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The Wolves of the North (Warrior of Rome #5)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  514 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
"Warrior of Rome: The Wolves of the North" by Harry Sidebottom marks the start of a new trilogy within the "Warrior of Rome" series. AD263 - barbarian invasions and violent uprisings threaten to tear apart the Imperium of Rome. In the north, the tribes are increasingly bold in their raids on the Imperium - their savagery unlike anything Rome has known before. Ballista must ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Michael Joseph
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Best Historical Fiction About Ancient Rome
116th out of 242 books — 412 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 13, 2013 happy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 27, 2014 Speesh rated it liked it
A strange one. Not entirely an unpleasant experience, but nothing more than that. Though, as I remember the first three in the Warrior of Rome series as being pretty good, it is a bit of a let down.

The cover claims it ‘“Blazes with searing scholarship” (The Times). Well hardly. There’s scholarship, yes - and god knows there’s plenty of it. But nothing approaching a blaze. A warm glow, maybe.

We’re I to be churlish, I might describe it as ‘boring.' It’s not that I want non-stop action, in my Hist
Robin Carter
Jul 22, 2012 Robin Carter rated it it was amazing
As with all of Harry's books I expect that some will call the book slow, over detailed etc. But that's just not the case.

Harry's books and this one in particular are wonderfully written, he has an eloquent way of weaving the descriptive with the action. Like the history teacher everyone wants, you learn while you are entertained.

There are I'm sure a couple of readers out there who will once again claim to know more than the author about history but because there are always times that a fi
Oct 06, 2013 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of this series - the previous two were marvellous. This fifth one, though, was a disappointment to me. The plot felt tagged on and the book contributed little to the series or to the development of the characters. It was also, for me, too relentlessly violent and it relished it. I will, though, continue the series as I know how good these books can be. This would be 2.5 stars if permitted but erred on generous side because of the quality of Sidebottom's research and for his portra ...more
Jul 13, 2016 Glyn rated it really liked it
A gripping continuation of the Ballista story. Harry Sidebottom brings all the profound classical knowledge and powerful action that made his earlier works such a hit and adds a new element in the Heruli a dangerous nomadic tribe that are shown to bear similarities in practice and warfare to the Huns who would threaten to overwhelm the Empire 150 years later Naturally the shadow of the Persian Empire and it's potential influences in the region lie in the background alongside Imperial deceit and ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marcus Pailing
I enjoyed Sidebottom's previous Ballista novels, but I'm afraid I found the first half of this book a little boring. It did perk up in the second half, but not enough for me to give it a third star. I like the fact that Sidebottom is putting his books into the context of a meta-narrative, but this does mean that Book 3, and this one, took rather a slow turn. It won't stop me from reading the next, though, which I believe has already been published in hardcover.
Aston Matthews
Oct 16, 2012 Aston Matthews rated it it was amazing
Really enjoying it, just as good as the first four books.

P.s more please

.The Wolves of the North
Aug 17, 2015 Tomasz rated it it was amazing
Nie mija moda na starożytny Rzym. Jedno z najpotężniejszych mocarstw świata antycznego wciąż zadziwia i porusza. Począwszy od zachwytów nad osiągnięciami kultury po niezdrową fascynację militarnymi osiągnięciami mieszkańców Italii. Co by nie mówić, Rzym postawił sztukę militarną na piedestale, nie patrząc na jakiekolwiek ograniczenia – zwłaszcza moralne. Wszak jedne z pierwszych ludobójstw zafundowali ludzkości wyrafinowani mieszkańcy krainy położonej nad Tybrem. Mogliby coś o tym powiedzieć Gal ...more
Aug 22, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
In Book Five of Dr. Harry Sidebottom's best-selling series, we find my favorite "Warrior of Rome", Marcus Claudius Ballista venturing even further north into the Asian steppe on a mission to deflect a potential alliance between the various tribes living there and the Persian Empire. Ballista is stIll on tenuous terms with the Roman emperor Gallienus since Ballista was briefly forced to don the purple after the events in book 3, "Lion of the Sun". But, his old friend has continued to avoid orderi ...more
Luka Novak
Mar 05, 2015 Luka Novak rated it it was amazing
If you've read Sidebottom's previous 4 books you know what to expect. If you haven't you'll miss a lot of back story and you should read them before reading this one.

To be honest book starts a bit slow, but then quickens the pace and moves to intrigue and battles, finishing with Sidebottom's trademark cliffhanger.

Synopsis of the book provided by author/publisher can be a bit misleading, Ballista and his familia are not romping around north, that is Germania, lands on the "barbarian" side of the
Keith Currie
Dec 04, 2013 Keith Currie rated it it was ok
As a title for this review I thought `There and (almost) back again' might fit, as it appeared to sum up the plot pretty well and cast a knowing reference to all those Germanic poems and mentions of middle-earth by Ballista and his friends.

Then I toyed with `The Horror! The Horror!' where Hippothous quotes Conrad's Kurtz with reference to one of the book's better jokes and provides a nice example of a heart of darkness.

