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 "Empire in Apocalypse is a compelling narrative that brings history to life, offering a rich and immersive reading experience for those interested in the late Roman Empire and the individuals who strove to save it from the brink of collapse."

-K.C Finn, 5 Star Review


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Written by American novelist Robert Bruton

Edited by Lyndsay Stanley

      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, and 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 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 Brendan brings that the new world order he is working to establish may be burning to the ground.  

Author:               Robert J. Bruton

Editor:                 Lyndsay Stanley, Stonecreek Editing Services

Publisher:            Legend Books

Genre:                  Historical Fiction/ ADULT

Page Count:         452

Who will enjoy it:  #Historylovers, especially those with an interest in the Eastern Roman Empire after the collapse of the West. If you loved the 1990s film, Gladiator, then you will love this novel!  

Availability:         Now Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold!

Editorial Review

"Those with an affinity for historical fiction or keen insights into history will find Empire in Apocalypse, by Robert Bruton, a rewarding read."



“Bruton fills in the blanks by making Belisarius human as opposed to a man in a history book, and even if we know how it all ultimately plays out,


Bruton's interpretation of the moments in between feels authentic and believable, making the novel an excellent addition to this series.

Very highly recommended!”


“Overall, this is an engrossing and fantastically researched novel and will no doubt prove a delight for

lovers of historical fiction."


"Author Robert Bruton has written a brilliant novel brimming with themes of love, lust, war, and revenge that delivers in every way."


"Not since Quo Vadis have I read such a gripping historical novel about life and times in the Roman Empire. Empire in Apocalypse belongs on the bookshelves of all devotees of this pivotal time in world history."


"An unforgettable epic of courage, love, and betrayal told through the eyes of a young general making his mark in the waning days of the Roman empire. Bruton resurrects historical characters and events with a mastery not seen since Gladiator."


"Robert Bruton's prose is economical yet substantive, and his story-telling is contoured and engaging. He brings Belisarius, Antonina, Justinian, Theodora, and others to life in the contexts of their times. Bruton fills in their emotions, aspirations, triumphs, and worries, so they become multi-dimensional people, rather than one- or two-dimensional historical figures. Bruton draws on research in ancient and modern sources in his narrative. This novel succeeds as historically-based fiction."

-DAVID J. ULBRICH, Ph.D., co-editor of The Routledge History of Global War and Society

"Robert has taken his deep knowledge and love of the Byzantine Empire along with some very interesting characters to make for a captivating story. I enjoyed this book cover to cover. I especially liked his take on Flavius Belisarius. I can't wait for the movie."



"This fascinating fictionalized account set at the decline of the Roman Empire provides insight into the lives of the great men and women who shaped their times. It also reminds us that we - and our own time - are not so far removed from theirs as we might imagine."


"In this extraordinary work of historical fiction, Robert Bruton seamlessly fuses warfare, church politics, romance, and espionage. Thus, the story is certain to appeal to a wide genre of readers. Mr. Bruton's use of twists and suspense in turn shifts the characters from victim to villain and vice versa. This book took my enjoyment of reading to a new level."


"Carefully researched and beautifully crafted, this is the stirring tale of battles won against overwhelming odds, a brilliant general's undying commitment to duty, honor, and the Roman Empire, imperial court intrigues, unrequited love, the machinations of two former courtesans who maneuvered their way into the top echelons of the Empire, and the impact of a devastating climate catastrophe that derailed the chances of restoring the empire to its former glory. Amazingly, it is all based on actual events. This is a great read for both serious consumers of histories and biographies and for those who enjoy historical fiction."

- ED RICART, CEO of CUBEX Global Strategies

"The truth about Climate Change is a story whose voice is young, but the author may have written the first historical novel to explore its sociological impact. The novel is set in the mid-sixth century, as the Roman Empire struggles in an existential battle with catastrophic climate change and the disease that followed. The book narrates that story from the points of view of the soldiers seeking to restore peace in their empire, the civilians stuck in the crossfire, and the prophets who saw the whole tragedy as the beginning of the Apocalypse. The intertwining of these complex stories makes the narrative highly enriching and compelling. 


I have read a few books that tell this kind of story so well. Like all good historical fiction, the story did not end for me in this time period. Rather, it inspired me to become part of the solution to the problem my generation faces in making the world a better place." 


"This was a historical fiction novel, but to me it seemed like something that would be considered an epic - something that would work well as a movie. The author brought the characters to life, I could picture them, and took an interest in them. When I'm reading historical fiction, I expect it to feel like an escape, like travelling somewhere else for a little while, and that was the case here, as I escaped into the story. I look forward to reading the next in the series."   

A scene
Ancient Architecture

Theodora relieved the nurses for a few hours and carried a bowl of fresh, cool water to Justinian’s bedchamber. She nodded to the guard, and he opened the door for her. The odor in the room was so potent that she lifted the hem of her gown to cover her face. The sharp stench of urine mixed with the salty smell of sweat and the smoldering incense failed to sweeten the air. Slowly, she approached the table at the side of the bed and placed the heavy bowl on it.

“Wife,” Justinian said, his voice weakened and croaky, “you’ve come.”

“Of course. I come every day.”

“Of course,” Justinian said, coughing blood and puss.

“How are you today?”

“Not good,” Justinian replied, “but I’m more worried…” He coughed so violently for a moment that he could not go on and gasped for breath.

“Shh, you mustn't talk,” Theodore said.

Catching his breath, he sat up and said, “I…I’m more worried about you.”


“I’ve laid a heavy burden on you…”

“It is heavy, but I can bear it.”

“For how long?”

Theodora knelt and gently kissed his sweat-soaked forehead.  “Only Christ knows,” alluding to her own illness, but she could not bring herself to name it.


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