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William Havelock Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Last of the Romans Books

The Last Dying Light (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Immortal (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gates of Carthage (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pillars of Herakles (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Eternal City of Belisarius (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

William Havelock
History’s replete with stories of triumph, daring, sacrifice, and loss. But we just tend to focus on but a few of these diverse eras and societies, and are worse off for it.

William Havelock is a novelist that seeks to bring these oft-neglected historical figures into the modern age.

As a child he was infatuated with larger-than-life figures and historical stories. Gazing at portraits of figures like Queen Elizabeth I and Julius Caesar, William would fall into daydreams imagining himself crossing the Rubicon or navigating the intrigues of Tudor life.

Historical fiction was an outlet to further such dreams. However while scouring his library he found very few selections on the struggles and life of his favorite figure of all: Flavius Belisarius. “The Last of the Romans” is William’s humble effort to capture the lives of Belisarius and dozens of other leading figures in Justinian’s Empire, whose legacy still shapes much of Western life to this very day.

During the day he’s a research scientist studying these complex systems and the drivers of systemic shock. If there is anything William’s learned in writing these novels, many of the problems that modern societies face today are almost identical to those borne by our forebearers, who might’ve had it a lot worse.

“The Last Dying Light” is the first novel in the “Last of the Romans” series and was released in 2020. Rome’s fallen into darkness.

Its legacy is still alive in Constantinople, whose leaders are struggling to retain control of such a decaying land. But war, famine, and night encroaching leave this Eastern Empire trending toward ruin.

A faint hope arises while a new dynasty ascends to Caesar’s throne. Bearing witness to such events is Varus, who is a young Herulian slave to the powerful yet aging Justin. It’s Justin that unveils a rather bold plan held by two generations of Romans. To retake the West and reclaim their homeland.

Varus, who follows Justin’s dream, enlists with the Roman Army and finds the carnage of the 6th Century warfare. While a mysterious horde of black-shielded invaders devastates the Empire’s northern provinces, Varus’ unit gets called on to defend under Belisarius’ leadership, who is one of Justin’s most promising of commanders.

While Varus is getting ready for the sacrifices to come, though, he starts questioning some of Justin’s secrets, looking for answers when it comes to his real identity and place as a pivotal figure in the survival of the Empire.

The writing and story does particular justice to military life, highlighting things like duty, bravery, and camaraderie, but doesn’t shy away from things like the difficulty, the death, and less romanticized aspects like bigotry, boredom, and corruption.

“Immortal” is the second novel in the “Last of the Romans” series and was released in 2021. The eastern provinces burn, and very few dare to even save them.

Suffering riots, invasions, and hunger, the decaying Roman Empire staggers against its most ancient of enemies: Persia. Undefeated in more than a century, the Shahanshah’s vast armies are crossing the Tigris, hungry to reclaim the lands which had once been the jewel of their heritage. Driving Persia’s invasion are the vaunted Immortals, this elite band of Persian warriors unmatched in prowess.

Set against them are the ill-equipped and undermanned forces of Flavius Belisarius. Still reeling from the pyrrhich triumph in Tauris, the Roman armies draw on untested recruits and barbarian tribes to defend the Empire’s rich Mesopotamian provinces. Ordered to join them is a Varus, a young Herulian freedman with just an oath sworn servant, broken armor, and this mysterious connection to the Imperial Palace.

Even though defeat is all but a certainty, the Emperor’s Legate insists on this one course of action: cede not a single grain of Roman territory, no matter what the cost is in gold or lives. Loyal yet wary, Belisarius’ patchwork forces battle their way to Dara, a distant fortress-city along the Empire’s borders. But Persia’s commanders have also got their designs on Dara, eager to reclaim the lands lost by their forebearers centuries back. For Varus and Belisarius, resisting the Persian assault isn’t just a matter of personal survival, but shall determine the very fate of this failing Roman Empire.

“The Gates of Carthage” is the third novel in the “Last of the Romans” series and was released in 2022. Honor’s secondary to survival.

The Roman Army, still reeling from their losses at Callinicum, has repulsed the Persians from Mesopotamia, however at a pretty hefty cost. Belisarius’ rather improbable triumph at Dara gets cast aside by this vengeful legate, condemning Constantinople’s vaunted general to imprisonment. Belisarius, with his final order, pleads with Varus to lead this army to safety and to bring peace to this shattered land.

But conflict is flaring at other corners of the Empire, what with the merciless Vandal hordes looming over the wealthy cities of Egypt, pillaging and burning all along the African coastline. Emperor Justinian snatches at this opportunity greedily, instructing his battered armies to seize the fabled city of Carthage against this tribe fabled for their appetite for destruction, and being undefeated against the Romans in a century of combat. And, against this warrior class which understands just one law: strength conquers all.

During preparations for war against the Vandals, the Emperor funds this glorious spectacle of chariot racing, which draws tens of thousands from across the whole Empire to the Hippodrome. But right as an unbowed enemy occupies the fabled city of Carthage, so too have the Emperor’s foes multiplied inside the walls of Constantinople. Starving, overtaxed, and brutalized by the Emperor’s own lawgivers, the Hippodrome’s sea of Green and Blue racing supporters are just like kindling, only awaiting the faintest of sparks to ignite in a revolt against Caesar’s heir.

From distant war to civil strife, the Eastern Empire shall never be the same ever again. And, in his moment of greatest need, the Emperor seeks Belisarius’ aid not just to achieve his dreams of Roman glory along the distant Africa coast, however to also save the lives of the Imperial court amidst the most disastrous rebellion in living memory.

Book Series In Order » Authors » William Havelock

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