Published March 2004
Paperback edition, 2005
The Wall. When the Roman emperor Hadrian first envisioned the awesome edifice in A.D. 122, he used stone, wood, and iron to shield Roman Britannia forever from the unconquered Celtic barbarians. Stretching over seventy miles to divide the island, Hadrian’s Wall has maintained the security of the Roman Empire’s northern outpost for more than two hundred years. Now a Roman bride has come who will unleash jealousy, passion, and an epic war that will shake a tired and tottering empire to its core.
Tribune Marcus Flavius has secured command at the Wall not through battles fought or wars won, but through his arranged marriage to Valeria, a senator’s daughter. He replaces a brutal veteran, Galba Brassidias, an ambitious soldier whose skill in battle is rivaled only by his Machiavellian brilliance. But Galba will do anything it takes to regain his position and dominate the young woman who fascinates and infuriates him.
The intrigue on the Roman side of the Wall is matched by the plotting of Celtic warriors determined to rid their land of the invaders. They are led by the dynamic and mysterious barbarian chieftain Arden Caratacus, a man who seems to know as much about hated Rome as he does of his own people, and who is determined to win the young woman for himself.
Theirs is a story of swirling emotions, ancient warfare, desperate romance, and the final great clash of Roman and Celtic cultures. All will be decided on the field of battle, where the fate of an empire may rest in the strength of Hadrian’s Wall.
“Award-winning author Dietrich’s fourth novel is an epic historical drama of warfare, treachery and political intrigue centered on Rome’s most remote and desolate frontier outpost…Dietrich is in top form with this rousing tale.”
“Rome, 368 A.D. – slashing blades, snorting steeds, star-crossed lovers, an Iago-like villain: page-turning stuff…Lively, authoritative and edifying…the best yet from Dietrich.”
“From its evocative beginning to its shattering climax, Hadrian’s Wall is riveting, with details of the myth-shrouded past that ring absolutely true. The characters are as sharply defined as a Roman mosaic, the landscape as mysterious and unyielding as a Celtic runestone. No mere adventure story, though it is that as well, Hadrian’s Wall is an eloquent discourse on the contrasts between barbarism and civilization, cruelty and selflessness, honor and treachery. A gripping and literate work that will haunt you long after you’ve put it down.”
–Michael Curtis Ford, author of The Ten Thousand and Gods and Legions
“Page-turning historical fiction seething with action, adventure and passion.”
“A rousing historical novel brimming with adventure, mystery and romance.”
“His best fiction so far.”
“Dietrich has researched the period and place so well it seems real. If you’ve ever been to the wall, you’ll recognize it in this book…Hadrian’s Wall is an adventure story, a love story, and a novel of action and ideas.”
–Salem, OR, Statesman-Journal.
“A wiry plot that begins with the killing of a slave and leads to the ‘Great Barbarian Uprising’…stories of centurion life, myriad bloody battles, druid woods, newly emerging Christianity and the Celtic leader Arden Caratacus’ fort in the rugged Scottish countryside north of the wall.”
–Portland, OR, Oregonian.
“This is a sweeping and powerful historical novel, filled with political intrigue, action and romance.”
–Claire E. White, www.writerswrite.com.
“The author captures a period on the cusp of history when ‘The world is holding its breath’ and encloses in it a remarkable, romantic tale that sets love and loyalty in opposition to ambition and envy.”
–Hilary Williamson, www.bookloons.com.
“A good read involving greed, passion and war.”
“Hadrian’s Wall is a gem among historical romances.”
“Readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially stories of the Roman Empire or Celtic culture, should enjoy this well-written novel.”
“The clash of cultures, the powerful subplots and skillful story telling result in a richly told historical novel…A remarkable read, ‘Hadrian’s Wall’ comes highly recommended.”
“A powerful Ancient Rome tale that will elate historical novel readers.”
–Harriet Klausner, Thebestreviews.com
“William Dietrich’s talents show in his ability to bring details of Roman England to life for 21st Century readers.” – Joanna Oates, A Journal for Readers and Writers of Historical Fiction.