Book Jacket


rank 5908
word count 45110
date submitted 25.02.2011
date updated 19.04.2013
genres: Romance, Historical Fiction, Young ...
classification: adult

Command. Centurion

peter lewis

an Auxiliary unit of Germans, fighting for Rome, find themselves isolated when Boudiccas revolt threatens the British province.
They fight to live , to survive.


In AD 60, the province of Brittania was largely pacified, but there was still a threat on their frontiers. There were still enemies to fight.
While the governor sought to pacify the west for all time, the real threat burst out in flame and death to all things Roman, from within.
The Iceni and their allies, struck at the heart of Roman Britain.
Cities and towns burned, thousands slaughtered. While the legions were away, the garrisons fell or fled.
One such auxiliary and foreign unit seeks safety, fighting for themselves, as much as for Rome.
They serve their prince, A Teutone, a son of their king, to keep the peace for Rome.

He is their Centurion, but their lord too. Their loyalty to him is as hard as the iron they wear.
They have their honour and steel to prove it.
Their lives, their loves and their strength will be tested.

rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login



comradeship, conflict, decision, historical, honour, love, loyalty, rome britain province latin drama, war

on 2 watchlists



To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
petrovitch wrote 1149 days ago

well written, clever peace; and interesting book, tell with clarity and skill- on my watchlist...
read SEASONS...

thanks for those kind words. its encouraging to hear.i'll look at SEASONS,yours? i would repay the compliment if you have something here, or published?

Adeel wrote 731 days ago

A nice, descriptive and well written book. Your writing style is very impressive, dialogue are realistic with vivid charachters and narrative is at great pace. Highly rated.

jrapilliard wrote 946 days ago

Hi, Peter, I have just put your book on my bookshelf. Perhaps you will return the favour and put mine, Penrose - Princess of Penrith, on yours. If you do, many thanks. Best wishes, John.

petrovitch wrote 1024 days ago

chapter one is the opener. i didn't want to laden it with detail as that comes later. but i see your point. i revise chapters 1-6 i might drop something in. thanks for the critique

Swisscheese wrote 1025 days ago

Hello Peter Lewis,

I have started to look over chapter one as promised :}. I appreciate the amount of detail you put into the plot and how you describe it. With this in mind, I think you still have room to expand on the descriptions. Although these comments are just my opinions. For example:

After some hours of rigorous drills when the practice yard was loud with armour clash and creaking leather. The cavalry troops wheeled and rode at the wooden posts, set in the practice ground. Swords, spears and axe., bit and cut again, and again.

I think this scene could be explained in more detail. What did their metal and leather armor look like? How dirty did they look and did they have cuts engraved in them? What did the weapons look like? Were the swords long or short? What other drills did they practice?

Judging from your writing I’m positive that you can do this!

Another than this, I saw typos but we all have those.

I’ll put ya on my watchlist, I would love to see a revised vision of this if you decide to change it :}.

Kind regards,
David Joyce
The Emerald Throne

petrovitch wrote 1048 days ago

your points on punctuation and misplaced phrases, are well founded. and i thank you for them. i battle with dyslexia, or at least word blindness. and it takes many readings to see the errors. so the changes are eventually made correctly. so i'm grateful to you. i can only answer for the points you mention as to why?
the dice game would earn them a punishment, so the slightest twitch would see the game whisked away.
he is their 'immediate' or field combat commander, under a tribune overall.
they answer to him first.
optione, to show the latin, then option to indicate a junior rank.
the seventh hour was from the roman system and was in fact , the seventh hour from midday. the day being divided into two 12 hour periods.
keeping a cloth over brass prevents it heating up to an extent where it would fry his head. crusader knights did much the same thing in the middle east.
brass helmets were worn by auxiliaries rather than the iron of the legion.
senators,equestrian or noble men would court favor and position with money, but those at the top could still prevent their rise for practical or personal reasons. otherwise some rich idiot could end up running a province and losing it.

Sextus had to put Sabinus down for the sake of his men. For a roman to be rebuked or humiliated by an alien would be like a trafiic warden telling the police chief constable how to do his job.
keep the comment coming..its very useful to me.

Nathan Maki wrote 1051 days ago

:) I just realized that that was a LONG comment...sorry. It was just a fairly long chapter and I was jotting as I read.

