Wednesday 17 April 2019

#BookReview — Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4) by Tim Walker #Arthurian #HistoricalFiction @timwalker1666

Arthur Dux Bellorum
(A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4)
By Tim Walker

From the ruins of post-Roman Britain, a warrior arises to unite a troubled land.

Britain in the late Fifth Century is a troubled place – riven with tribal infighting and beset by invaders in search of plunder and settlement. King Uther is dead, and his daughter, Morgana, seizes the crown for her infant son, Mordred. Merlyn’s attempt to present Arthur as the true son and heir of Uther is scorned, and the bewildered teenager finds himself in prison. Here our story begins…

Arthur finds friends in unexpected quarters and together they flee. Travelling through a fractured landscape of tribal conflict and suspicion, they attempt to stay one step ahead of their pursuers, whilst keeping a wary eye on Saxon invaders menacing the shoreline. Arthur’s reputation as a fearsome warrior grows as he learns the harsh lessons needed to survive and acquire the skills of a dux bellorum, a lord of war.

Tim Walker’s Arthur Dux Bellorum is a fresh look at the Arthurian legend, combining myth, history and gripping battle scenes. Although in a series, it can be read as a standalone novel.

“We live in dangerous times…”

When King Uther Pendragon died, his daughter, Morgana, placed her son upon the throne. However, Mordred is just a child, and therefore it is Morgana that rules the kingdom, and she will quash her enemies, even if they are of her blood, if it serves her purpose to do so.

Artorius’ destiny, if you can call it that, was nothing more than a conjurer’s trick that had been planned and executed by the overly zealous healer, although some say sorcerer, Merlyn. But it is not Merlyn that languishes in prison. For it was not he that pulled the sword from the stone. Merlyn does not have to suffer the squalor and indignity of a prison cell.

Artorius' succession to his father’s throne may not have gone exactly the way Merlyn had envisaged, but he wasn’t one to give up. He would vanquish Morgana and her son. All he had to do was to break Artorius out of prison and then convince the other tribes that Artorius is Uther’s son and therefore is the heir apparent and should be sat where Mordred sits. However, such things are easier said than done. Merlyn must use his wit and cunning to achieve that which seems, on the face of it, impossible.

From a dark and filthy cell to the coronation of one of the most celebrated legendary kings of all time, Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4) by Tim Walker is the story of a young teenage boy, who despite all the odds, takes the throne that is rightfully his.

Following in the footsteps of the great Arthurian authors, Walker has penned a story that is as rich in historical detail as it is in all its mythological traditions. Drawing on the works of Monmouth, Nennius and Welsh folklore, Walker has presented a hero who has to desperately fight a seemingly invincible foe to win his throne and take his place in British history.

Walker’s compelling narrative caught my attention from the opening sentence. Walker’s careful blend of mystery, treachery, deceit, war, honour, and the knightly code made this book unputdownable. The skilfully described battle scenes were so real in the telling that I could almost taste the terror and the chaos as our intrepid hero fought for not only his life, but for the throne and the kingdom which was rightfully his. All of which is set against a very believable historical backdrop.

The forces of good and evil run through the heart of this book. Morgana’s desire for power is as seemingly unstoppable as the tide. She is determined to secure her son’s throne. However, one could surmise that it is not in Mordred’s interest that Morgana is so despotic in her ambition to vanquish her enemies, but in her own insatiable lust for power. Morgana is often portrayed as the anti-hero in the story of Arthur, but I thought Walker brought a refreshingly new take on the character. She is deplorable, but at the same time she drives this story forward, and I found myself holding my breath as she continued to plot and scheme to thwart her adversaries.

In comparison to Morgana, her half-siblings, and in particular Artorius, came across as level headed and for the most part compassionate. Artorius does struggle with some of the things he has done, particularly in the heat of battle, which I think gave his character a tremendous depth, and made him very believable. Likewise, Merlyn was a character I enjoyed reading about. His ingenuity and his use of the tools available to him made his story compulsively readable. I enjoyed following his progression throughout this wonderful book.

There are several secondary characters that fans of Arthurian fiction will be familiar with — Gawain, Percival, Bors and Tristan — all of whom Artorius looks up to for advice. I thought these characters were well fleshed, and I look forward to reading more about them in the next edition of this remarkable series.

Like a heroic poem from times of old, Tim Walker’s Arthurian saga continues to mesmerise. A must read for those who love everything Arthurian, but also for those who have a keen interest in the Dark Ages.

I Highly Recommend.

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


Pick up your copy of

Arthur Dux Bellorum
(A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4)

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is an independent author based in Windsor, UK. His background is in marketing, journalism, editing and publications management. He began writing an historical series,A Light in the Dark Ages (set in Fifth Century Britain), in 2015, starting with Abandoned, set at the time the Romans left Britain. This was extensively revised and re-launched as a second edition in 2018.

Book two, Ambrosius: Last of the Romans, was published in 2017 and the third installment, Uther’s Destiny, was published in March 2018 (winner of One Stop Fiction book of the month award, April 2018). The adventure continues from March 2019 in the fourth book, Arthur, Dux Bellorum.

His creative writing journey began in July 2015 with the publication of a book of short stories, Thames Valley Tales. In September 2017 he published a second collection of short stories – Postcards from London. These stories combine his love of history with his experiences of living in London and various Thames Valley towns.
In 2016 he published his first novel, a dystopian political thriller, Devil Gate Dawn,following exposure through the Amazon Scout programme. In 2017 he published his first children’s book, The Adventures of Charly Holmes, co-written with his 12-year-old daughter, Cathy, followed In 2018 by a second adventure, Charly & The Superheroes.
Connect with Tim: Website • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon Author Page.


  1. Congratulations on your award, Tim!

  2. Congratulations on your award!


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