#AuthorInterview for Legionary: The Blood Road by Gordon Doherty @GordonDoherty #Legionary #TheBloodRoad

Today I am delighted to welcome Gordon Doherty to my blog to take part in an author interview following the release of his latest book – Legionary: The Blood Road – I can’t wait to share my interview with you, but before we do that, let’s find out a bit more about the book – the blurb is below and having read this I can honestly say it is definitely going to be a book I will be looking to read as soon as I can!!

381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor’s name will be written in blood…

The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East!

The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades… and tides of blood.

Praise for ‘Legionary: The Blood Road’:

Swashbuckling adventure, political intrigue, unexpected double-crosses, and a hero to root for” Kate Quinn, NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Another winner in the Legionary series” Hoover Book Reviews

You can grab a copy of the book here – http://getbook.at/legionary7

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MY INTERVIEW WITH GORDON!

  1. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

Ever since the moment I realised that storytelling allowed me to escape into a world of my own. Myriad worlds, in fact. Realms that, with a mere thought, I could change in any way I wished. It began with cartoon strips as a child, then short stories, poetry, songs and such like. I tried to have a ‘normal’ career in technology for a decade or so, but sheer ennui drove me ever more frequently back to my imagination, energised by thoughts of the countless worlds I had not yet conjured, eras I had yet to visit.

 

  1. What inspired you to write this book?

The history. Reading the history is a bit like pulling on a thread. About eleven years ago I became captivated by the ancient texts of the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus. His vivid description of the arrival of the Huns on the fringes of Europe had me rapt:

A people called the Huns live beyond the Sea of Azov, on the border of the Frozen Ocean, and are a race savage beyond all parallel. At the very moment of their birth the cheeks of their infant children are deeply marked by an iron… they live on the half-raw flesh of any animal, which they merely warm rapidly by placing it between their own thighs and the backs of their horses. On horseback they buy, sell, eat, drink and even sleep. When they go into battle, they utter all kinds of terrific yells. They are very quick in their operations, of exceeding speed, and fond of surprising their enemies. They use missiles of various kinds tipped with sharpened bones instead of the usual points of javelins; when they are at close quarters they fight with the sword, without any regard for their own safety; and often they entangle their foes with twisted cords. This indomitable race went on ravaging and slaughtering all the nations in their neighbourhood till they reached the lands of the Goths… (The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus)

That was the catalyst for Legionary volume 1, with the Hunnic hordes thundering into eastern Europe. The Gothic tribes the Eastern Roman Empire were locked at this point in time in a volatile but symbiotic relationship of trade and cooperation punctuated with spells of conflict. But both were caught in the flank by the rampaging Huns like two drunken brawlers assailed by a sober and vicious assassin. The Legionary series gathered pace as it followed the Goths’ hasty retreat from The Huns into the Roman Diocese of Thracia, supposedly under the banner of truce. But things in Thracia soon became an overstretched, overpopulated mess… and the truce became an all out war between Roman and Goth –  a war that raged across imperial lands for six years hence. The Blood Road pitches Tribunus Pavo and the XI Claudia – the heroes of the series – into the climax of the Gothic War, and its bloody resolution.

The last stand at the Battle of Adrianople – one of the Roman Empire’s darkest days.

McBride

  1. If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?

In his quest to end the war, Pavo must journey through fire… and walk a road where friend and foe alike bay for his blood.

 

  1. What are you up to next?

Spinning plates, in the main! Seriously, I have a silly number of works-in-progress. There’s my forthcoming epic saga of the Hittites in the Late Bronze Age, a Roman trilogy co-authored with Simon Turney, and a new novel I’ve penned for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, set during the Peloponnesian War. And my ‘future book projects’ list is stacked high. So you can expect a strong and steady flow of (hopefully) good reads from me in the future.

 

  1. Who is your biggest inspiration?

My writing guru is the late, great David Gemmell. He paints worlds and people like no other author I’ve read, and some of his heroes’ moments of introspection have left me breathless:

All things in the world are created for Man, yet all have two purposes. The waters run that we might drink of them, but they are also symbols of the futility of Man. They reflect our lives in rushing beauty, birthed in the purity of mountains. As babes they babble and run, gushing and growing as they mature into strong young rivers. Then they widen and slow until at last they meander, like old men, to join with the sea. And like the souls of men in the Nethervoid, they mix and mingle until the sun lifts them again as raindrops to fall upon the mountains.  (The King Beyond the Gate, David Gemmell)

I remember reading that for the first time and just staring at the page for an eternity, thinking of lost loved ones, and of my youth, my present, and what might lie ahead. Poignant and spellbinding.

