Book One of the Double-Edged Sword Series
It's 532 CE and while the Western Empire has collapsed, the East is thriving under the leadership of Emperor Justinian and his fierce and conniving wife, Theodora.
Belisarius boldly leads the Roman Empire in the East from victory to victory and garners the love of all those around him, or so he thinks. Everything he touches yields to him, except for his beautiful and wandering wife. After he is sent across the known world, from Carthage to Italy to Persia, Belisarius sees the world for what it is and has to come to grips with the reality that he doesn’t like: his wife as a serial adulterer, and the ruins of what was a majestic Empire. Used to victory, Belisarius must come to grips with his own helplessness. He is fearless in battle, but can he be fearless in love as well?
EMPIRE in APOCALYPSE
Book Two of the Double-Edged Sword Series
It’s 535 A.D., and the Eastern Roman Empire is thriving under Emperor Justinian. The Romans have thwarted the Persians in the East, and Africa is once again among the Roman provinces. Justinian sends his greatest general, Flavius Belisarius, to Italy to reconquer the Western Empire from the Goths.
Three years after that fateful scene of his wife’s infidelity in the cellar of the Vandal king, Belisarius is still a troubled man. He sees her betrayal in the way his servants won’t look him in the eye, in the disrespectful smirks from his fellow generals, in the mesmerizing sway of his wife’s hips. Worst of all, he sees it in the charm of a handsome godson who seems to outcompete him for his wife’s affection.
To distract himself, Belisarius throws himself into the ominous challenge before him: reclaiming the Roman lands lost in Italy half a century earlier. Always outnumbered but rarely outwitted, Belisarius and his five-thousand men occupy and hold Rome against a siege by a hundred-thousand wild Goths. Despite this, his wife’s indiscretions undermine the serenity that should follow his success.
Far, far away, on a fiery island in the North Atlantic, Hibernian monks investigate a mysterious plume of smoke blanketing the sky and covering the earth in shadows. Their leader, Brendan, makes an ominous discovery about the possibly grim future of humankind and must do whatever it takes to relay the disturbing revelation to the Empress in Constantinople.
Belisarius is determined to fight on, regardless of the darkened sky, crop failures, and starvation that vex his men. Against all odds, he completes his conquest of Italy, and upon reaching the Gothic capital of Ravenna, is offered the crown of the Western Empire for himself. To end the bloody war, he pretends to accept the offer but is recalled to Constantinople before he can properly secure the Empire’s victory. In Constantinople, he faces the judgment of a suspicious imperial couple and a punitive redeployment to a resurgent Persia.
Carried on divine winds, Brendan sails across the known world to deliver his foreboding message of the coming Apocalypse. Not even Theodora, Empress of the East herself, can discredit the monk’s portentous story of the erupting mountain, a darkening over all the earth, and widespread famine. When the bubonic plague reaches Constantinople’s harbor, unleashing death in the city and threatening the life of Justinian, it seems as though Brendan’s prophecy about the End of Days has arrived.
Belisarius must face the cold hard truth which Brendan brings that the new world order he is working to establish may be burning to the ground.
EMPIRE in TWILIGHT
Book Three of the Double-Edged Sword Series
The year is 543 A.D., and the Eastern Roman Empire is struggling under the plague-stricken Emperor Justinian.
General Flavius Belisarius is a soldier known for his sense of honor, duty, and diligence, on the battlefield and loyalty to the Emperor after Rome emerges victorious against the Persians, Vandals, and Goths. But underneath this triumphal façade, his patience for his wife’s ongoing infidelity and deceit weighs heavily on his broken heart. From his military headquarters in Persia, he summons his adulterous wife to join him, but only as a prisoner, and arranges for the castration of her lover, his lecherous godson. His heart and mind are finally at ease, knowing the two lovers cannot be together.
But once again, his fortunes change. Despite his many years of loyal service to the Emperor, he is recalled to the capital in shame and reprisal for the third time, on the whim of the vengeful empress Theodora. Her retribution goes even further when he faces trumped-up charges of high treason for refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the Empress while Justinian was incapacitated. He barely escapes the prison cell intended for him, but many generals closest to him are not so fortunate. He is chastised with an impossible order that is certain to end in disaster and disgrace: to retake Italy from the resurgent Goths—but without a field army or gold from the treasury.
Well-connected and seemingly beloved by all but the imperial couple, Belisarius’s once-ascendant military career seems to be over. Continued stalemate in the battle leads to disillusion. Belisarius and his men suffer under the stingy constraints of an economy ravaged by plague, depopulation, and despair. He slowly realizes that prestige, honor, and victory are mere vanities, and he yearns for a simpler life tending to his garden and vineyards.
But enemies of the Empire still lie in wait, and the tongues of wicked conspirators never rest. Will Belisarius have the strength to fight one final battle or confront one more slanderer? Will his endeavors help fend off another season of famine, pestilence, and barbarian invasions that could usher in the last days of the Empire? Most importantly, will his love finally conquer the heart of the woman he adores?