Friday, March 21, 2014

Galdir - Protector of Rome by Fredrik Nath

Galdir - Protector of Rome is the third book in the Galdir Saga series by Fredrik Nath.  Galdir, a Warlord of the Franks, is a tall, blonde, battle-scared German warrior in his early thirties when this book begins in Rome, circa 180 A.D.  After adventures that are detailed in Galdir - A Slave's Tale and Galdir - Rebel of the North, Galdir is now a bodyguard for the gorgeous widow of a Roman patrician.  

Galdir's story in Protector of Rome, written in the first person later in his storied life, begins on October 22, 180, the day of the Emperor Commodus's Triumph, a parade to honor his major military victory, which was purchased with a bribe rather than won on the battlefield.  Commodus's reign is often seen as the beginning of the end for the Roman Empire. 

This is Galdir's view of Commodus, son of the good-emperor Marcus Aurelius:
I found out later than even an education and a cushioned introduction to power cannot make a great leader.  I know now such things are ingrained in some men's nature.  They are born to lead and rule with justice but it is not a skill anybody can teach.  That was one thing I learned in Rome in those years of Commodus' succession and the thought has never left me.

The author skillfully weaves Galdir's past into the account of the Triumph, so we are up to speed on his past even if we have not read the other books in the series.

Throughout the story that follows that expert beginning, the author does not shy away from the sadism of the time:  torture, slavery, blood sports, animal torture, capital punishment.  Nor does he spare us from the era's depravity.  But in neither case are the scenes written to bring vicarious pleasure from these evils.

Galdir's state of mind through much of the story can be summed up with this one quote:
It was as if all my life had been spent fighting, killing and running.  I wanted peace but I knew it was unattainable.  I had to return and rule my people...

A Frankish Warlord from Middle Ages

Galdir - Protector of Rome is actually three books in one.  It is divided into these three sections:
  1. Book I - Commodus the Emperor
  2. Book II - Duras the King
  3. Book III - Galdir the Warlord
Each of the three sections could easily have been issued as a separate novel.  When you purchase a Galdir book, you get your money's worth!  You have hundreds of pages of action, and a front row view of Ancient Roman history.

Here is a stunningly beautiful computerized recreation of an Ancient Roman home, the setting of many scenes in Galdir.

I don't wish to post any spoilers here, so I'll just say that Galdir plays the cards he has to gain what he wants for himself and for his people.  Those cards demand much sacrifice and physical suffering, as well as a continual struggle to keep his honor while living at the center of the corrupt capital of the disintegrating Roman Empire.

Galdir's almost childlike embrace of honor and duty and love makes him blind, at times, to the deceit around him, which is perhaps why he is not completely contaminated by it.

A Frankish Warrior from late Roman Period

The books in the Galdir Saga series follow Galdir from child barbarian, to slave, to rebel soldier, to bodyguard, to royal bodyguard, and finally to the tribal leader he was born to become.  The books in the series are:
  1. Galdir - A Slave's Tale
  2. Galdir - Rebel of the North
  3. Galdir - Protector of Rome
  4. Galdir - (in the works)
Galdir - Protector of Rome is a well-written, well-edited, richly imagined, well-researched book full of period detail, especially expert in military details and the description of the frequent fight and battle scenes.  It is an adventure saga that does not disappoint.


Barbarians to the Romans

From the book's description:
His life in tatters, the nation over which he once presided now annexed by Rome, Galdir returns to the city from which he once escaped as a slave.  For in this den of thieves and scoundrels lies Galdir's only hope of persuading the Senate to rescind the Roman fetters that hold his people.

When Emperor Commodus commands Galdir to be his bodyguard, he obeys - but at the cost of his Germanic nature and loyalty.  Tolerating the madness that is Commodus and side-stepping the political maelstrom, he finds his divided loyalties tear at his very soul.

When the Empire is threatened by a new Germanic alliance, he must protect a mad Emperor and fight his own people in a cataclysmic battle to end all opposition to Rome.

'Protector of Rome' continues the thrilling saga of Galdir - slave, warlord and rebel.

Available in the USA, UK and Europe, in paperback, Kindle and iBooks editions.  Kobo and Nook versions will be released in March 2014.


The Galdir Saga is published by Fingerpress which provides direct UK and USA links to Amazon and the iTunes Store listing for the books at their website. 
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Here are direct links to the paperback and Kindle e-book editions of Galdir - Protector of Rome at

And here are direct links to all the books in the Galdir Saga at in paperback and Kindle e-book.

Visit the author's website.

Here is a video about the German tribes on the Roman border.  There are many battle re-enactments, showing what is described in Galdir.

This review is by Candida Martinelli, of Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site, and the author of the cozy-murder-mystery novel AN EXTRA VIRGIN PRESSING MURDER, and the young-adult/adult mystery novel series THE VIOLET STRANGE MYSTERIES the first book of which is VIOLET'S PROBLEM.

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