Derek Birks books in order
Derek Birks is a British bestselling author of historical fiction novels.
Born in Hampshire, England and partly raised in Auckland, New Zealand, he studied History at the University of Reading before proceeding to launch a career as a secondary school teacher.
Through teaching, Derek was able to gain invaluable experience on what readers find interesting in historical material–something that later helped him as a writer.
A huge fan of historical fiction for as long as he can recall, with some of his favorites being Robin Hood, King Arthur, and Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers, Derek wrote his first book before he was seventeen–although it never went anywhere.
However, he later got to publish historical fiction novels set in the Wars of the Roses period, as well as in post-Roman Britain.
Derek, who enjoys traveling, gardening, walking and reading, currently lives in Dorset, England.
Genre: Historical Fiction
- Betrayal (2020)
- Imperium (2021)
Last of the Romans
- The Last of the Romans (2019)
- Britannia World's End (2020)
- New Dawn: A Last of the Romans Novella (2020)
- Land of Fire (2021)
Wars of the Roses
- Feud (2012)
- A Traitor's Fate (2013)
- Kingdom of Rebels (2014)
- The Last Shroud (2015)
- Scars From The Past (2016)
- The Blood of Princes (2018)
- Echoes of Treason (2019)
- Shadow of Doubt (2020)
- Crown of Fear (2021)
Detailed book overview
"Loyalty breaks as easily as a silken thread."
Misplaced trust, power hunger, emotional blackmail, and greed haunt twelve characters from post-Roman Britain to the present day. And betrayal by family, lover, comrade can be even more devastating.
Read twelve tales by twelve accomplished writers who explore these historical yet timeless challenges:
AD455—Roman leader Ambrosius is caught in a whirlpool of shifting allegiances
AD940—Alyeva and cleric Dunstan navigate the dangers of the Anglo Saxon court
1185—Knight Stephan fights for comradeship, duty, and honour. But what about love?
1330—The powerful Edmund of Kent enters a tangled web of intrigue
1403—Thomas Percy must decide whether to betray his sovereign or his family
1457—Estelle is invited to the King of Cyprus’s court, but deception awaits
1483—Has Elysabeth made the right decision to bring Prince Edward to London?
1484—Margaret Beaufort contemplates the path to treason
1577—Francis Drake contends with disloyalty at sea
1650—Can James Hart, Royalist highwayman, stop a nemesis destroying his friend?
1718—Pirate Annie Bonny, her lover Calico Jack, and a pirate hunter. Who will win?
1849/present—Carina must discover her ancestor’s betrayer in Italy or face ruin.
Aspects of History, the new hub for history and historical fiction, are proud to publish Imperium.
The collection covers tales from both the Roman Republic and Empire, written by a number of bestselling authors in the genre - including Simon Turney, Peter Tonkin and Richard Foreman.
Many of the stories include famous characters from popular series, as well as famous and infamous figures from history - such as Quintus Valerius, Caractacus and Marcus Agrippa.
Read your favorite authors or be introduced to new ones.
Aquileia, by Derek Birks
Caractacus and Agrippina, by David Boyle
Friends in High Places, by Richard Foreman
The Harpax Agenda, by Alistair Forrest
Wolves of Viroconium, by Jacquie Rogers
The Nubian Woman, by Peter Tonkin
Homeward Bound, by S.J.A. Turney
Last of the Romans
454 AD. Northern Italy.
Dux Ambrosius Aurelianus has served the Roman Empire with distinction.
His bucellarii, a small band of irregular soldiers, have helped to bring a fragile peace to the beleaguered empire in the west. But, with the empire now at peace, his master, Flavius Aetius, decides to chain up his dogs of war.
Ambrosius and his men are left to idle away their days in a rural backwater, but Ambrosius’ boredom is brutally swept aside when old rivals seize the opportunity to destroy him.
Pursued as a traitor by the imperial guard, Ambrosius takes his loyal band, along with other dissident soldiers and a Saxon girl, Inga, into the mountains.
Since nowhere is safe, Ambrosius travels north, across the crumbling ruins of the empire, to his estranged family in Gaul. But there too, he finds nothing but conflict, for his home town is now besieged by a small army of rebellious Franks.
Freedom and peace seem a world away.
Whatever course the soldier takes, Ambrosius and his bucellarii will need to muster all their strength and skill to survive.
At the twilight of the empire, they may be the Last of the Romans…
Even after years of Roman rule, Britannia is a conflicted and largely untamed land.
Disgraced Imperial Officer, Dux Ambrosius Aurelianus, flees to its shores seeking sanctuary in the land of his deceased mother. His years of loyal service to the emperor count for nothing now. He must carve out a new life beyond the empire.
Accompanying Ambrosius is a disparate group of fellow refugees: Inga, a freed Saxon slave, his bucellarii – warriors sworn to him - and the surviving members of his estranged family.
The burden of command weighs heavy on his shoulders, for when he lands in the country, winter is fast approaching.
But the weather is not the only thing inhospitable towards the newcomers.
