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Bruce MacBain Books In Order

Publication Order of Plinius Secundus Mystery Books

Roman Games (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bull Slayer (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Odd Tangle-Hair Saga Books

Odin's Child (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ice Queen (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Varangian (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Bruce MacBain is an author of many Roman mysteries, Viking sagas and other works of historical fiction. MacBain has been fascinated by historical fiction throughout much of his life and has written many stories to bring the world of history to life. MacBain is intriguing for how he is heavily inspired in writing great stories that are different from what people often expect.

About the Author

Bruce MacBain holds many classic influences dear to him. He has studied Greek and Roman history over the years and eventually branched off into studying another unique aspect of history, the Vikings.

MacBain holds degrees in Classics and Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught these subjects at Boston University and Vanderbilt University.

Although he has written many academic works with regards to ancient history including a 1982 report on religion and politics in Ancient Rome, he started working on historical fiction novels as a means of making history more interesting. This comes as incorporating fiction into the work makes it interesting and fascinating for all readers to enjoy.

The stories that MacBain writes includes plenty of impressive points about history. Many of these aspects are critical to the stories as they provide a historical perspective and bring people closer to the world of the many characters involved in these works.

His Viking stories are designed in the form of a saga. A saga refers to a story about ancient Nordic history. This is a type of story that uses a grammatical structure for language with a more natural form of speech rather than the rhythmic standard that had been used in poetry at the time. Such a saga will take place over many volumes of work with many adventures and stories to be held with one key character being the focal point.

MacBain is also heavily inspired by mystery novels and even used science fiction to expand his range of writing when he was younger. He has used these to learn more about using language well and about creating expansive universes that are detailed and bring people into the works they are reading. The stories that Bruce MacBain has written are immensely popular and deserve to be noticed.

Noteworthy Bruce MacBain Books

Roman Games was published in 2010. This book entails Plinius Secundus, who is better known to historians as Pliny the Elder, investigating a libertine in Rome who was stabbed to death. The story takes place in 96 AD and highlights the rough nature of living in Ancient Rome as people were poor and highly likely to die young without any justice. Pliny has to find the killer of this libertine or else the slaves of that person will be burned alive. The story especially entails astrology as it looks into a horoscope that predicts that a prominent emperor will soon die.

The 2013 novel the Bull Slayer also features Pliny the Elder. As Pliny is appointed to be the new governor of Bithynia, a prominent Roman official is murdered not too far from the city. Pliny struggles with his new role of power and must look into this case of murder in order to save his position. To make things worse, his wife falls for another provincial in an affair that places an extreme threat to Pliny’s personal and professional lives alike.

MacBain has also written books a series of Viking sagas. The Odd Tangle-Hair Saga began in 2015 with the publishing of its first book, Odin’s Child. The story focuses on Odd Tangle-Hair, a young man whose family was murdered while his farmhouse in Iceland was burned to the ground. With nothing left, he steals a ship and brings in a group of followers to become a Viking. He heads out into Europe with the goal to one day return to Iceland to get vengeance on those who ruined his old way of life. Odd heads to many locations in Lapland, Norway, Finland and eventually Russia and encounters many adventures that are steeped in history.

The Odd Tangle-Hair Saga takes place around the year 1000 AD. The story entails many important historical aspects of life in Scandinavia at the time including how many shunned society at the time after the Christian faith was adopted.

The Ice Queen from 2016 marks the second book in the saga. In this story, Odd is a court poet in what is now present-day Russia. He brings in an army to fight a group of nomadic warriors and attempts to traverse the Black Sea. Odd also gets into a relationship with a powerful woman who is looking to make him break his pact with his sworn lord, thus challenging the general loyalty that Odd holds to others in his life.

Other Series You May Like

Fans of the Bruce MacBain series of historical fiction novels will find a number of other entertaining series to look forward to. The Marcus Corvinus series of novels from David Wishart is a series about a nobleman in Ancient Rome who undergoes many adventures to help those in need and to find a woman that he can be with for the rest of his life. Many of these novels are stories about the ancient Roman poets and historical figures and who they were. The stories are predominantly reflective of Ancient Rome and the many stories and issues of the time.

The John the Eunuch series from Mary Reed and Eric Mayer is another historical fiction series that takes place in Ancient Rome. Hold around the sixth century, the stories surround John the Eunuch, a lord who observes the rites of many people and soon discovers that the deaths of many in Rome may be linked to the royal groups that he has been supporting for years.

Those who are interested in a modern-day saga like what MacBain has written will enjoy Robert Low’s Kingdom series. This is a series of stories about the English and Scottish armies of the early second millennium and how religion and loyalty dominated the world. This includes a closer look at how armies fought to keep their armies close and their enemies at bay.

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