich is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, historian, and naturalist. A winner of the PNBA Award for Nonfiction, he lives in Washington State.