The Warlords is book #3 in the Britannia series of historical fiction set in Roman Britain. I do suggest reading these books in order to understand the full storyline and to get a grip on all the characters.
In this book Magnus Maximus the usurper who declared himself Caesar, then Augustus and who then marched against the Roman Emperor Theodosius, is dead. Killed in battle. The Isle of Britannia is a thorn in the Roman side, troublesome and supporting threats to the throne. Theodosius intends to make a lasting impression on the people of Britannia and stamp out the uprisings.
He sends the severed head of Maximus to Britannia with the intention of having it paraded around the province. However inhabitants of the thorn in his side, send him back the head of his own man in retaliation. So instead Theodosius sends a non nonsense soldier Stilicho to teach these barbarians a lesson or two in obedience.
In Londinium few can be trusted, the underworld of the city is run by Scipio of the Black Knives, whose mother sleeps with the Vicarius who oversees Rome’s business. Everyone is out for themselves and through it all shines greed.
With Rome’s hold beginning to crumble the wolves are braying at the coastlines, the Saxons, Hiberni, Scotti, and more all want a piece of the land. Justinus Coelius, Dux Britannorum patrols the edges of Rome. He must deal with idiots like the Count of the Saxon Shore and hardened warriors like Niall Mugmedon, High King of Tara.
When the Emperor dies, Stilicho is recalled and Britannia is left open to the marauding hoards, can a Hero of the Wall still be a Hero against such odds? And who will be left to tell the children the tales of Britannia?
This is a grand finale to the series, there are a lot of characters and many have several names and titles which increase the cast vastly and can make for a confusing read at times. I read a paperback version and there is a glossary of Roman terms at the back and a brief map of Britannia which I would have loved to have more details on. The last quarter of the book was superb with a tense set of events to draw the series to an end.
View all my reviews on Goodreads