Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I take a look at upcoming releases from two of my favourite authors, historical fiction masters Simon Scarrow and Bernard Cornwell. Both of these upcoming books are the latest entries in two of my favourite long-running series and should prove to be some of the top books of 2020.
The first entry in this article is The Emperor’s Exile by Simon Scarrow, the 19th novel in The Eagles of the Empire series. The Eagles of the Empire novels focus on two Roman officers, Tribune Cato and Centurion Marco, as they battle across the Roman Empire, taking on all manner of different enemies and getting involved in some of the pivotal historical events of the period, such as the invasion of Britain or the rise of Nero as Emperor. This is easily one of the best Roman historical fiction series out there and I have had an amazing time reading all of the entries in this series. The last few Eagles of the Empire novels, The Blood of Rome and Traitors of Rome, have been really compelling reads and I am always extremely eager to get my hands on a new entry in the series when it comes out.
The Emperor’s Exile is a fantastic sounding new addition to the series which is currently set for release on 10 November 2020. This next novel will once again place the protagonists in the middle of another dangerous situation, with some rather unique and enjoyable new elements to it.
A.D. 57. Battle-scarred veterans of the Roman army Tribune Cato and Centurion Macro return to Rome. Thanks to the failure of their recent campaign on the eastern frontier they face a hostile reception at the imperial court. Their reputations and future are at stake.
When Emperor Nero’s infatuation with his mistress is exploited by political enemies, he reluctantly banishes her into exile. Cato, isolated and unwelcome in Rome, is forced to escort her to Sardinia.
Arriving on the restless, simmering island with a small cadre of officers, Cato faces peril on three fronts: a fractured command, a deadly plague spreading across the province…and a violent insurgency threatening to tip the province into blood-stained chaos.
The other book that I will be looking at in this post is War Lord by Bernard Cornwell, the 13th and final novel in the acclaimed The Last Kingdom series. The Last Kingdom books follow the fictional character, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a feared and respected warrior who is involved in some of the pivotal moments of the early formation of England. This series has so far followed a number of key events in the life of Uhtred and has seen him get involved in the deadly conflict between the Christian Saxons and the pagan Danes. Uhtred, a pagan raised by Danes, often finds himself fighting on behalf of the Saxon kingdoms, despite having more in common with and more respect for his enemies than his allies. This is another series I have so far read all the books in, although I am particularly keen to get my hands on War Lord as I am extremely curious to see how The Last Kingdom series ends. War Lords will be coming out in late October and it looks like Uhtred will once again be thrust into the midst of a deadly war which he probably will not survive.
After years fighting to reclaim his rightful home, Uhtred of Bebbanburg has returned to Northumbria. With his loyal band of warriors and a new woman by his side, his household is secure – yet Uhtred is far from safe. Beyond the walls of his impregnable fortress, a battle for power rages.
To the south, King Æthelstan has unified the three kingdoms of Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia – and now eyes a bigger prize. To the north, King Constantine and other Scottish and Irish leaders seek to extend their borders and expand their dominion.
Caught in the eye of the storm is Uhtred. Threatened and bribed by all sides, he faces an impossible choice: stay out of the struggle, risking his freedom, or throw himself into the cauldron of war and the most terrible battle Britain has ever experienced. Only fate can decide the outcome.
The epic story of how England was made concludes in WAR LORD, the magnificent finale to the Last Kingdom series.
Both upcoming books sound like they are going to be a lot of fun, and I am excited to see how they turn out. Based on all my experiences with every prior book in these two series, I know that I am going to have an amazing time reading The Emperor’s Exile and War Lords, especially as I am already very invested in both series. It will be great to see how the various characters and established storylines continue to progress and I am particularly keen to see how Cornwell concludes The Last Kingdom series. The Emperor’s Exile and War Lords both have an amazing amount of potential, and I already know that they will be some of the strongest and most enjoyable pieces of historical fiction in 2020.