So I always make sure to read one of his books when I’m editing a manuscript of my own – they serve as a great yardstick, and I like to think that, through osmosis, a tiny sparkle of his magic touch might shine through in my own work.

You can find out about the rest of the Legionary series here

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR BY GORDON!

I’m a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction.
Gordon.pngMy love of history was first kindled by the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall, and travelling around the ancient world has kept the fire burning brightly ever since. The later Roman Empire and Byzantium hold a particular fascination for me. There is something quite special about the metamorphosis from late antiquity into the ‘dark ages’ and the medieval period.
While historical fiction is my passion, I enjoy writing comedy and sci-fi too. Perhaps one day I’ll find a way to combine all three! You can read a little more about me and my background here.
You can read about my late Roman Legionary series here, and my Byzantine Strategos trilogy here.
You can contact Gordon here – http://www.gordondoherty.co.uk/legionary

Gordon on Twitter: @GordonDoherty
Gordon on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GordonDohertyAuthor

 

The Legionary Series

 
The Roman Empire is crumbling, and a shadow looms in the east . . .
 
In the 4th Century AD, countless barbarian tribes surge against the Eastern Roman Empire’s borders, driven by a dark horde that has arrived from the great steppe. On the Danubian frontier, the situation is critical: the crumbling, neglected forts and watchtowers along the riverbank are thinly garrisoned by ‘mere’ limitanei – the impoverished border legions. Pavo, a slave freed and sent to serve with the XI Claudia in this precarious land, finds himself thrust into a tumultuous sequence of events that will shape his destiny and the fate of the Empire.
 

The Legionary series was first published via the author’s own publishing imprint, and has gone on to be picked up by publishing houses in Italy and Russia as well as being narrated as an audiobook.

Book 1: Legionary (2011)

Legionary

The Roman Empire is crumbling, and a shadow looms in the east . . .

 
376 AD: the Eastern Roman Empire is alone against the tide of barbarians swelling on her borders. Emperor Valens juggles the paltry border defences to stave off invasion from the Goths north of the Danube. Meanwhile, in Constantinople, a pact between faith and politics spawns a lethal plot that will bring the dark and massive hordes from the east crashing down on these struggling borders.
The fates conspire to see Numerius Vitellius Pavo, enslaved as a boy after the death of his legionary father, thrust into the limitanei, the border legions, just before they are sent to recapture the long-lost eastern Kingdom of Bosporus. He is cast into the jaws of this plot, so twisted that the survival of the entire Roman world hangs in the balance…


Book 2: Legionary: Viper of the North (2012)

 
 
Legionary: Viper of the North

The Danubian frontier is weaker than ever, and a storm is gathering in the north . . .

Deep winter, 376 AD: Emperor Valens has withdrawn the field armies from Moesia and Thracia to fight in the Persian War. The impoverished limitanei legions left behind to defend the banks of the River Danubius are now all that stand between the war-hungry Goths and heart of the Eastern Roman Empire.
For Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia, the brief from Emperor Valens is simple: to avoid war with the Goths at all costs while the Roman defences are so weak. But in the frozen lands north of the Danubius a dark legend, thought long dead, has risen again. The name is on the lips of every warrior in Gutthiuda; the one who will unite the tribes, the one whose armies will march upon the empire, the one who will bathe in Roman blood . . .
The Viper!

Book 3: Legionary: Land of the Sacred Fire (2013)

 
Legionary: Land of the Sacred Fire

The empire is on its knees, but a last hope lies beyond the eastern frontier . . .

