________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 4. . . .September 27, 2013



Barbara Galler-Smith & Josh Langston.
Calgary, AB: Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2013.
332 pp., trade pbk. & e-Book, $16.95 (trade pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-77053-030-0.(pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77053-031-7 (e-Book).

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4



The Romans appeared impassive. Arienne shivered at their coldness and wondered who would win in battle. None could match her people for bravery, but she had heard from Rhonwen about the cold efficiency of the legionnaires. They would not be so easy to kill as many of her fellow warriors believed.

When the protests subsided, Marius continued as if he had never been interrupted. “These guests will stay near the Roman encampment in Trochu.”

Had he said they would reside in Rome itself, his remarks couldn’t have drawn worse favor.

“That’s intolerable!” Setaine cried. “Wolves do not guard sheep.” He stepped forward until he towered over the fat man. The Lemarii are wolves, and Trochu is their den. How can you protect our hostages if they are forced to live amidst our bitterest enemies?”

Shouts of disapproval rippled up and down the line. Only silence issued from the ranks of Roman soldiers though their horses trembled and jumped nervously.

Marius didn’t flinch beneath Setaine’s stare and Arienne suspected he’d said and done this many times. He had the bored, confident look of one who always has his way.


The third volume in the saga of the barbarian peoples and the Romans in pre-Christian Europe, Warriors takes up the continuing story of the druids Rhonwen and Mallec and their destiny that is linked with that of Julius Caesar. While Caesar, himself, does not appear in this tale, much of the basic story revolves around his attempts to conquer Gaul and the effect that has on the inhabitants. There are a large number of characters and subplots, and the story is told from the point-of-view of the people of the clans the Romans are attempting to subjugate and civilize. Opening in 57 BC, the story follows the conflicts between the various tribes as they try to agree on how to act. Do they fall under the heel of Rome, or do they join together and react to defend their way of life?

     There is time for some romance and magic in the tale that follows the confusion and war that rages across the continent. The adventure will leave the reader wondering who are the true “barbarians”, the native peoples trying to retain their way of life, or the brutal, but “civilized” Romans.

     The book is 332 pages in length and includes a brief “Dedication” and a one-page black and white map illustrating where the story takes place. The novel is broken into 17 chapters and an epilogue, with each chapter opening with a quote written by the druid Mallec describing the events taking place. Written around actual events, the story will appeal to both those looking for insight into the history of the times, or simply those in search of a rousing adventure tale with more depth of feeling for the thoughts of the characters than a straight swords-and-sorcery romp. Unlike some of the more usual fantasy tales, the minimal uses of magic does not overpower the story. Most readers will catch the sly twist at the end of the epilogue.


Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, pens medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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