Plagued by troubles, Ambrosius faces opponents among both the native Britons and Saxon settlers. He discovers that no-one in Britannia - least of all, the High King, Vortigern - still fears the soldiers of the decaying empire.
When those he loves are savagely abducted and betrayal divides his company, Ambrosius is left with only a handful of his bucellarii. Though heavily outnumbered and unfamiliar with the land, Ambrosius remains undaunted.
Pitted against powerful opponents, the Roman will need new allies if he is to free the hostages and make Britannia his home.
There will be blood.
After wintering at Villa Magna to recover from his bitter struggle against the British High King Vortigern, ex-Imperial Officer Dux Ambrosius Aurelianus leads his motley company westwards. He hopes to find a safe refuge in the south-west near Durnovaria, where he believes his dead mother’s kinfolk might be found.
Arriving in the area, Ambrosius finds a small, abandoned settlement where his company can take shelter for the night before moving on to the town of Vindocladia – just north of Durnovaria. But Vortigern has put the word out: a high blood price will be paid to anyone who captures Ambrosius; and there are many who would take up the challenge…
Late Spring, 455 AD.
After a brutal winter struggle against the High King Vortigern, outcast imperial officer Ambrosius Aurelianus has led his weary followers to south-west Britannia in search of his mother's kinfolk. But Vortigern, thirsting for revenge is already forging a dangerous alliance against him.
Taking refuge in a ruined Roman fort near the decaying town of Vindocladia, Ambrosius finds an ally in Lurotriga, the widowed queen of the Durotriges. Though still sworn to his Saxon lady Inga, he is soon beguiled by the British noblewoman.
Between Inga and her new rival there can be no compromise and their enmity threatens to cause a rift between the Britons and Saxons of Ambrosius’ company.
If Vortigern attacks before the fort is repaired Ambrosius fears the outcome. He must find allies fast but, in a land of squabbling rival tribes the Roman encounters more enemies than friends. A treaty with neighboring Dumnonia offers Ambrosius some hope, but commits him to defend the south coast against Scotti raiders. Ambrosius’ forces are stretched perilously thin putting the lives of Lurotriga and others at risk.
As Ambrosius prepares to pursue Vortigern for a final reckoning, his quest to discover his mother's kin suddenly delivers a startling revelation, but will it help him to defeat the High King?
Heavily outnumbered in the thick forests and steep valleys of Vortigern's homeland, Ambrosius must rely upon the fighting spirit of his small force of bucellarii and raw recruits. But sometimes courage alone is not enough.
Wars of the Roses
As the Wars of the Roses begin, the rule of law breaks down...
In 1459 open war breaks out between the Houses of York and Lancaster and a desperate struggle for the crown of England begins. Yet, while the fire of civil war burns, an old local score is being settled in the heart of Yorkshire.
Young and untried knight, Ned Elder, finds himself at the center of a bitter feud when his father is executed, his brother butchered, and his sisters abducted. Ned barely escapes with his life and is pursued across the land with only a few loyal companions.
Determined to find his sisters, recover his lands and put an end to the feud, Ned is forced to take sides in the civil war. He soon gains a formidable reputation in the Yorkist army of young Edward, Earl of March, but the path he must follow is brutal for his enemies are relentless and will show no mercy.
While Ned risks all upon the snow-covered battlefield of Towton, his sisters and the girl he loves must also fight for their very survival. In the wake of the battle, the brutal feud is played out to its bloody conclusion.
During the Wars of the Roses, peace never lasts...
It is 1464. Ned Elder and his two sisters, Emma & Eleanor, have won a hard-fought peace and their feud with the Radcliffes seems long over, but one man never accepted the outcome. After three bitter years of waiting to destroy the Elders, a new ally provides him with a fresh opportunity for revenge.
When Ned is summoned to confront a Lancastrian revolt by the new king, Edward of York, he finds his enemies are not just amongst the ranks of the rebels. Branded a traitor by his own commander, the Earl of Warwick, Ned is soon a wanted man in hostile territory and the price on his head only rises when he stumbles upon a royal secret.
Meanwhile, Eleanor and Emma watch over Ned's pregnant wife, Amelie, with only a small garrison of old men and boys to protect them. The feud may have ended, but the scars run deep for all three women and they must hold their nerve and prepare to defend themselves at any cost.
A condemned man, Ned must find a way to escape his pursuers or else the whole Elder family will be destroyed.
When all hope is gone, only death lies in wait…
England in 1468 is a nervous kingdom. King Edward IV has fallen out with his chief ally during the Wars of the Roses, the powerful Earl of Warwick.
Ned Elder, a young lord whose sword helped to put Edward on the throne, has been forced out of England by Warwick. Far away on the Scottish border, a beleaguered fort, Crag Tower, desperately awaits Ned's return. Led by his fiery sister, Eleanor, the dwindling garrison is all that remains of his brave army of retainers.
Unknown to all except the loyal knight, Ragwulf, Eleanor has Ned's young son in her charge - a son who has never seen his father. But, as border clansmen batter the gates with fire, the castle seems certain to fall.
