Ross presents us with a vision of late Rome that is tense, exhilarating, complex and exotic...
When a treacherous act of murder throws the western provinces into turmoil, Aurelius Castus is ordered to take command of the military forces on the Rhine.
But he soon discovers that the frontier is a place where the boundaries between civilisation and barbarism, freedom and slavery, honour and treason have little meaning.
At the very heart of the conflict are two vulnerable boys. One is Emperor Constantine's young heir, Crispus. The other is Castus's own beloved son, Sabinus. Only Castus stands between them and men who would kill them. With all that he loves in danger, Castus and a handful of loyal men must fight to defend the Roman Empire.
But in the heat of battle, can he distinguish friend from enemy?
Head of Zeus * Action & Adventure
01 Dec 2016 * 464pp * £4.99 * 9781784975241
'Ian Ross has has taken an era of history that rarely sees treatment in fiction - the end of the reign of Constantine and the troubles surrounding the succession - and brought it gloriously to life'
'Hugely enjoyable. The author winds up tension into an explosion of fast-paced events'
'Ross is a splendid writer of adventure'
'A corking story, thoroughly exciting and with some of the best fighting sequences I've read in Roman military fiction. I'm such a fan of this series but The Mask of Command could well be the best so far'
For Winter Nights
This tense, immersive novel is driven by the forceful yet always human Castus... the best of a fine series, this also stands very well on its own'
'With plenty of intrigue and bloody action, this is historical fiction at its rollicking best'
'Doesn't disappoint. Every maleficent twist and turn of Roman politico-military life is here together with Ian Ross' own brand of excitement and adventure making it a should-read'
'As with this whole series the research is exemplary, the attention to detail is first class, and yet not thrust down the reader's neck, it's subtle and yet intricate, and the battles are a joy to read. Another absolute winner'
What a cracker!... Wonderful... A must for those interested in Roman history, especially of the late period, and a good read for book groups too. Fantastic'
Ian Ross was born in England, and studied painting before turning to writing fiction. He has travelled widely, and after a year in Italy teaching English and exploring the ruins of empire reawakened his early love for ancient history, he returned to the UK with growing fascination for the period known as late antiquity. He has been researching and writing about the later Roman world and its army for over a decade. ianjamesross.com @IanRossAuthor