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Publisher's Summary

Once a soldier in an elite legion from the Danube, Aurelius Castus believes his glory days are over, stuck in Britain's provincial backwater. But history is about to take a hand, and when the king of the Picts, the savage people beyond Hadrian's Wall, dies in mysterious circumstances, Castus is selected to command the bodyguard of a Roman envoy sent to negotiate with the barbarians. But the diplomatic mission ends in bloody tragedy…

©2014 Ian Ross (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about War at the Edge of the World

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Thoroughly enjoyable fast paced historical fiction

Fast paced and action filled, the story was very enjoyable to listen to.
Jonathan Keeble is a master of his craft and dies an incredible job as always.

The focus is on our main protagonist. What happens to him rather than how he feels about it or relationships he may have.
Far more action. Less character development and very little ‘filler’.

While we enjoy the adventure, it certainly feels like it’s part of a bigger picture coming together in the background.
Will definitely stick with the series!

Fans of Simon Scarrow, Harry Sidebottom, Anthony Riches and Ben Kane will enjoy this read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-11-2018

Rivals the best in this genre

I am new to the works of Ian Ross and this won’t be the last of his works I “read”. This is up there with Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow and Robert Fabbri. From start to finish it was excellent. You feel a sense of attachment to the main character and want to know where the story takes him! The narration by Jonathan Keeble is as amazing as ever, (in my opinion the best narrator in this genre by a country mile). I will be downloading the next book immediately!

13 people found this helpful

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  • Robert McAllister
  • 05-03-2020

Up there with the best in this genre.

I don't want and wont give away any spoilers. I will say that I am an avid reader of the genre of Roman historical fiction. In this genre we have Simon Scarrow's Macro & Cato, Simon Turney's Fronto and R.W. Peake's Titus Pullus. Now we have Ian Ross's Aurelius Castus to join the pantheon of heroes of Rome. I bought this book on a whim as I was up to date on all the above authors output. I was familiar with Johnathan Keeble's work from other books but he has surpassed himself here. He knows how to pace a book, the characters voices are fantastic. Then again he has great material here and appears to be enjoying himself. Every character is beleivable, you feel a part of the action, the twists and turns do not disappoint. I have blitzed through the whole series and every adventure is worthy of your time.

By all the gods this is a great read.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-02-2016

Great book, brilliantly read by Jonathan Keeble

What made the experience of listening to War at the Edge of the World the most enjoyable?

Jonathan Keeble is a brilliant narrator, making each character distinctive and making you see these characters as real people.

What was one of the most memorable moments of War at the Edge of the World?

The whole episode when the soldiers go beyond the Antonine wall and meet the Picts for the first time - the feeling of unease, feeling out of their comfort zone, the alien nature of the Picts themselves and not understanding their language, and feeling so cut-off from the rest of the Roman army. This whole section of the book is utterly gripping.

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I know this from having read the read the book first as an ebook, which I enjoyed, and then listening to Jonathan Keeble bring this story to life. The different voices, the accents - it all makes the story and the different characters seem much more real. I felt much more engaged in the story during Jonathan Keeble's narration.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book made me laugh in places, but I was mostly caught up by the intense emotions that Castus and his fellow-solders went through.

Any additional comments?

The book also gives a fascinating insight into Roman warfare and life, as well as covering some historical background information that is necessary to understand the underlying intrigue that is going on around Castus and his soldiers.

9 people found this helpful

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  • john cb
  • 24-09-2015

solid story, good action

well structured, good pace, locations well evoked. narration was very good with excellent variety of voice and accent. Solid basis in history and the historical note rounded off the book nicely

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 13-06-2018

excellent

I thourghly enjoyed this story ,it has just the right amount of intrigue with plenty of battles and the everyday life of the time,and our hero is a good charachter. I've often wondered why so many coins of Constantine have been found in Britain, I have some myself, and held as I listened giving a unique empathy to my overall enjoyment.

5 people found this helpful

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  • John R.
  • 19-01-2019

Good stuff !