Nathan Maki wrote 1051 days ago

:) I just realized that that was a LONG comment...sorry. It was just a fairly long chapter and I was jotting as I read.

Nathan Maki wrote 1051 days ago

Hi Peter,

Thank you for backing my book, A War Within. I've been meaning to come on and give you some comments, but just haven't had any time at all up till now. (Working 2 jobs atm, plus a family man. :) ) Here's my feedback on the first chapter, just some thoughts and edits I jotted down as I read through.

Sextus (no comma) nodded in the heat.
Weight used twice in one sentence, maybe “shifted in his saddle, trying to ease the weight” ?
Paragraph 3 sentence 1, a fragment that doesn’t give a complete thought.
Axe(s), (no period needed here)
Wooden posts (no comma) protested
Watching them, to one side, (this pronoun “them” would refer back to the dumb wooden posts according to the rules of grammar.)
The infantry were resting out of the sun, in the shade the buildings offered. (consider combining.) Short sentences can be used, and even fragments can be powerful, but already in these first few paragraphs you’ve used them a lot and not for effect. Consider combining closely related sentences to give the reading a better overall flow.
The officer(‘s) horse pawed the ground. Singular not officers’ plural.
Their commander (no comma) was unmoving. He sat upright in his saddle, to the eyes of any observer overseeing the drills being performed (no comma) before him.
The dice game is a nice touch, but I found myself wondering, if Sextus has been sitting on his horse all this time why do they suddenly hide the game and then bring it back out again. Maybe he should sweep his gaze across them or something that would cause that reaction.
Their trousered legs (no comma) stretched out on the ground.
One suggestion I have to make is to read your writing out loud to yourself, and pause whenever you come to a comma. If it sounds unnaturally to you to pause there in speaking then odds are it’s not the right place to put a comma. For instance you would never pause in the middle of the sentence above where you put a comma, so there shouldn’t be a comma there.
You say it was not the heat or the inactivity that made him sleepy, but then don’t explain what it actually IS that is making him doze off.
It’s a little unclear what rank Sextus is. You mention him as being “Their commander” referring to the foot soldiers, but then refer to the Tribune as being the commander. This may be confusing to readers, whether you mean that the two men are actually the rank of commander, or if you’re using it in the looser sense. And does Sextus command both the foot troops and the cavalry?
You use Optione the first time you refer to Maximus and then option from then on. I assume you mean optio or second-in-command?
You say parade at the seventh hour, wouldn’t that be 1 pm? And then you make reference to them providing an honour guard for some kind of party, but you haven’t mentioned that previously.
In the dialogue with Livius the identity of the speaker becomes kind of confused. He added. He nodded. Who is he? And then who is he? Obviously a different he than the first he since he’s replying.
It seems to me that in this first chapter you’re telling a lot instead of showing. You’re telling us about all their interrelationships and family ties and what their skills are and so on, rather than showing us these things either through their actions or their dialogue. For instance, if Livius/Horsa is so good on horseback rather than telling the reader that why don’t you describe how he puts his horse through its paces, backing him, making him paw to strike at an enemy, dancing on his back legs to avoid being hamstrung, showing the troops he’s drilling how to do it and through their admiration and this description you would have shown that he is an able and well-respected rider. Then you can comment on it.
You say an orderly helped Sextus change, bathe and put on his best armour and tunic, then a few paragraphs later you say Sextus is splashing water over his face and arms and pulling on a fresh tunic. Seems redundant.
“Keeping a cloth over the gleaming brass of his helmet.” This makes it sound like he’s walking around with the cloth on his helmet, is that right? And why would he be wearing brass instead of iron or steel?
In your description of the Tribune again you are telling a lot instead of showing the reader. If he is pompous and arrogant, disdainful of the Germans, etc, then weave in a scene or have Sextus vividly remember some past event that will SHOW the reader how he is rather than simply labelling him that way. Show don’t tell is very effective, especially in character development. Also your description of his dislike and distain for the German auxiliaries is repeated several times in this first small section. You may want to consider eliminating some of the redundant sentences.
Also, on one hand you have Sabinus as buying his way up the ranks by courting senior friends and getting in on the Imperial Court, but several times you say his attempts had failed and he wasn’t popular with the Governor and others. This seeming contradiction is a bit confusing.
I don’t exactly understand what Sextus did to Sabinus that was so humiliating and such a victory. I didn’t catch it I guess, but if I missed it so may some other readers.
The second half of the first chapter describing their arrival in Britain seems to repeat some of the same things as the first half. You may want to check that over and eliminate any redundancies.

