From debut author Davitt comes an epic novel based on a surviving Roman Empire.
Welcome to Edda-Earth, where magic and technology coexist. The Roman Empire holds power; in fact, rather than B.C. and A.D., dates are noted as BAC and AC: before the ascent of Caesar and after the ascent of Caesar, which separates their calendar from ours by 44 years. Sorcerers are as few as one in 1,000, while members of the Praetorian Guard are revered: “They were the single largest security and intelligence network on the planet, with jurisdiction in any client state or province of the Empire.” As members of the Guard, Adam (originally of the “Judean Defense Forces”) and Sigrun, a “god-touched” Valkyrie, are accustomed to being dispatched to far-off places. When a trend of illegal human sacrifices surfaces in locations throughout the empire, action must be taken, because “it is the policy of Rome…and has been for over fourteen hundred years, to allow subject nations freedom to worship their own gods, but with one caveat: that there will be no human sacrifices.” As Adam and Sigrun combine their talents with others under the direction of Propraetor Antonius Livorus, they must dig through belief systems, hostile groups, and a lingering fear that the end of the world is nigh. Davitt’s ambitious, detailed novel is awash with mythology, culture, and politics. At 800-plus pages, it’s also lengthy and complex, though streaks of action help keep the reader engaged: “His face was almost completely covered by the beast’s great mouth…and her sister lions moved in to tear at his struggling belly.” More than a mere adventure, the story succeeds in tapping into deeper ideas of religious tolerance and pluralism.
Though some may find themselves lost in the vast sea of gods, rituals, violence, and beliefs, readers excited by a tour of this highly imaginative world will thoroughly enjoy the ride.