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  1. Julie says:

    Some years ago my Mum (and as she has become my own personal library, me) started to read your books. Since then she reads them avidly and then waits rather impatiently for the next book to be released!

    She loves your Empire characters, your stories, woven with humour as well as the drama and pathos. At 87 she would like you to know that she would like you to write a bit quicker – she doesn’t want to miss out on any and she’s getting on a bit (her words 🙂 )

    So I wanted you to know that you have another die hard fan in Surrey and to thank you for the pleasure that you bring to her.

    I also then was thinking last night about what would bring a smile and bit of excitement at Christmas for her (I mean it is a bit tricky knowing what to get for someone who’s 87) and I wondered if you do signed photos at all? I have no idea if that is an old fashioned request which went out years ago but she’s such a fan and it would absolutely make her year let alone her day!
    Thanks again for the pleasure you are bringing not just to Mum but to me and the legions of fans you clearly have.
    Very Kind Regards
    Ps – Mum’s name is Valerie

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Hi Julie,

      Goodness me (I usually use stronger language, as you probably know!), that’s cheered up a grey Sunday morning here in Suffolk. And big up to your mum! Aside from saying thanks for the kind words, two comments:

      – tell your mum that book 12 will absolutely rock her world, and will be a watershed, of a sort, between the Commodus era of decaying empire and the frantic horror of the civil war of 193 – 197, and the grim reign of Septimius Severus that followed – due out about this time next year, I think (I’m just finishing up with it);

      – and a signed photo? Ye gods but that’s a first. And of course I can, just for the entertainment value of such (as you say) an old fashioned request.

      Did your mum read the Centurions series? It was quite a different read, as I had to pack a lot of history in at the start to set the scene, and some readers complained that it was too dry (trust me, when you’ve written 15 books you tend to get quite relaxed about reader complaints because you literally will never please everyone). If she didn’t then it might be worth a look. And if she did, would she like a copy of the graphic novels I had drawn and then collated into a hardback volume? I have one here for her if she’d like it (as well as the signed pic).

      Thanks for making my day brighter!


  2. Derek Thomson says:

    I have just finished number nine Altar of Blood and wondered why you do not use proof readers, as you obviously need one!
    Page 257 the last three lines at the bottom completely out of context Page 258 third line down also out of context.
    These are the glaring errors there is others!

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Hi Tommy, I can see what you think you’ve found. Before I explain why it’s not an error, but in fact story structure, I can reassure you that we do indeed use a proof reader for every book, and, more to the point given you’re not attempting to highlight a typo but actual flaws in the book’s structure, a copy editor whose job it is to make sure the book actually ‘works’ if read carefully. Not that they’re infallible, and lord knows I make enough genuine mistakes, but we do catch most of them. You’ve raised two issues:

      P257, the last three lines at the bottom, which are (in the hardback) ‘The tribune had shifted his position fractionally, wincing at the pain as the blood drying around his wound was pulled by the movement.’ The context here is that Scaurus has been wounded and is talking to his friends as remembered by Dubnus who is in discussion with Albinus. The clue is in the wording ‘the tribune had shifted his position’. It’s Dubnus remembering something relevant that had already happened (Scaurus talking in another place and at another time).

      P258 is the same thing and part of the same story device – ‘Dolfus had shaken his head at Qadir’s question’. Again, ‘had’ is an important indicator of an event elsewhere and at a different time.

      I do realise that these sort of ‘flashbacks’ can be a little confusing, and I try to limit them, but sometimes it’s just better to have the information imparted by a quick reference to a conversation or event elsewhere than putting another scene in that might be a bit slow and clunky.

      Just my style, love it or hate it!

      Thanks for giving me the chance to explain the story! If you can find any other things that you feel are glaring errors please feel free to point them out.


  3. Alessandro Dini says:

    Good evening, I just finished reading the ninth chapter of the Empire saga (in Italy it is the last one) after waiting for it for months.
    Unfortunately I was very disappointed with the story, which is usually compelling and engaging while in this chapter it is rather bland. The centurion Aquila practically never fights and the story is devoid of plot twists.
    I hope the next books will be more like the first ones in the saga

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Hi Alessandro, sorry you didn’t like book 9 (and glad you did like 1-8 :-)). Book 10, English title The Scorpion’s Strike is probably more of what you’re used to. Without spoilers, book 9 was an attempt for me to show Marcus’s human side…some like it, some don’t.



  4. Stuart Lonie says:

    Hi Anthony,
    Just finished reading River of Gold. Another great read in your series. Read all of your book so far, all great may i say. Marcus maybe never got the action as seen in other books but got some “babe” action near the end. This bangle handed to him by the queen. Maybe that will come up again. Look forward to your next chapter in the series

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Hi Stuart, thanks for the kind comments. RoG is getting a bit of a hammering on Amazon at the moment for lack of action and mysticism. Each to their own I suppose. It’s pretty hard to write 12 books and have them all chock full of battles though… I appreciate the comment, thanks!

