• Robert Bruton

Introducing: The Double Edged Series


The world of ancient Byzantium is a fun place to get lost in. It is a world full of vibrant colours, gold chariots, white headdresses, fishy-smells, high-stakes revolts, and court intrigues. And this is the setting of my new historical fiction series, The Double Edged Sword, starting with book one

Empire Resurgent.


UPDATE: I am so happy to announce that a publisher has expressed their interest in my book and has sent me a publishing contract. It is currently under review but is very very promising!



I want to use this blog post to give you a broad and sweeping view of my series and to briefly introduce to you some of the characters.


But first: why did I write this in the first place?

Well, while I was completing my Masters's in World History, I was working on a thesis on the Role of Climate Change in the Deterioration of the Roman Empire. While I was researching my paper I discovered a character that is not well remembered and who should be: Belisarius. All at once, I was amazed at all that he had achieved in his military career (putting down several revolts in foreign territory and reclaiming thousands of acres of land that formally belonged to the Romans before the fall of the West). He had fulfilled all of the dreams of re-taking the West in his lifetime and yet did not receive acclaim from his emperor or his peers. I wanted to play out his life in detail.


I consulted the Byzantian historian Procopius’s works and many other first-hand accounts of Emperor Justinian’s court. I also gleaned from my personal experiences overseas serving in the Republic of Georgia (once the easternmost frontier of the empire), when referring to the cultural traditions of the area. The language used is meant to transport the reader back in time to the point where they can taste, hear, and feel the same things as the characters whom I portray.


The Three Books



Book One: Empire Resurgent
Publisher: Histria

What's it About?

Flavius Belisariusis a man’s man, a young and brilliant general who stands out amongst the other tyrannical and conniving men in his class. Unlike the others, he seeks the glory and restoration of Rome and needs little for himself. Or so he thought.

All at once, he is enamored by a startlingly beautiful and famously promiscuous woman, Antonina. Despite his awkwardness around women, he wins her heart. But her heart does not stay in the same place for too long.

Belisarius is called upon to reconquer an ancient Roman colony. Fueled by the greatness of his mission, he completely loses sight of his wife, until he finds her in the enemy’s cellar tangled in the arms of another man. The scene is more wretched, gorier than any he had seen on the battlefield. And it is one that he cannot shake. Will the great man of Rome, Belisarius General of the East, buckle under a broken heart? Or will he have the courage to stand, even wounded?


The Hero is:

Belisarius


Not Sure What We Think of:

Antonina


The Byzantine Empire is:

Powerful but easily toppled at the same time


Adventures to look forward to:

Battles in the hot desert sands of Persia, Treaturous voyages across the open Mediterranean, Rendevous with Porphyrius, and more.




Book Two: Empire Resurgent
Publisher: Not Announced Yet

What's it About?

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.

However, 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.


The Hero is:

Belisarius, John,


Not Sure What We Think of:

Theodora, Antonina, Theodosius Constantius, Narses


The Byzantine Empire is:

Experiencing times like never before with strange and inconsistent weather, mass crop failure, and a starving mob.


Adventures to look forward to:

Clever breeches, insidious plots of revenge and profit, difficult decisions, split loyalties, and utter choas.




Sorry, no spoilers allowed for this one! Keep checking out my Twitter page for updates and News! @RobertJBruton






















The Double Edged Sword Series, is coming soon. And I hope you'll be the first to check it out. All of my updates will be posted on my official website here and on my Twitter Page.



 

NEWS


NEXT WEEK I WILL BE LAUNCHING MY OFFICIAL #HISTORICAL FICTION BLOG "LUPIUS IN FABULA" (meaning, "speak of the wolf', a common phrase used when you are speaking of someone and then they suddenly appear.)


Blog Title: 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Byzantine Empire


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