One by one Ned's family and friends are caught up in Warwick's web of treason. The fate of the Elders and those who serve them lies once more in the balance as all are drawn back to Yorkshire where they face old enemies once more.
Eleanor can only hope that Ned will soon return. She must fight to keep that hope alive... and when Lady Eleanor fights, she takes no prisoners...
The Wars of the Roses must be settled on the field of battle. The prize? The crown of England.
July 1469: just as England has finally found peace, a revolt breaks out against King Edward IV, forcing Ned Elder to take up his sword once more. But is Ned the warrior he once was? As the kingdom spirals into civil war, divisions between Ned and his sisters, Emma and Eleanor, threaten the family's very survival. Out of the turmoil of rebellion steps an old enemy who offers to help Emma, but can she trust him?
Will the Elder family stand together when it matters most? They must, if they are to survive.
An unwelcome legacy. An impossible love. A relentless enemy.
By 1481, England has been free from civil war for ten years.
The Elder family have discovered a fragile peace in the lands they fought to win back, yet scars from the past remain with them all. Given time, they might heal, but when did the Elders ever have enough time? And close to home in Ludlow, trouble is stirring.
Born out of the bloody devastation of the Wars of the Roses, young John Elder is now the heir to his father's legacy, but he finds it a poisonous one. Driven from the woman he loves by a duty he fears, John abandons his legacy and flees the country to become a mercenary in Flanders.
In his absence, stalked by a ruthless outlaw, the Elder family must face a deadly storm of blood and chaos. When the young heir to the throne, Edward, Prince of Wales, is caught up in their bitter struggle, the future appears bleak.
Only if the Elders can put the scars from the past behind them, is there any hope of survival.
A savage tale of love, treason and betrayal.
A bloody struggle for power at the heart of the royal court.
In April 1483, the sudden death of King Edward IV brings his 12 year old son to the throne.
Restless young lord and ex-mercenary John Elder is newly-appointed to the service of Edward, Prince of Wales, and charged with the boy's safety. His first task, escorting the new king to London for his coronation, seems a simple one but the accession of a boy king raises concerns among the leading noblemen of the land.
As old jealousies and feuds are rekindled, the new king's uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, seizes control and plunges the kingdom into crisis. But is Gloucester young Edward's enemy, or saviour?
While John, outlawed and trapped, must wait to see how events unfold, other members of the battle-scarred Elder family are drawn, one by one, into his conspiracy. Soon they are mired so deep in the murky underbelly of London society, that there seems no hope of escape from the tangle of intrigue and murder.
In the end, all lives will hang upon the outcome of a daring incursion into the Tower of London itself.
THE RED DRAGON OF WALES IS COMING...
It is autumn 1483 and Richard III is king of England, but rumors about the fate of his nephews are rife and dissent is beginning to grow. Waiting in Brittany, is the exiled Lancastrian heir to the throne, Henry Tudor, who senses that his moment has come. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Stanley, plots to restore her son's fortunes with a series of revolts against King Richard.
After the disastrous events of the summer, the embattled Elder family is scattered and in hiding. The outlawed head of the family, John, has escaped to Flanders along with a few loyal comrades, his sister, Meg, and his lover, Isabel. But the Elders will not be left to lick their wounds for long, because William Catesby, influential servant of King Richard, has made it his mission to destroy them.
When Lady Stanley tries to draw the Elders into the Tudor rebellion, John must decide whether he can cast aside his long-held Yorkist loyalties. Should he join Henry Tudor under the banner of St. George and the dragon of Wales?
It is the devil's choice: poverty and a life in exile, or the slim chance of returning home by the fickle path of treason.
By the early spring of 1485, the Elder family are still licking the wounds sustained in the abortive October Rebellion of 1483 against King Richard III. The head of the family, outlawed Lord John Elder has joined the pretender, Henry Tudor in France while his aunt and half-sister linger in the dubious safety of Ludlow.
King Richard’s closest adviser, William Catesby, knowing an invasion is certain is keen to capture any of Tudor’s supporters if they land in England. Henry Tudor though is also anxious to find out who, among prominent Englishmen, he can rely upon.
So in March 1485 he sends his trusted ally, John Elder to sound out one man who might hold the key to his success in the south west.
England, August 1485.
For almost thirty years, the Elder family has been ravaged by the feud between York and Lancaster. Now exiled John Elder, yearning for an end to the Elders’ troubles, throws his support behind a young, untried pretender, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond.
Henry’s tiny invasion force looks certain to be heavily outnumbered by the massive host that Richard III has summoned. But nothing is certain for some of King Richard’s subjects are wondering if the dire rumours they have heard about him are true.
Since one of Richard’s most powerful nobles, Lord Thomas Stanley is also Henry's stepfather the king takes Stanley’s son hostage. If Stanley deserts him, the king must rely upon the vast army of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, but the earl has long resented Richard’s power in the north.
King Richard's chief councillor, Sir William Catesby, keen to protect his king decides to crush the dangerous Elder brood once and for all. So, one by one John’s kinfolk are captured and imprisoned.
On a marshy plain not far from Market Bosworth the fate of the Elders and the kingdom of England will finally be settled.