the fort
Historical Fiction

The Fort (City of Victory #1) by Adrian Goldsworthy

The Fort Blog Tour - The Fort (City of Victory #1) by Adrian Goldsworthy

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy
Published by Head of Zeus Ltd on June 10, 2021
ISBN: 9781789545739
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Ancient, Action & Adventure, General, Fantasy
Pages: 496
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
four stars - The Fort (City of Victory #1) by Adrian Goldsworthy

From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on Rome's Danubian frontier.
The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home.
Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then there is Hadrian, the emperor's cousin, and a man with plans of his own...
Gritty, gripping and profoundly authentic, The Fort is the first book in a brand new trilogy set in the Roman empire from bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy.
Reviews for the Vindolanda Trilogy:
'No one knows the Roman army better than Adrian Goldsworthy, and no one writes more convincing Roman fiction' Harry Sidebottom'An authentic, enjoyable read' The Times'Gritty and realistic ... Goldsworthy’s characters are authentically ancient and his descriptions of Roman Briton ring true' Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

Sometimes you just pick up a book and fall into another time.  The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy is one such book.  The time, the characters, the narrative.  Everything just seems to slot into place.  The characterization skills are terrifically utilized and the plot was swift-moving and often balancing on a knife-edge.  I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I genuinely believe that I would be hard placed to see a better example of it than, The Fort.

Flavius Ferox is a character that instantly called to me.  He’s vivid, he’s alive and passionate.  His character arc and internal monologue cast me into a time where brutality is the norm, look around you – it’s there.  You hear the clang of shields, the roar of pain, and the destruction lying all around.

The Fort is the start of a new series but it features some of the characters from the Vindolanda series.  If you are like me and haven’t read the previous series then rest assured the author has your back.  There are hints and subtle hints left for you to pick up the missing information. 

“You are a hard man to kill, and you have the knack of winning against the odds.”

Centurion Ferox and his right-hand man, Vindex are posted out to a Fort at the border of Dacia (modern time, Romania.)  It’s their job to hold The Fort there,  there is short-lived peace in that are between its inhabitants and the Roman Empire.  His force is backed up by fierce Brigantes (Britons.)  They are brutal and nothing is going to stop them from getting their pound of flesh and more than a drop of blood.  They hunger for it.  They are exactly the right type of soldier to have backing you up in a bloody war. 

The action in The Fort is extreme and bloody.  It is everything it needs to be.  It’s fast-paced and gave me a birds-eye view of Roman rule.  Conquer, destroy and civilize.  Ferox always seems to be right in the middle of trouble, in fact, trouble always seems to follow him.  Matters only made worse by a super ambitious Hadrian and trying to control the Brigantes under his control.  It seems like a merry band of murderers, rebels, and convicts.  He has just about as much trouble controlling the Dacians as he does his own Brigantes.  He also isn’t aware that The Emperor’s cousin is on his way with extremely ambitious plans of his own. 

Goldsworthy creates a vivid and brutal landscape in The Fort.  Viscerally captivating.  He makes us rethink history. 


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Adrian Goldsworthy was born in 1969. He was educated up to the age of sixteen at Westbourne House Preparatory School and Westbourne Boys College in Penarth, South Wales. He attended the Sixth Form at Stanwell Comprehensive School for his A-Levels. From there he went to St John’s College, Oxford University and took a First in Ancient and Modern History. Remaining at St John’s, he was awarded a D.Phil. in Literae Humaniores (Ancient History) in 1994. The topic of his thesis was ‘The Roman Army as a fighting force, 100 BC-AD 200‘. A modified version of this was subsequently published in the Oxford Monographs series under the title of The Roman Army at War, 100 BC – AD 200 (1996). This remains in print and is one of the best selling works in the series.

He was a Junior Research Fellow at Cardiff University for two years and subsequently taught part-time at King’s College London and was an assistant professor on the University of Notre Dame’s London programme for six years. He also did bits and pieces of teaching at other universities. He has lectured on a range of topics, including both Greek and (particularly) Roman History, but also taught a course on the military history of the Second World War at Notre Dame.

Teaching is tremendous fun, but writing is even more enjoyable and in the last few years he has given up teaching to write full time. Best of all this avoids the vast weight of administrative work now inevitable in any university post. It is still nice to give lectures and attend conferences, but only when time permits.

Just in case anybody is interested, he enjoys watching cricket (supporting Glamorgan in the first class game and England internationally), walking, and playing tennis – not terribly well, but with plenty of enthusiasm. He has recently started learning to ride and now wishes he had taken it up long ago.

Adrian Goldsworthy lives in South Wales.


four stars - The Fort (City of Victory #1) by Adrian Goldsworthy

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