Saturday, 2 March 2019

Book Spotlight: Arthur Dux Bellorum

Today I have a book spotlight for you, a historical fiction about one of my favourite legends, King Arthur. So I present to you, Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4) by Tim Walker. Plus, there's an excerpt. Enjoy.

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.

Fans of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and Mathew Harffy will enjoy Walker’s A Light in the Dark Ages series and its newest addition – Arthur Dux Bellorum.

Arthur Dux Bellorum is available at Amazon

A Light in the Dark Ages series

An Except from Arthur Dux Bellorum:

Artorius (the young Arthur), Merlyn and Gawain are being pursued by Mordred’s men. They arrive at the former Roman colonia of Lindum (modern day Lincoln)

WITH CARE AND vigilance, the troop of riders moved without incident for two days, following the Fosse Way northwards into the well-cultivated region of Linnius and to the town of Lindum. Merlyn dismounted and gathered the party behind a blackthorn thicket when pale stone walls came into view. Looking at the drooping shoulders of his tired companions, he reassured them.
“This town was built by the Romans as a colonia – a commune for retired legionaries, much like Bedwyr’s home. Many of the occupants will be the descendants of ex-legionaries and we can expect a favourable welcome.”
“How do you know that?” Artorius asked. “They may be friends to Morgana and Mordred.”
“I know because last year I spoke to their council. Lindum is governed by a council of elders from the Coritani tribe, and they elect a leader, in the Roman way. They revere Ambrosius and his mother, Justina, as if they were gods.”
“Are they not Christians?” asked Artorius, who had read scripture to his tutor on Hector’s farm.
“The Christian faith is also strong.”
Merlyn scanned their attentive faces and continued, “However, Artorius has a point. Since the time of my visit much has changed. They may have pledged allegiance to King Mordred and regard Artorius as a fugitive and so, to be cautious, I shall go ahead with Varden and Bedwyr to announce our arrival. The rest of you stay out of sight in the trees. If armed soldiers come pouring out of that gate instead of us, then flee to the forest.”
“Would they not also regard you as a fugitive, Merlyn?” Artorius asked.
Merlyn laughed, “Perhaps, but I have faith in their friendship and hope they would allow me my liberty. I feel this is a more likely outcome – let us go.”
A pensive hour passed before Varden returned and bade them follow him into the town.
To Artorius’s keen eyes, the bridge approach over a dry ditch and stone gatehouse were almost identical to Venta’s, but in well-maintained condition. Inside, the town was a bustle of activity with a multitude of people going about their business. Varden led them along the straight central thoroughfare, past two-storey townhouses interspersed with livestock pens, to an open square lined with market stalls. This was dominated by an imposing imperial building, ringed by a columned portico reached from a dozen steps.
Merlyn and Bedwyr stood at the top of the stairs, flanked by ten or so men dressed in white tunics belted at the waist in the Roman fashion. Once dismounted, attendants took the reins of their horses and led them away.
“Come and join us!” Merlyn shouted down to them, as a curious crowd started to gather. Looking about, and noticing the guards, Artorius could see why Merlyn was content for Flavius to dress them like Roman cavalry.
“Welcome, my brothers!” a white-haired elder called, beckoning them to climb the steps. “I am Maddox, elected chief of the council governing Linnius, the region that surrounds our town. Please enter our senate building that we may hear of your journey.”
The elders led the way into a huge hall with a high ceiling held up by white stone columns carved in the Greek manner. The walls were draped with tapestries depicting an odd combination of hunting scenes and Christian saints. Their hobnail boots echoed as they were ushered across a marble floor to sit at benches flanking long banqueting tables. The elders took their seats on a raised platform. Spring water treated with herbs was served, whilst Merlyn gave an account of their escape from Venta and journey to the farming colonia near Calleva. He introduced Gawain and Bedwyr to the elders, each standing to bow in a knightly fashion, and then walked to Artorius and clasped his shoulders in both hands.
“This is Artorius, the true son and heir of King Uther Pendragon, of the bloodline of Ambrosius.”

About the Author

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.

1 comment:

Leo McBride said...

Good luck with the book launch, Tim!

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