  5. Ken Williams says:

    I am now into the second of the Centurions series “Onslaught”, and I think I have spotted a spelling/misprint on p. 99 line 8, where “rill” seems to have misplaced “hill” as the sentence is “The vantage point of a small rill allowing them a clear view over the heads of the ranks”!
    As a rill is a small stream, hardly a vantage point!
    The books, as usual are fascinating, keep up the good work. I hope you will get a chance to look at my “Tales of a Colonial policeman” as it might give you an idea to use some of our own British history showing we weren’t all brutal, racist, thugs as much of modern reporting seems to enjoy showing.
    We were somewhat paternalistic, after all these were people who hadn’t seem a white man until Livingstone arrived less than a hundred years ealier. Who hadn’t even invented/discovered the wheel, and a primitive, superstitious tribal society ridden by wars, slave trading (by Arabs & each other), and witchcraft often involving cannibalism, I dealt with at least one case of ritual cannibalism myself in my time there!
    I would be happy to give you yet more information on the time there. One of my former colleagues has written a book giving an insight in to what he experienced there after independence

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Thanks for the typo alert Ken! I’ll have a squint at your tales if I get the chance, although with a full on day job and writing career I have no idea when that might be!



  6. Ken Williams says:

    Loved the Empire series, always had an interest in the Roman period, being born near Isca Silurium just started the “Centurions” series with Betrayal. The other two are here awaiting my attention.
    ? is the Gold Aureus still up for grabs?
    You might be interested in some of my personal early history …
    Several people have suggested I make a complete book of it on the arrse website, where I would often correct the increasingly “woke” rewriting of our colonial past, especially in Central Africa. Sadly at my age and being disabled due to a stroke, I am down to laborius i finger typing, so this is the nearest I got ! ..
    Ken Williams

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Thanks for the kind comments Ken! The gold aureus was won about three years ago no, so sadly not! And thanks for the pointer to your writing, definitely sounds like something you should self-publish (which isn’t hard these days) if you can get it written



  7. Adrian Cook says:

    Hello Anthony,
    I have just started to dive into your books. I found the first three at a book sale in Copenhagen recently and was struck by the appearance of the Tungrian auxiliaries. When I was a member of the Ermine Street Guard my kit was almost exactly the same, even down to the shield pattern. I now live in Sweden, so no longer serving the Empire. Have you seen the Guard display?
    Regards, Adrian – veteranus, Cohors Primus Tungrorum

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Hi Adrian,

      If you’re talking cover photos then the pics may well be the Guard, as cover designers are always on a budget and go for what they can find on the internet, especially if it’s free. That said, if you were re-enacting Tungrians and they used photos of ‘you’ (the relevant Guard cohort) than full marks to them for giving it a go! Covers are usually a bone of contention for authors…we hardly ever get what we think we want, which makes the jacket of my latest a thing of wonder as it’s simply excellent!



  8. Tim Loftus says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I last saw you at the Festival of History, where you kindly signed your latest book (Fortress of Spears) for my boys and generously gave up 10 minutes of your time talking with them. How time flies, but my eldest still recalls it clearly !

    It is nice to see ‘Two Knives’ back on the beat, and I’m looking forward to the latest chapter of his exploits. Because of the current situation and being on furlough I have taken the opportunity for some light revision and am working my way through the Empire series in preparation ! Still good stuff !


    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Hi Tim, apologies for the slow reply, website failed to alert me. And blimey, that’s a while ago. I hope you enjoy River of Gold!



  9. Pete Smith says:

    Really enjoying your book wounds of honour. Going by some of your comments in the book is “let’s go and see the head shed”, I did think you were ex Brit army. Was most surprised to find that you were not. Keep up the good work sir.

    1. Anthony Riches says:

      Hi Pete, thanks for the kind comments. I’d forgotten the ‘head shed’ line, which (with the benefit of a number of years of perspective) might be a bit too modern. And no, I’m not ex-Army, although at one time I was determined to be a Marine. Great grandad was a Grenadier Colour Serjeant (I have his Queen’s South Africa medal with 6 battle claps – the most being 8) and a right nasty piece of work (he used to walk round London with a sword stick for self protection, which I still have). Grandad was too short for the Guards, he was a First Leicesters machine gunner at Third Ypres in 1917 (the earliest he could volunteer). 28 platoon mates dead in an afternoon… And dad… read it to the bottom of the page, there’s two sections. Why didn’t I end up in green? I cocked up officer selection at 18 (I went to Lympstone and did all the running around and being shouted at by NCOs stuff, but made a mess of Admiralty Interview Board and to be brutal I don’t think i was officer material at the time, I needed roughing up some by life), went to University and got a stomach ulcer at 20. Hospitalised, met the wife (my nurse) and that was that. So there you go (oh, and my degree was in Military Studies…), that’s why I know the langauge.


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