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After Rome: A Novel of Celtic Britain
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After Rome: A Novel of Celtic Britain

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  583 ratings  ·  121 reviews
After more than four hundred years of Roman rule, the island its conquerors called Britannia was abandoned—left to its own devices as the Roman empire contracted in a futile effort to defend itself from the barbarian hordes encroaching upon its heart. As Britannia falls into anarchy and the city of Viroconium is left undefended, two cousins who remained behind when the imp ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Forge Books (first published February 9th 2013)
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3.20  · 
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 ·  583 ratings  ·  121 reviews


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Colleen Martin
I'm a third of the way through and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED YET. My god, what a boring book.

Update 3/11/13: More than halfway through and STILL nothing happening. Jesus Christ, what's a girl gotta do to get some plot around here??

Final update (thank god) 3/19/13: What a disappointing, uninteresting waste of time. Disappointing because Morgan Llywelyn has been on my radar for a few years, she being a preeminent author of Irish historical fiction, but I've gotta say, if her other books are as lacklust
...more
Shelley Fearn
I see that not many have reviewed this novel and I wonder why? Llywelyn writes a credible story of Britain in the years following the end of Roman occupation. Perhaps they don't find the derring-do or romantic adventure found in books about the Roman legions or the days of Arthur. But in reality life was hard and to many it bordered on apocalyptic.

That's precisely what I found so interesting about the book. Dystopian literature is hot right now -- just look at Cormac McCarthy's The Road or eve
...more
Kara
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-ancient

After a beautiful prologue describing the history of England from the Ice Age to the Fall of Rome in lyrical prose and exquisite detail, we are then taken on a tour of the most boring apocalypse ever!

Because make no mistake, the Dark Ages were the very definition of a post-apocalyptic world, and Llywelyn has researched and reported on that world here to the last detail, but Nothing. Happens.

I'm sorry, call me old fashioned, but I demand my books have plots.
Judy
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book about Britain after the last Roman Legion left. It was actually NOT about King Arthur. I would recommend that any tea partier who thinks no government is a good thing read this book since it shows what happens to ordinary people when there is no law and order.
Mimi
Llywelyn, who has written several books I've greatly enjoyed, addresses an interesting question. What happened in Britain when the Romans left? How did the people address living in a power vacuum? Unfortunately, she wrote a book with a big plot vacuum, so it isn't well answered. It is a question I will continue to contemplate, though.
Sally
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ipad, arc
This book started out great with 2 very different characters, cousins, with long standing differences, but who complement each other. The last Roman legion has left Britain and civilization is tumbling. If you're one of the people trying to cope, what do you do? Gather an army and become a king? Or work with others to create some security. Well, with such a great beginning, the plot really disappointed me. Why did Dinas have to fail? Why didn't the cousins get together? And why include the horse ...more
Carolyn
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book!
What happens to society when civilization breaks down? I see from previous reviews that some took it as a pro-government involvement book, but I guess I saw it differently. The Roman government so completely took over Britain, that, once the legions left, the people were completely helpless and in desperate need of guidance and good old fashioned work ethic. Also, the book refers to the fact that the Roman government did not take the threat of dangerous outside tribes seriously until
...more
Ozymandias
Plot: 2 (slow-moving with no payoff)
Characters: 5 (distinct but struggle to gain interest)
Accuracy: 4 (avoids recorded facts but gets known events woefully wrong)

I was really excited to read this book since it’s one of the only books set in post-Roman Britain and not about King Arthur. Instead, this novel is set immediately after the Romans abandon the island, in the early years of Britain learning to fend for itself. It’s a great idea and it feels like there’s a real need for such a book to fil
...more
Jim Keough
Disappointing.

I have read three of Llewelyn's Irish historical novels, 1916, 1921 and 1972 and all three were very helpful in learning about cnfusng perods of Irish History. This book fails to deliver in many of the ways the others books excelled.

After Rome is slow and none of the characters are memorable.
Kimberly
Finally, after years of meaning to try Morgan Llywelyn's writing and luckily for me she published After Rome in February and I figured it would be a great place to start with and it was.

While the book turned out to be different from what I thought it would be I still enjoyed it for what it was. Books set in Britain during the tumultuous time when the Romans vacated the island aren't all that plentiful so I'm glad to have found this one.

The novel follows two cousins over a period of five years wh
...more
D.H. Hanni
More like 3.5 stars. This was an interesting book with interesting characters. The book follows a pair of cousins, Cadogan and Dinas, who have very opposite personalities and who approach life very differently. The story is set in the UK after the Romans have left the area and as the Saxons and other 'barbarians' start invading. Once glorious Roman made cities are completely destoryed and there is no longer and centralized government.

Cadogan lives by himself in a house he built himself in the h
...more
Joe Kendall
So upon starting this book I was nervous. I had read some of the reviews and saw a lot of negative ones and very few positive. I have read many of Llywelyns books now and have enjoyed all of them, but I started this one with cautious expectations.

