MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Sunbury Press has released the Jess Steven Hughes’ The Broken Lance, his fourth Roman historical novel.
About the Book:
In Rome, when shaking hands with a stranger, you’d best count your fingers to see if they are still attached.
In 44 AD ancient Britannia is wild, unpredictable, and merciless. The dusty streets of Rome are chaotic and dangerous, home to incredible opulence, deplorable poverty, and a political web that catches anyone who dares to question the empire. Both places call to young Roman cavalry sergeant Marcellus Reburrus, who must survive a world of political treachery, in which one’s life can be taken in an instant—by friend or enemy.
After enduring a ravaging storm, Marcellus’s boots hit the shore of Britannia under the orders of Roman Emperor Claudius only to face deplorable conditions and a commander who would rather see Marcellus dead than reporting for duty. Despite the circumstances, Marcellus quickly makes a name for himself, earning awards for bravery, promotion to centurion, and further alienating himself from the evil commander.
Marcellus’s arrival in Rome brings a whole new set of problems, the least of which are dodging assassination attempts, unraveling conspiracies, and falling in love. From the underground caves of beggars beneath the city to the magnificent homes of the Roman elite, Marcellus uncovers an elaborate plot of betrayal―one that can bring down the entire city. Can he find the conspirators before they find him . . . and destroy everything he holds dear?
This beautifully descriptive novel brings to life the remarkable worlds of ancient Britannia and Rome—while following the brilliant Marcellus, whose entire life is turned upside down as he must solve a complex mystery . . . and stay alive amongst backstabbing senators, murderous traitors, and an extraordinary city whose legacy is both inspiring and duplicitous.
About the Author:
Jess Steven Hughes brought his lifetime’s fascination with ancient Roman history into his debut novel, THE SIGN OF THE EAGLE. Jess is a retired a police detective sergeant, Long Beach Police Dept, Long Beach, CA. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Southern California in Public Administration with a minor (my first academic love) in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations. He also served four years United States Marine Corps (1962/66). As a retired person, Jess believes in keeping very busy. You must stay active mentally, physically and socially. These are a few of the keys to a long and healthy retirement. Writing novels has contribute greatly to my quality of life. He lives with his wife, Liz, on a four acre mini-farm in Eastern Washington. His hobby is outdoor model railroading. He has an outdoor model railroad that was featured in the June/July, 2010 issue of the regional magazine PRIME NORTHWEST (www.primenw.com). Check their website for the article.
Jess is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA), the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) and is active in two writers groups in the Spokane, WA area (Spokane Novelists and Spokane Valley Writers).
Praise for Jess Steven Hughes:
Brilliant Celtic Britain historical novel
By Janet Morris
This review is from: The Broken Lance (Kindle Edition)
I read this novel as an Arc. On the last page of the Broken Lance by Jess Steven Hughes, the legend reads: To Be Continued. When you reach that point, you’ll be thrilled to know another volume is coming. Hughes’ Celtic Britain historicals have all a reader craves: love, hate, revenge, betrayal, and pathos. This book is staggeringly good. You fall asleep holding it; you awake thinking about it. Your normal life fades to a pale shadow of the world Hughes creates. If you’ve read “The Sign of the Eagle,” or the two-volume “Wolf of Britannia,” I needn’t say more. If you haven’t yet read Hughes, start here, and have your faith in the novel restored. It grabs you by the throat, with women as compelling as the men. He brings politics at their worst to life, and teaches you why things were the way they were then. If you are searching adventure and a better understanding of human nature, The Broken Lance is your book. Once you’ve read it, you’ll go looking for the previous volumes in this series.Hughes is an American Ecco, writing for his time. His background as a Marine, a horseman, a police detective, all enhance his stories.
SO, if you love historical adventure, heroes of both sexes, and a story to make you think differently about modern life, here it is. Grab it and run — and get it autographed if you can.
Review by Michael Connery, The Written Word, July 23, 2017
This review is from: The Broken Lance (Kindle Edition)
Jess Steven Hughes’s The Broken Lance is a fascinating glimpse into the Roman military, politics, and culture of the mid-first century. From the wilderness and outposts of Britannia to the dangerous streets of Rome, Hughes’s latest venture into the ancient world is a gripping read.
The tale centers around a young Iberian cavalry sergeant, Marcellus Reburrus, who is swiftly rising through the ranks. In turns battle-hardened and compassionate, clever and foolish, Marcellus is dedicated to the men he leads and the empire he serves, even as he faces racial prejudices and a commanding officer with a family vendetta. Marcellas is an engaging protagonist, swift-thinking, relentless in battle, and driven to uphold his family’s honor. Fallible and passionate, he is a hero who is fully human, and all the more so relatable for it.
The amount of thorough research Hughes undertook for the story is evident on the page as the reader is drawn into the ancient world. The streets of Rome are as dangerous as the wilds of Britannia, and the culture of the era and the varying people groups are described in vivid detail. Hughes excels at creating memorable, rounded characters and at lacing the pages with subtle humor. While there are some anachronisms, the author manages to convey a sense of the era while still making it accessible to a modern audience.
Filled with murder, politics, and danger, the tale is a gripping, compelling read that breathes new life into an intriguing era. The Broken Lance is a tale of adventure and intrigue with an end that will leave the reader anticipating the next installment in Marcellus’s story.
The Broken Lance
Written by Jess Steven Hughes
Black & White on Cream paper
BISAC: Fiction / Historical / General
Also available on Kindle
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