Wolves of the North is my favorite novel so far in Harry Sidebottom’s excellent Warrior of Rome series. This time, the central character Ballista and his posse, his familia, venture out into what was for me – and I suspect for most readers – uncharted territories. Prior to reading Wolves of the North I knew next to nothing about the Goth tribes living on the steppes of the Caucasus in the 3rd century C.E., and next to nothing about the Hun tribes in what is now eastern Europe. Reading about the Heruli, the Urugundi and the Alani tribes was like reading science fiction or action-fantasy (like GoT’s Dothraki).
The author seemed to be having fun imagining our small group of Romans into this hostile and very alien environment. He also had fun playing with genre, weaving a serial killer whodunnit sub-plot into his action adventure.
I found this book immensely entertaining, maintaining the high standard of the previous four Warrior of Rome installments but shaking up the formula. I look forward to Ballista’s further adventures.