Friday 29 March 2019

#BookReview — ILONA - Wolf Queen: The Civilis Saga Book #2 by Peter Baggott #HistoricalFiction #AncientRome @baggott_scot

ILONA - Wolf Queen
The Civilis Saga Book #2
By Peter Baggott

Two warnings to return home, drive Artorius Civilis northward. Torn between duty and family he must resolve the Legate-less 2nd Augusta before he can return to Rome. Lost in a snowstorm it leads him to a chance meeting and an unknown prophecy he must fulfil. The purge of Sejanus’ supporters continues and with only the Civilis family left to identify him, Victus Claudian must eradicate them all. An informant, an ambush, a final meeting in a snowy forest, Artorius is the first step, but in Genua, Naomi hides a growing secret. Abandoned with only his spatha, Artorius faces a life or death scenario as wolves smell his blood. A two-legged wolf becomes his saviour, changing his life forever. Marcus and Tia’s love flourishes as they raise the family estate from slaves to a village. With the New Year, the annual plague crawls like a snake from the poisonous Tiberis exacting death on all it touches. Out of duty and honour, Artorius’ friends seek the truth of his final days. A last resort leads to a small hut where a seer and her daughter, the Wolf Queen, live, therein lay the answers and many new questions. Power and greed will lead one to betray Artorius’ family, but another will offer her life in that betrayal, to win what she seeks. Two sons, born of two families, from two worlds on a collision course, where survival is paramount. Lainth the Etruscan goddess of death picks her subjects.

“Prepare yourself, daughter — the weather brings your man to our door. His life is about to change forever, and painfully so. Only you can repair his tortured soul and give him hope…”

Ilona has always heeded her mother’s wise counsel, for Rosevetha is a seer, an extraordinarily powerful one. However, Rosevetha is not the only one with gifts. Ilona is the Wolf Queen — she can talk to wolves, hunt with them, without any fear of being hurt. Wherever she goes, her wolves are not far behind. But, even Ilona could not have possibly comprehended the lengths she would have to go to if she is to save the man she loves.

Centurion Artorius Primus Pila Civilis had sought shelter from the elements in the home of Rosevetha and her daughter. However, he got a little more than a comforting fire and hot food. Instead, he is issued with two warnings — beware of the man with a “V” in his name and return to Rome with all haste.

Artorius knows well the man with a “V” in his name, for they are old enemies, and he has every intention of returning to his family in Rome as soon as there is a break in the weather. However, fate plays a cruel hand, and his journey is delayed. The seer was right. The consequences are indeed, life-changing.

From humble beginnings to life as the partner of a Camp Prefect in the Glorious 2nd, ILONA - Wolf Queen: The Civilis Saga Book #2, by Peter Baggott, is a historical fiction triumph.

Well, Baggott has done it again. ILONA — Wolf Queen, was everything I expected and then some. Filled with non-stop action, and an incredibly impressive narrative, this is the kind of story that hooks you in from the opening sentence and does not let go until the very last full stop. I do not exaggerate when I say the pages practically turned themselves and time ceased to matter while I lost myself in the world that Baggott has created. Baggott has crafted a tale that is every reader’s dream — it is a book you can very willingly lose yourself in.

I was expecting big things from this book after reading Victus: The Civilis Saga Book #1, and I am pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed. At times the tension was almost unbearable as one tragedy after another strikes the House of Civilis. I was left gasping in disbelief as Baggott struck down his characters with all the drama one usually finds in the books penned by George R. R. Martin. Was no one safe? This series certainly needs to come with a warning — do not get attached to any of the characters, there’s a good chance they won’t make it! This is no criticism. The story warranted the deaths — it is just that I did not want them to die! 

Within the pages of this remarkable book is a desperately heroic struggle between the House of Civilis and the evil, despicable and disgraced, Victus Claudian. Victus is an incredibly dangerous man who is determined to kill every last member of the Civilis family. Nothing can seemingly stop him. He is a character that made my skin crawl. Victus has absolutely no regard for life, he rapes and murders, without mercy. His actions could be mistaken as that of a madman, but Victus knows exactly what he is doing. Baggot deserves the highest praise in his portrayal of this truly terrible antagonist.

Baggott also deserves acclaim for not only his enthralling narrative but for his confident historical detailing. Here we have an author who knows the history of this period inside out. Baggott brings this era back to life in all its glorious, as well as its abhorrent, detail. Baggott certainly has a novelist gift for understanding what makes history worth reading.

There is a large cast of characters in this book — at least in the beginning — which Baggott has a masterful control of. He also has an intuitive understanding that no man is perfect, and even the most moral sometimes fall from grace. Such insight means that he has written a cast of not only highly appealing characters but more importantly, believable ones. 

I cannot praise this book enough. From the tender moments between a man and a woman to the horrors of the battlefield, there is something for everyone between the pages of ILONA - Wolf Queen: The Civilis Saga Book #2. I cannot wait to get my hands on Book #3 and find out what is to become of the House of Civilis.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of
ILONA - Wolf Queen
(The Civilis Saga Book #2)

Peter Baggott

Peter Baggott is a debut author with a deep interest in Roman history. He has served in three uniformed employments and is very familiar with Roman tactics which are still used in everyday life: shield tactics and skills – testudo being much used in the Police and Prison Service.

Peter chose for his writing this historical genre because of his innate interest in the subject and having been born in the Roman city of Lindvm, modern day Lincoln.

In his teens, on a daily basis, while delivering newspapers, Peter traversed the exposed Roman remains from The Steep to the Newport Arch, the only full Roman archway in Great Britain.

While working in a local hotel close to the ruins he utilised this knowledge to become a self-appointed guide to visitors from far and wide and has continued to keep up to date with local finds. There are many stories surrounding the infamous Legio IX Hispana, who were based in Lindvm, their disappearance has inspired his continuing interest in all things Roman.

Peter has also visited numerous Roman sites, both in the UK and in Europe and has used original Roman historical sources of Tacitus, Suetonius and Dio, Google Maps for distancing and location, Wikipedia and several archaeological online sources. Thus, he tries to keep abreast with new finds upgrading his work accordingly.

Connect with Peter: Website • Twitter

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your award, Peter!


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx