The Mask of Command  by Ian Ross
(Head of Zeus , 2017)

The Mask of Command

by Ian Ross

When a treacherous act of murder throws the western provinces into turmoil, Aurelius Castus is ordered to take command of the military forces on the Rhine. But he soon discovers that the frontier is a place where the boundaries between civilisation and barbarism, freedom and slavery, honour and treason have little meaning.

At the very heart of the conflict are two vulnerable boys. One is Emperor Constantine’s young heir, Crispus. The other is Castus’s own beloved son, Sabinus. Only Castus stands between them and men who would kill them.

With all that he loves in danger, Castus and a handful of loyal men must fight to defend the Roman Empire. But in the heat of battle, can he distinguish friend from enemy?


This tense, immersive novel is driven by the forceful yet always human Castus who is driven to the limits of endurance to protect what he holds dear. The best of a fine series, this also stands very well on its own.”
- Kate Atherton, Sunday Express
A corking story, thoroughly exciting and with some of the best fighting sequences I've read in Roman military fiction. I'm such a fan of this series but The Mask of Command could well be the best so far”
- For Winter Nights
With plenty of intrigue and bloody action, this is historical fiction at its rollicking best”
- Sunday Sport
Doesn't disappoint. Every maleficent twist and turn of Roman politico-military life is here together with Ian Ross' own brand of excitement and adventure making it a should-read”
- The Bookbag
As with this whole series the research is exemplary, the attention to detail is first class, and yet not thrust down the reader's neck, it's subtle and yet intricate, and the battles are a joy to read. Another absolute winner”
- Parmenion Books