Now this book may not be one of her best ones, but I'm not really seeing what people were complaining about. Maybe they don't understand how historical fiction books often work. They aren't necessarily action packed with a huge battle scene at the end.
...more
J.S. Dunn
Below expectations, from an author who long ago had a part in my interest in early Ireland. Llywelyn should have stayed with writing for the young adult market, her watered-down versions of Irish myth where one fears the cliches will include a Disneyesque leprechaun tapping away on a shoe under a toadstool. The Prologue and Author's Note contain factual errors. One look at the Select Bibliography shows the obvious: this author has not read any research before the 1990s and much of it from the 19 ...more
Steven Malone
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though a nice enough read, After Rome: A Novel of Celtic Britainis not my favorite of her books.

After Rome takes place in the years following the Roman Legion's with withdrawal from Britain in 410 B.C.E and shows the dangers and decisions faced by the Romanized Britons left behind in a now crumbling and defenseless nation.

As the two main characters struggle to rebuild a semblance of life and safety they gather allies and try to stay alive against the elements and encroaching Anglo/Saxons.

I felt
...more
Conrad
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
“In the long run, the fall of one civilization is very much like the fall of another. Only the land remains.” And with those words the novel closes. This book might best be described as an historical dystopian novel because, with the exodus of Roman rule, Britannia falls apart and the fabric of society unravels quickly. The people that were once sophisticated urbanites are reduced to living in primitive conditions, having to learn long-forgotten skills for survival. The author obviously research ...more
Rio (Lynne)
Beautiful cover. Great premises for an amazing story. I have not read about this time period and I really looked forward to sinking my teeth into a new era. It started off interesting, but never actually went anywhere. I wanted more from the characters, who's personalities showed so much potential. Their stories had hope, but went flat. Too bad.
Diantha
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I kept reading it for the description of England and life after Rome left,but I found the plot lacking and the story ran out of steam. Cadogan was the more interesting character of the cousins. Even the "mystery" of the murder felt tacked on. Disappointing
Missy Sherriff
Interesting setting with incredibly accurate research and two main characters brimming with potential....but the story never really comes together. The entire book, taken as a whole, feels more like the preface to an actual tale.
Colin
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A post-apocalyptic novel of sorts, set in the aftermath of the Roman withdrawal from Britannia, as the peoples abandoned by the Romans are forced to find their way in a world where everything, including the rules they took for granted, has broken down.
Sue Robinson
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
I shall be reading more by this author. She made the characters come alive and the Dark Ages setting very believable.
Steve
This was a bit lighter on plot than some of her older works - "Finn McCool" will forever be a favorite- and the characters were a bit flat. Decent bedtime reading though.
Kerry CS Literary Jewelry
Have you ever been disappointed in a new book by one of your favorite authors? That’s the situation I found myself in this week after reading Morgan Llywelyn’s After Rome. I really wanted to love the book as much as I have loved other Morgan Llyweln books but, as hard as I tried, I really couldn’t see After Rome as anything other than a pale and lifeless re-treading of old stories and characters that Llywelyn has used to much better effect in her previous books.

After Rome, particularly suffers
...more
Erika Schmid
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I feel like this is one of those novels where I can say it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. It was intriguing enough to offer a unique story and yet not memorable enough that I apparently forgot to write this review for several days, forgetting that I finished it.

Set in Britain in the years after the withdraw of the Roman legions and the years before unified kingdoms, two men strike their own stories. Cadogan wants to live a simple life in the home he built in the woods. Unfortunately, he has ju
...more
Kelli Smith
I was hesitant about reading this book based on some of the reviews but.... I have a hard time resisting anything that has to do with ancient/dark ages Britain. I would agree that the plot is... anticlimactic. It doesn't follow the usual pattern of building up to a crescendo and then winding down to tie up loose ends. That being said, I thought the "lack" of plot was a clever way to convey an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion. The reason "nothing" happens is because its a story of the char ...more
Lindsey
I appreciated the look into the chaos caused by the Roman removal from Britain after centuries of occupation-the Saxon raiding, the change in architecture, the resurgence of Celtic tribal pride, etc. However, the dual story lines of Cadogan and his cousin Dinas never went anywhere for me. There was no real resolution to Dinas' constant wandering to find himself in the new Britannia. I didn't get attached to either character-Dinas seemed like a smooth-talking used car salesman trying to get peopl ...more
Gerri Bizal
A bit disappointing.

I really felt there could have been more Celtic and druid legend in the book. The author is renowned in her Celtic and druid legends and I really feel it was lacking in this book.
Brian
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story and characters just didn't gel for me. The few references to history, how life was, etc. aren't very subtly worked into the text unlike really good historical fiction. Post Rome Britain is definitely an interesting time and place in history.
Patricia
Boring. No plot development to speak of. Nothing to hold your interest.
Eileen Granfors
I had previously loved the books by this author. I felt this one was long on history and short on plot.
Susan Moore
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great detail
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Historical Fictio...: After Rome 7 45 Nov 07, 2016 06:44AM  

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Morgan Llywelyn (born 1937) is an American-born Irish author best known for her historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
“In the long run, the fall of one civilization is very much like the fall of another. Only the land remains.” 3 likes
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