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Publisher's Summary

"A master of the genre." (The Times)

The ninth novel in the thrilling Empire sequence leads Centurion Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians to the battlefield that was one of Rome's most disastrous defeats.

The Tungrians have no sooner returned to Rome than they find themselves tasked with a very different mission from their desperate exploits in Parthia. Ordered to cross the river Rhenus into barbarian Germany and capture a tribal priestess who may be the most dangerous person on the empire's northern border, they are soon subject to the machinations of an old enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage their plans before they have even set foot on the river's eastern bank.

But after their Roman enemy is neutralised, they face a challenge greater still. With two of the Bructeri tribe's greatest treasures in their hands, they must regain Roman territory by crossing the unforgiving wilderness that was the graveyard of Roman imperial strategy 200 years before. And capture by the Bructeri's vengeful chieftain and his warband can end in only one way - a horrific sacrificial death on the tribe's altar of blood.

©2016 Anthony Riches (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

What the critics say

"This is fast-paced and gripping 'read-through-the-night' fiction, with marvellous characters and occasional moments of dark humour. Some authors are better historians than they are storytellers. Anthony Riches is brilliant at both." (Conn Iggulden)
"Stands head and shoulders above a crowded field...real, live characters act out their battles on the northern borders with an accuracy of detail and depth of raw emotion that is a rare combination." (Manda Scott)
"A damn fine read...Fast-paced, action-packed." (Ben Kane)

What listeners say about Altar of Blood

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  • Richard Curry
  • 2016-12-17

Great Reading

The descriptive language and masterful reading is not to be missed.
if you are into Roman intrigue and battle action, this is the series to read.

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  • Wayne guyette
  • 2021-10-30

Increasingly Disappointed

Reading the series up to this book, I find myself many pages ahead of the text due to its obvious nature. And, yet, the author saw the necessity of including a detailed overview of the period and Legion makeup rather than its skillful incorporation in the novel itself as most authors of the period do. Frankly, after reading fiction and non-fiction of the period for over forty years, the series has become tiresome and stilted. His perchance of killing off interesting characters, which he probably thought would enhance and increase tension, generally detracted from the flow of the series. For example, in the case of his wife, landed with an author's splat rather than ratcheting up the intensity. Why, well simply stated, one of the first rules of 'authorship' is, "don't betray readers with superficial connivance at the cost of pacing or in the misplaced name of poorly chosen character development.
Enough, I'll leave it to you to discover while I move on to another less used formula prescriptive author.