Overall, I like the idea that you have here. There's a lot written about Rome, but not too much about auxiliary units that I've read. The idea of a German unit in Britain cut off behind enemy lines is intriguing. I think you have some good characters here too, just don't try to rush the character development. Take time to show their characters unfolding. If you make the reader care about them early on they'll stick with you throughout.

I think for chapter 1 it might be a good idea to find away to add some punch, grab the reader right off with some action. The long description of their training and arrival seems a little slow, especially in our fast-paced society. Maybe you can jump ahead to a key moment and then start giving some background later to bring the reader up to that point or something. Begin with a battle for instance, and then backtrack through their memories, etc.

Just some thoughts I had; I am going to back this book not just because you've backed mine but because I think it has a lot of good points and a lot of potential even if it does have some rough edges to work on. All manuscripts do. Writing is rewriting. Keep working on it and you'll get there.

All best wishes for your success,

Nathan Maki - A War Within

petrovitch wrote 1121 days ago

people do speak in short sentences, particularly in the army. soldiers always have.
it saves time, efficient, hence the orders, given eg. 'shun' , stand to etc.
have you served in her majestys armed forces?
latin spoken and language of that period is based on short forms, gael, celtibrean and brythonic mainly.
and long sentences are tedious....hence, short ones..

Richard Donovan wrote 1121 days ago

You might be interested to learn that apart from backing your book today eurodan49 backed mine and two others with identical messages. View their profile and sent messages to see what they've been up to for months. I've left one there myself. Best regards, Richard

eurodan49 wrote 1121 days ago

Hi. I only had time to brows through your work, enough though to back it. I found the story interesting and plan to return for more reading and a detailed comment. As I’m very much pressed for time, tell me which chapter you want me to pay special attention to.
Meanwhile, could you please check TO KILL A DEAD MAN? I will appreciate it.

markwoodburn wrote 1124 days ago

You've got a lot of knowledge but you will have to work on how the book looks. The short sentences break up the story and do not all allow a natural flow thus making it a bit tedious to read. Once you get this sorted I am sure it will look and read a lot better. Regards, Mark.

writingbear wrote 1124 days ago

I backed your interesting bood, COMMAND. CENTURION, today. If you would have a look at either of my two novels, DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS or MY GENTLEMAN FRIEND, for a possible backing, it would be immensely appreciated. Good luck and happy writing.


Sandy Mackay wrote 1140 days ago

Hi Peter, I have read a bit of the book now and feel you know your subject outside in. You must have a keen interest in the period to describe it so vividly. I will keep it on my watch list and return when I get time. Have you had a look at When the Earth Moved. Could do with some constructive comments. All the best. Sandy.

petrovitch wrote 1141 days ago

you are right about the scenery setting. there is more of that later.
As capital letters.. gulity as charged .
i read somewhere of a writing style to change to uppercase when a new speakers dialogue begins.
and leave capitals off when dialogue continues.
but you are right in this.
i am anxious to get any help i can.
you can be assured, buodicca and her daughters get a sympathetic showing in later chapters
thaks for the star. what can i see of yours?

Margaret Anthony wrote 1141 days ago

There is no doubt, you have taken the time for intensive research and it shines through your work. Historical fiction is my favourite genre and since I live in East Anglia, Boudiccas and the Iceni are also a fascination.
Your pitch tells of an interesting period in our history and the potential for an absorbing read. For me, there is perhaps too much brevity at times, I should like some scenery-setting, a little more description to place me in the time period but those are just my thoughts sent with respect.
But you master a feeling of strength in your writing and the dialogue is good. (There should be capital letters used at the start of each line of speech, but I expect you know that) I'm pleased to star this and shelve in a couple of days. Margaret.

petrovitch wrote 1149 days ago
petrovitch wrote 1149 days ago

well written, clever peace; and interesting book, tell with clarity and skill- on my watchlist...
read SEASONS...

thanks for those kind words. its encouraging to hear.i'll look at SEASONS,yours? i would repay the compliment if you have something here, or published?

Su Dan wrote 1149 days ago

well written, clever peace; and interesting book, tell with clarity and skill- on my watchlist...
read SEASONS...