Easy read, likeable main character., interesting historical period. The battles scences are well done. I'm on to second book now.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ian Brown
  • 17-01-2019

Solid read, just missing something I can’t put my finger on.

Keeble as always apples his craft excellently.

After reading/listening to all of the Eagles of the Empire, I’ve become attached to the characters but in this title, I struggled.

But if you like Scarrow, you’ll like this.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Frank M
  • 13-03-2018

Excellent story line and beleivable characters

Where does War at the Edge of the World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This has been one of my favorite audiobooks. The main character Castus is a reluctant hero, who doesn't act heroically becase he wants to but because he has to. His life depends on it. That and his own intuition and luck.
The characters are believable and the story moves along at a good pace so no boring middle bit where nothing happens for hours then is all resolved in one chapter.
The book kept me interested all the way from beginning to end.

What did you like best about this story?

I'd say I liked the fact that the characters convinced me. I didn't feel any were in the book for effect or for the author to force something. Everything fitted and was believable.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

Has to be Castus with his thick Eastern accent ad slow talking manner

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Can't say as don;t want to spoil it for anyone else

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended. Best historical "war" type novel I've listened to to date. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Swords and Spectres
  • 01-12-2020

Could benefit from more than one POV

War At The End Of The World is a solid start to what I imagine will be a very solid historical fiction series. It follows Aurelius Castus, Centurion of Rome, as he and his century are tasked with overseeing the crowning of a new Pict king after the previous king died under mysterious circumstances.

What follows is a great look into the edge of the Roman world and the dangers that lurk within the barbaric reaches of Northern Britain. For the romans of Britain, they have been away from their home land for a long period and have had to endure life so close to these savages known as Picts. For Castus' men, long removed from any fighting during their time in Britain, many of them thirst for a battle and would love nothing more than to come home with a few Pict heads mounted upon their spears. There is also the emissary Castus is sent to protect and the heathen Christian faith the man adheres to.

For a simple soldier like Castus (the man really is a blunt object with room between the ears for little other than fighting, duty and honouring his emperor) the above distractions are all unwelcome and most unwanted.

The writing in War At The End Of The World is strong. It's the sort of no-nonsense writing, with little to no flamboyant turns of phrase, that you can imagine a stoic soldier of Rome appreciating. It's the kind of writing that suits the bleak, miserable land that was Britain in the early fourth century where nothing is beautiful and all is mysterious and, in the eyes of the wary soldiers stationed there, best left alone.

Castus' story is one of constant conflict, whether that be conflict with the enemy or the more unknown conflicts of those he trusts. With people he respects on both sides of the war doing their best to lead him astray, he's constantly questioning himself and the actions he must take to maintain his own honour.

My main gripe with War At The End Of The World is that there is so much going on outside of Castus' story, but we just do not get to see any of it until Castus comes through. The only POV we get is Castus and I feel this is somewhat of a detriment. This was a time of political backstabbing within the hierarchy of Rome (on the frontier of Britain especially) and we saw none of it except for as it was happening in its latter stages through the eyes of Castus as an onlooker. The same could be said for the Picts. With all that surrounds the death of their king and the jockeying for power within the Pict forces, there was ample fuel for a good sub-plot.

I just feel this book would have given so much more to the reader if we were allowed to experience the happenings through other character's eyes.

That being said, it was still an enjoyable book and I absolutely sped trough it. I look forward to seeing where Rome's wars next take Castus.

Jonathan Keeble, as I well imagined he would, performed this beautifully. I heard him narrating the first 'Gotrek and Felix' novel and have decided that, anything that man reads in the future is going to be high on my audio wish list. He has a voice that was made to read dark, brutal works and I hope he continues to do so for many years to come.

3 people found this helpful

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  • P. Craine
  • 30-07-2018

A great new book.

Wow! This is my first introduction to Ian Ross. I like him. Saying that, he writes to my likes. I really enjoyed this first book, halfway through I purchased the second so I would not have to wait.
Jonathan Keele. What can I say about his narration that hasn't been said before? He is fantastic, he really puts everything into his narration. It's always a pleasure to find a book he narrated. A perfect team. Now onto book 2!

3 people found this helpful

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