Friday, February 15, 2013

Galdir: A Slave's Tale by Fredrik Nath


"Highly Commended" in the Yeovil Literary Prize 2011

A Roman slave with a serpent tattoo uncovers his true barbarian identity... A battle for power among Frankish warlords leads to a mass exodus across the Rhine... All the while, Marcus Aurelius' Roman army pushes further north, changing everything. These seemingly unrelated events meet in a cataclysm that alters the course of history. In the background, the ageing witch Chlotsuintha predicts it all. Or is she the one pulling the strings to shape her people's future? When Sextus escapes Rome with a pocketful of gold and a knife, how could he even have dreamt of what the fates might have in store for him? Pursued by Roman soldiers for the murder of his master, Sextus enlists the help of a retired gladiator, and falls in love with the gladiator's niece. An invading German army drives them further north, where Sextus discovers his true birthright, and his real name - Galdir. He becomes caught up in a bitter feud as one of the heirs of a dead Frankish warlord; but the blood feud must be put aside when the Romans invade and besiege the Frankish capital. 'Galdir' is enthralling Roman fiction - a tale of love, brutal battles and conflict, in which a mystical prophecy winds its way through an epic saga of struggle against Rome, and the consequences of resistance by the Frankish people, its Warlord and its witches.

Galdir is the story of a Roman slave named Sextus whose journey through life takes him from the lowest ranks of society to the greatest heights as a Barbarian warlord. The novel is written in two parts. The first takes place in ancient Rome where Galdir is a slave in the days of Marcus Aurelius. After murdering his master for raping a young girl, he flees Rome. Frantic to elude his captors, he shaves his head to disguise himself. It is then he discovers the serpent tattoo on his head and begins the journey to discover its meaning and his roots. Slowly, Sextus, who soon learns his real name is Galdir, gains respect and rises to power as a warrior and war chief.

At each stage, the novel is full of intrigue and rich battle scenes. Despite all the fighting, the author writes every combat with rich detail, yet without exploiting the violence and gore. This makes the book palatable for both men and women readers. Written with great detail, the novel is engrossing and full of action. A wonderful tale of adventure!