After a disastrous misjudgement which cost the lives of half his men, Alexios, another young centurion and member of the Aquila family, is sent to take charge of a bleak Roman outpost on Hadrian’s Wall and the savage bunch of men who defend it, the Frontier Wolves of the title.
Dealing with this notorious legion is literally a matter of life and death for Alexios, for a commander who alienates them is unlikely to survive. Frontier Wolf tells the story of how this flawed but likeable hero grows in stature, gradually gaining his legion’s respect and the co-operation of the surrounding tribes, and defending Rome as the threat from the north grows.
The Last of Rome
Desperation drove me to Horatius, one gloomy afternoon in late October. Thirty restless children were waiting to be entertained, educated or even just dissuaded from rioting by their hapless supply...Read more
‘In Frontier Wolf (1980) the young centurion Alexios Aquila makes the wrong choice in battle. Faced with the same decision later on he must choose again. He makes the same choice but this time it is right. It is this commitment to reality rather than fictionalised optimism that gives Sutcliff’s stories their subtlety and plausibility. Her vision of the past was similarly well-balanced and unsentimental. Her attention to the details of life built up pictures which were accurate, capturing discomfort and narrow- mindedness as well as the simplicity and clarity of life.’
Read Rosemary Sutcliff’s obituary in the Independent