Novels

Avenger of Rome: (Gaius Valerius Verrens 3)

by Douglas Jackson

Emperor Nero’s grip on power is weakening. In every shadow he sees an enemy and like a cornered animal he lashes out at every perceived threat. His paranoia settles on the figure of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, Rome’s greatest General, who leads the imperial legions in the East. So popular is Corbulo with his men that he effectively presides over an Empire within an Empire. Is Corbulo preparing to march against Rome and take the purple? Gaius Valerius Verrens, Hero of Rome, is ordered to Antioch with the power of life and death over Corbulo, a soldier he worships. There he finds word of his mission has preceded him and every man’s hand is turned against him. But Corbulo’s eyes are not on Rome, they’re on a new threat to the Empire’s border. The Parthian King of Kings, Vologases, is marching to war and with such an army, if he’s not stopped he might overwhelm the entire Roman east. Valerius marches at Corbulo’s side. Outnumbered, they make a stand in the barren wastes beyond the Tigris to meet Vologases in an epic contest of military might and ingenuity that will decide the fate of the Empire. And while he fights for the Empire, and for his own survival on the battlefield, Valerius must decide whether to complete his mission, or risk incurring his Emperor’s dangerous wrath.

Sword of Rome: (Gaius Valerius Verrens 4)

by Douglas Jackson

68AD. The Emperor Nero’s erratic and bloody reign is in its death throes when Gaius Valerius Verrens is dispatched to Rome on a mission that will bring it to a close. With Nero dead, the city holds its breath and awaits the arrival of his successor, Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania. The Empire prays for peace, but it prays in vain. Although Galba promises stability and prosperity, his rule begins with a massacre and ends only months later in chaos and carnage. This will become known as the Year of the Four Emperors, a time of civil war which will tear Rome apart and test Valerius’s skills and loyalties to their very limit. Fortunate to survive Galba’s fall, Valerius is sent on a mission by Rome’s new Emperor, Otho, to his old friend Vitellius, commander of the armies of the north. Vitellius’s legions are on the march, and only Valerius can persuade him to halt them before the inevitable confrontation. In an epic adventure that will take him the length and breadth of a divided land, the one-armed Roman fights to stay alive and stave off a bloodbath as he is stalked by the most implacable enemy he has ever faced.

Enemy of Rome: (Gaius Valerius Verrens 5)

by Douglas Jackson

Summer, AD 69. Rome and its empire are in turmoil, caught in the coils of a desperate and destructive civil war.  The emperor Otho is dead by his own hand and his rival, Aulus Vitellius, occupies the imperial throne. However, a new challenge has arisen in the East – the legions of Titus Flavius Vespasian have declared him their Emperor. In the dry heat of an August morning, Gaius Valerius Verrens prepares for his last day on earth. Wrongly accused of deserting his legion on the field of Bedriacum, it seems he is destined to die a coward’s death. Then the executioner’s hand is stayed. Vitellius’ enemies will spare the life of the man who was once Hero of Rome if he pledges allegiance to Vespasian and his cause. Valerius – tired of the endless slaughter and hoping that he might be reunited with his lost love – agrees. And so he must battle his way south to Rome in order to persuade his friend Vitellius to stand down for the greater good of the city, its people and the Empire. But this is civil war and this is Rome, and Valerius – his loyalties divided and branded an enemy of the people – is trapped in a maze of distrust, corruption, betrayal and blood-letting.

Scourge of Rome: (Gaius Valerius Verrens 6)

by Douglas Jackson

70AD. Disgraced, dishonored and banished into exile on pain of execution if he ever returns to Rome, the former military tribune Gaius Valerius Verrens makes his way East through the death and destruction of the savage Judaean rebellion. Valerius knows his only hope of long term survival and a restoration of his family’s fortunes lies with his friend Titus, commander of the Army of Judaea and son of the newly crowned Emperor Vespasian. But when he reaches the ring of legionary camps around the seemingly impregnable city of Jerusalem he finds Titus a changed man. Gone is the cheerful young officer he knew, replaced by a tough, ruthless soldier under pressure from his father to end the insurrection at any cost. Soon, Valerius finds himself at the center of a web of intrigue spun by Titus’s lover, Queen Berenice of Cilicia, and her sometime ally, the general’s turncoat adviser, Flavius Josephus, who have an ulterior motive for ending the siege quickly. Yet the laurels that will regain his honor cannot be won in the negotiations in the murky tunnels beneath Jerusalem. Only amid the fire and blood of battle will he equal the glory that brought him the title Hero of Rome.

Saviour of Rome: (Gaius Valerius Verrens 7)

by Douglas Jackson

AD 72. Titus Flavius Vespasianus, known as Vespasian, is Emperor of Rome – but his grip on power is weakening. Economic disaster threatens the city – and when Rome is threatened, so too is the Empire. Recently married and building a new home, Gaius Valerius Verrens thought he’d at last found a life away from the battlefield. But he is summoned by the Emperor to do one last favor for Rome: he must journey to the remote, mountainous region of Asturica Augusta and investigate claims that a bandit called ‘The Ghost’ is raiding the Empire’s gold convoys. When Valerius arrives, he finds a tortured, gods-forsaken land whose native tribes, exploited for so long, are a growing threat. But treachery lurks in the shadows, and it seems the real danger comes from those closer to him. Valerius must put an end to a conspiracy that would plunge the Empire into a devastating new conflict – but first he must establish who is a friend, and who a foe.