Book Review – Dark Age by James Wilde

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AD 367, and Roman Britain is falling to the barbarians. Towns burn, the land is ravaged and the few survivors flee. The army of Rome – once the most effective fighting force in the world – has been broken, its spirit lost.

Yet for all the darkness, there is hope. It rests upon the shoulders of one man: Lucanus – the one they call the Wolf. He is a warrior. He wears the ancient crown of a great war leader, Pendragon, and he wields a sword bestowed upon him by the druids. And he, together with a band of trusted followers, is heading south, to Londinium, where he means to bring together an army and make a stand against the hated invader.

But within the walls of that city, hidden enemies lie in wait. They crave the secret that has been entrusted to him. To own it would give them power beyond imagining. To protect it will require bravery and sacrifice beyond measure. To lose it would mean the end of everything worth fighting for…

The acclaimed author of Pendragon continues his epic telling of the story of the hidden origins of what would become the most enduring of all legends – of Arthur, King of the Britons…



I am a lover of historical fiction, and this novel has made it all the way to the top spot!

Dark Age is undeniably a tale of battles and victories, which I enjoyed thoroughly as it gave an insight into the ruthlessness and gruesome nature of the barbarian armies. However, this didn’t detract away from some of the key themes in the novel: the contrast between loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and selfish, and hope and desperation. Lucanus is a key player in all three themes, and his relationship with Catia, Corvus, and his loyal band of followers helped us to explore every strand of his personality. I became so fond of Lucanus after following him on his journey to Londinium that the ending of this book truly stopped me in my tracks.

Wilde’s style of writing transports you way back to Roman Britain with ease. I especially appreciated the short chapters, which mirrored just how quickly things could change and the tides could turn and reinforced a sense of uncertainty around every corner. This did, of course, make it impossible to put the book down as I wanted to keep up with Lucanus and his army on their travels! Wilde’s descriptions of the battles between the barbarians and the locations where these took place were so developed and enriched that it was as though the scenes were playing out right in front of my eyes. It was this metaphorical sophistication which truly positions Dark Age in a league of its own.

I really couldn’t give Dark Age a better rating. An undeniable 5* novel for me, and I can’t wait to delve into more enthralling historical fiction from Wilde.



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