The novel's best joke, however, in my opinion, opens chapter 10 and reads as
C.R. May
Jul 15, 2014 C.R. May rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers looking for something different.
Shelves: favorites
I am a great fan of Harry Sidebottom's series of novels dealing with the career of Ballista, an Angle in the mid third century army of Rome, and of the lot, this, the fifth in the series, is my personal favourite. The story takes place on the grasslands of what is today southern Russia and really reads as a cross between classical history, the author is an Oxford professor of Classics after all, and an old fashioned 'wild west' novel. Here we have the Roman wagon train under threat from mounted ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He left me hanging - - I can't forgive him.
This book includes a mystery of sorts - and I am sure some people who read it could have figured out who the bad guy was.
Well there are a lot of bad guys but I mean the one who dismembers their victims.
I thought I had a idea but - the author threw me a curve -.
Lots of action - lots of references to Greek and Roman literature. Harry Sidebottom does a great job.
On to book 6.
Mar 04, 2016 Charlie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romans
Wolves of the North is now my favourite in the series. Sidebottom keeps things moving on the steppe with his subtle yet extremely effective storytelling. The passages during the wagon showdown were spot-on and brought me right into battle. The desperation and hopelessness were almost tangible. Just fantastic. the loss of an importanat character is felt and is dealt with appropriately with the remaining family which I found honest and true. Certain characters react the way we expect while others ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Martinxo rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2014
Very enjoyable Roman Centurion saga based somewhere near the Crimea which is kinda topical at the moment. Sometimes I think it would be interesting to have lived in Roman times but then again, I doubt I would have lasted very long.
John Warren
Sep 09, 2014 John Warren rated it really liked it
the 5th book of this series i liked quite a bit it had ur expected good research from the author and i love the suspense and mystery beyond balista mission. lot of complex characters in this series and cant wait to start the next book
Aug 23, 2013 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This is the first book that I have read by Harry Sidebottom even though I have seen some great reviews of his books. Despite this being book 5, this book can certainly be read as a stand alone although the ending makes it quite clear that there is more to come. I can't describe it as a cliff hanger but there are some unresolved issues. Loved the characterisation and the pace was excellent. I am never very good at picturing battle scenes, movements and formations but this also did not impact nega ...more
Lucy Gray
May 29, 2015 Lucy Gray rated it really liked it
so far this is my favourite of the series - loved the descriptions of the Steppes and the murder twist was excellent. No [problem that I read this out of order.
Aug 06, 2014 Lon rated it liked it
I found this book tedious and slow. Subplot on murder took away from main plot. Did not enjoy as much as previous tittles.
Greg Payne
Jan 31, 2014 Greg Payne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Raftery
Jun 20, 2013 Patrick Raftery rated it it was amazing
Shelves: roman
Not for the first time i just fell into a story, being out there on the stepps. harry sidebottom books give all you need in a story a hero who job is to make people living on the stepps to make war on each other and in a villain who is killing his family one by one,can are hero make one happen and stop the killer? well you have to read to fine out and i hope you enjoy it as much as i did.
Aug 23, 2012 Tony rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Disappointing. It takes more to being a good novellist then detailed descriptions of Roman weapons and customs. I didn't enjoy the prose; the storyline was weak and I felt no empathy for the wooden characters. There are other historians who have tried their hand at writing fiction (Saul) and few of them pull it off. Sidebottom should stick to his day job.
I've enjoyed Sidebottom's series, but this was the weakest one yet. Filled with historical information, it was a good read for me, an ancient history high school teacher. But, the plot and storyline were weak and just plodded along.
Tom Webster
Jul 29, 2013 Tom Webster rated it it was amazing
Quite a big improvement over The Caspian Gates. The pacing issues which plagued the prior book are mostly gone whilst the strong characterisation and excellent historical detail remain.

I can't wait for Amber Road.
Nov 14, 2014 David rated it really liked it
One of the better books in the series and it again leaves us at hanging point, so I hope more books are available. I recommend this book if you like Historical Fiction, nice and fun story.
Nov 04, 2013 Margareth8537 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the Ballista series, but got a bit tangled up in this one, as the trouble with a Kindle is you can't make proper use of the maps.
Enjoyable but more as a precursor to his next one
Dec 02, 2012 Tiago rated it liked it
Not as good as the previous books. It seemed a little rushed off, as the plot never really thickens. Nevertheless, a good novel.
Harry Hallman
Sep 16, 2013 Harry Hallman rated it really liked it
This was a more complex story then the previous ones in this series. It was full of action and some surprises. Very good read.
Cel Jel
May 23, 2015 Cel Jel rated it really liked it
I found the sense of adventure and the mix of characters in this book kept me interested.
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Harry Sidebottom is Lecturer in Ancient History at Merton College, Oxford, and part-time lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. He has written for and contributed to many publications, including Classical Review, Journal of Roman Studies, and War and Society in the Roman World.

More about Harry Sidebottom...

Other Books in the Series

Warrior of Rome (6 books)
  • Fire in the East (Warrior of Rome, #1)
  • King of Kings (Warrior of Rome, #2)
  • Lion Of The Sun (Warrior of Rome, #3)
  • The Caspian Gates (Warrior of Rome, #4)
  • The Amber Road (Warrior of Rome, #6)

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