top of page

The First King of Britain - an Editorial Review of "Magnus Maximus"

Book Blurb:

Get all 31 ebooks FREE! Almost 100,000 Magnus books sold! #1 in Historical Thrillers, #1 in Military Thrillers, #1 in War Fiction, #1 in Military Science Fiction, #1 in Historical Fantasy, & #1 in Alternative History on Amazon. In 367 AD, an actual evil genius named Valentinus gets 5 foreign armies to invade Britain in what historians call The Great Conspiracy. Meet the real-life hero sent to stop them. Magnus Maximus means Maximum Great – that’s his name and he’ll become a Roman emperor in 383. But this long-suffering orphan has demons from his past that darken his future. His first cousin may become a lasting enemy whose idiot sons ruin Rome, destroy Western civilization, and start 1000 years of darkness. Meet the greatest Roman you’ve never heard of, take a tour of antiquity, see what started the Dark Ages, and enjoy the 4th century today with this 31-book historical saga.

Author Bio:

I have a Master's degree, I speak Spanish, I've lived years overseas, I've been self-employed since I was 6, and I married a Colombian. My father was a magazine editor and I grew up writing. I try to put the most story in the fewest words without unnecessary dialog and hope my books can support my family when I'm gone. Authors approach books differently. I won't start a story until I have a unique twist or premise, then develop a detailed story arc. George Bernard Shaw said he doesn't write stories, but creates characters who beget them. Stephen King gets an idea and starts without knowing how it will end, while John Grisham won't begin a book until he summarizes each chapter on a card. Characters often take on a life of their own and Voltaire said it's not a tragedy unless the most like-able character dies. A protagonist must suffer for readers to feel sympathy, so everyone in A Game of Thrones suffers often. It's better to be a great storyteller than a great writer because awesome prose can't save a weak plot. I prefer to entertain than impress. You may contact me at

Editorial Review:

Helmets, armor, and arms cost more than most peasants made in a year, unless they stole from richer neighbors. The Pax Romana (Roman Peace) started by Caesar had given Gaul five centuries of peace and prosperity, unlike the forests of Germania, with its thin soils and financially insecure souls. Stability, trade, and commerce enriched Celts and Western German.

Everything the majority of the world knows about ancient Rome and the Roman culture we get from movies. Most people know the image of a Roman soldier, their organization and their colors from movies. While we may credit movies for bringing these long-forgotten cultures back to life, there are better sources of information for people: books. The best way to learn about a culture is by opening a book and turning the pages, and this book would prove the theory correct. This book provides a detailed recollection of Roman culture, their unique lives and their exceptional army tactics and more.

Theo took the 1st Batavi Century to the River Forth while the others looked for a few more days. It surprised him to see a thousand Picts on the southern riverbank, large berms surrounding them. Several thousand tribesmen had camped around them, like this was normal.

One of the things to love about this book is how the author depicts the Roman army and their exploits. Prior knowledge about the Roman army is that it was the strongest and most efficient army which swept through any other army in the world, and was the most disciplined one. However, this book manages to humanize the army units and show that this army was comprised of human beings. The author thus gives the reader, Max, a young Roman soldier who has just joined the army. Through this character, we see how much the Roman empire was flawed and more importantly, not what we imagined. We see first that the Roman army was not entirely comprised of Roman soldiers and that it had some mercenaries who had been hired. We also see the jealousy and greed among some of the army officials who always wanted to be at the top, constantly fighting their fellow combatants for these promotions. The author masterfully crafts all these characters to bring this aspect to life, showing how the world knows nothing much about the Romans, making the book more interesting. This doubt is introduced in the first few pages of the book to grow the seed of doubt in the reader, and shows them that they have been misinformed and why they need to read more. Maybe what we know about Quintus Fabius Maximus is not entirely true, maybe there’s something more. The introduction of the book, how the author cunningly plants seeds of dishonesty, is an interesting and crucial aspect of the book.

Outside the northern walls of the capital lay a sprawling estate that was almost as big as the city. The last survivors of that family desperately needed to sell as the Great Conspiracy shattered their sense of safety. They all wanted to return to Rome, where civilized people were safe. Max cheaply bought them out on credit with his uncle co-signing the loan. Max not only had a place to put his prisoners, but something for them to do: remove trees and bushes, clear the topsoil, and clean the hard bedrock so he could build.

Another point of the book that stands out is the politics of Rome, and how decisions are made in a civilized community. The book dedicates a significant part in discussing the politics of Rome, and how decisions were made. The author shows the true impact of war, the decision-making process, the sacrifices that are made, and the perception of the common people. The author shows that war isn’t something that can be arranged in a few days, and he shows the hustle of creating and uniting an army and the voices of dissent that often arise. What’s interesting is that the reader is more likely to resonate or understand the oppression of the war. On one side, we see people who want to go to war and reap the efforts of the young and the poor, yet the level of hypocrisy that these leaders show. On the other hand, we see how the poor are affected by the war, and the price they have to pay at the expense of the glory of the commanders and generals. This book gives us a glaring view of things from the ground level, from the boots on the ground.

With a troop of cavalry, the four family members and Pelagius rode the Via Principalis through the market. Burnt or broken shops, stores, and restaurants summarized the destruction. They saw leather, linen, and metalworking shops, with homes in the back; glass and pottery manufacturers, plus wine merchants. Londinium was a cosmopolitan city that sent and received stuff from around the empire: Syrian silk, Samian wares, Anatolian marble, Egyptian emeralds, Iberian wine.

Having said that, the work of the author in creating the characters must be pointed out and how different and relatable they are. Most authors tend to focus on one or two characters in the book and use the rest as pieces to tell the story of their main characters. However, the author of this book does the complete opposite. The author creates complex characters that true book lovers will love, the ones not easily understood, and the only way to understand them is to turn the next page. We see their morally ambiguous motives and how a part of you, as the reader, might be corruptible, lending towards siding with them. This is one of the things to love about this book, to connect to the storyline and the characters, especially history enthusiasts looking for their next must-read story.


“Magnus Maximus” by Brent Reilly receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company


bottom of page