377 AD: Emperor Valens has stripped the Persian frontier of its legions, sending every available man to Thracia in an effort to contain the rampaging Gothic hordes. Now, covetous eyes have fallen upon Rome’s trade-rich but sparsely defended desert provinces. Shapur II, Shahanshah of the Sassanid Empire and his many client kings have long believed Rome’s eastern holdings to be theirs by ancestral right, and those lands have never been more vulnerable. Thus, Valens must grasp at the slimmest of hopes that a Persian invasion can be staved off, not by the brute force of absent legions, but by the tenacity of a hardy few. For in the heart of enemy lands, something thought long lost might just offer salvation.
When Optio Numerius Vitellius Pavo and a select group of the XI Claudia are summoned to the Persian front, they leave Thracia behind, knowing little of what awaits them. They know only that they are to march into a burning land of strange gods. They whisper tales of the mighty Persian Savaran cavalry and pray to Mithras they will see their homes and families again. All too soon it becomes clear to them that this is no ordinary mission – indeed, the very fate of the empire might rest upon their efforts. But for Pavo the burden is weightier still, for he knows that the east also holds something even more precious to him . . . the truth about his father.
 
 
 
Book 4: Legionary: The Scourge of Thracia (2015)

 
Legionary: The Scourge of Thracia
The legions are in tatters, and the Gothic hordes are gathering beyond the mountains . . .
 
377 AD: Thracia’s legions are few and broken in the wake of the Battle of Ad Salices. But the scattered centuries and cohorts rally in an effort to blockade the Haemus Mountain passes and hold back the relentless attacks of Fritigern’s swelling Gothic armies. These passes must endure until Eastern Emperor Valens and Western Emperor Gratian can muster and bring their Praesental Armies in relief.
Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia return to Constantinople from their brutal Persian sortie to hear widespread tales of Thracia’s plight and the precarious mountain blockades. Each of them knows what is at stake should those passes fall: the heartland of the Eastern Empire would face the wrath of the barbarians and loved ones would be at the mercy of their savage blades. When the Claudia are despatched to aid the effort at the mountains, Pavo can think only of two souls wandering in the jaws of the Gothic threat: his beloved Felicia and his lost half-brother, Dexion. So he and his comrades march at haste, headlong into the storm that awaits them . . .
 
 

Book 5: Legionary: Gods & Emperors (2015)

 
getBook.at/Legionary5

The fate of the East rests on the edge of a sword as the legions and the Goths march to war…

378 AD: Fritigern’s Gothic horde tightens its iron grip on Thracia and only a handful of well-walled cities to the south remain in imperial hands. The few tattered legions pinned in these cities can only watch on from the battlements as smoke rises across their lost lands and the Goths roam at will, pillaging and extorting. Every Roman – legionary or citizen – speaks of only one thing: the Emperors of East and West, Valens and Gratian, who are said to be closing swiftly on this war-stricken land, each bringing with them vast armies capable of vanquishing the horde.
Awaiting the relief armies in Constantinople, Centurion Pavo and the XI Claudia prepare as best they can. The Gothic War has taken much from each of them, and none more so than Pavo. But still he and his fellow officers cling to the chance that two lost to them might yet return: their leaders, Tribunus Gallus and Primus Pilus Dexion – Pavo’s brother – have not been seen or heard from since setting off on a mission to Emperor Gratian’s court in the West. Some are sure they must have fallen, yet Pavo refuses to give up hope, instead whetting his blade and praying that fate will guide the pair back in time for the clash that is to come: a clash that promises to end the Gothic War – for the empire’s finest legions are destined to meet Fritigern’s ferocious masses… on the plains of Adrianople.

Book 6: Legionary: Empire of Shades (2017)

 
getBook.at/Legionary6
379 AD: Thracia has fallen to the Gothic horde…
With the ashes of Adrianople still swirling in the air, the Eastern Roman Empire is in turmoil. The emperor is dead, the throne lies empty and the remaining fragments of the army are few and scattered. Numerius Vitellius Pavo, now Tribunus of the XI Claudia, tries to hold his patchwork ranks together amidst the storm. One of the few legions to have survived the disaster at Adrianople, the Claudia do what they can to keep alive the dying flame of hope.
When word spreads of a new Eastern Emperor, those hopes rise. But the coming of this leader will stir the Gothic War to new heights. And it will cast Pavo headlong into the sights of the one responsible for the East’s plight – a man mighty and seemingly untouchable, and one who will surely crush any who dares to challenge him.
From the ashes of Adrianople, new heroes will rise… with dark ghosts in close pursuit.
 
 
 
 
 
Book 7: Legionary: The Blood Road (2018)
 

381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor’s name will be written in blood…

The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East!
The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades… and tides of blood.
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