Gordon Doherty books in order
Gordon Doherty is a British author of military historical fiction and adventure fiction novels.
He has written book series such as Empires of Bronze, Legionary, Strategos, and Rise of Emperors.
Passionate about reading and writing, Gordon first developed an interest in history after touring the enigmatic remnants of ancient Rome in Britain and the ancient sun-scorched treasures of Turkey and Greece.
Since then, his adventures have taken him all over the globe, enabling him to travel back in time through his written works of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece, as well as the distant Bronze Age.
Inspired by the likes of Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Sam Barone, and David Gemmell, Gordon hopes that his writing will transport his readers to an ancient world long-gone.
Genres: Adventure, Historical Fiction
Assassin's Creed: Film Tie-ins
- Assassin's Creed Odyssey (2018)
- Rubicon: A HWA Short Story Collection (2019)
Empires of Bronze
- Son of Ishtar (2019)
- Dawn of War (2020)
- Thunder at Kadesh (2020)
- The Crimson Throne (2021)
- The Shadow of Troy (2021)
- The Dark Earth (2022)
- Eagles in the Desert: A Prequel Novella (2020)
- Legionary (2011)
- Viper of the North (2012)
- Land of the Sacred Fire (2013)
- The Scourge of Thracia (2015)
- Gods & Emperors (2015)
- Empire of Shades (2017)
- The Blood Road (2018)
- Dark Eagle (2020)
- The Emperor's Shield (2023)
- Forged in Fire (2017)
Rise of Emperors (Co-authored with Simon Turney)
- Sons of Rome (2021)
- Masters of Rome (2021)
- Gods of Rome (2022)
- Born in the Borderlands (2011)
- Rise of the Golden Heart (2013)
- Island in the Storm (2014)
Detailed book overview
Assassin's Creed: Film Tie-ins
They call her misthios--mercenary--and she will take what she is owed.
Kassandra was raised by her parents to be fierce and uncaring, the ideal Spartan child, destined for greatness. But when a terrible tragedy leaves her stranded on the isle of Kephallonia, near Greece, she decides to find work as a mercenary, away from the constraints of Sparta.
Many years later, Kassandra is plagued by debt and living under the shadow of a tyrant when a mysterious stranger offers her a deal: assassinate the Wolf, a renowned Spartan general, and he will wipe her debt clean. The offer is simple, but the task is not, as she will need to infiltrate the war between Athens and Sparta to succeed.
Kassandra's odyssey takes her behind enemy lines and among uncertain allies. A web of conspiracy threatens her life, and she must cut down the enemies that surround her to get to the truth. Luckily, a Spartan's blade is always sharp.
Ten acclaimed authors. Ten gripping stories.
Immerse yourself in Ancient Rome through a collection of thrilling narratives, featuring soldiers, statesmen and spies.
Read about some of your favourite characters from established series, or be introduced to new writers in the genre.
The stories in Rubicon are, like Rome, diverse and intriguing - involving savage battles, espionage, political intrigue and the lives of ordinary - and extraordinary - Romans, such as Ovid, Marcus Agrippa and a young Julius Caesar.
This brand new collection, brought to you by the Historical Writers' Association, also includes interviews with each author.
Find out more about their writing processes and what attracts them to the Roman world.
View Ancient Rome through fresh eyes.
Rubicon is a feast of moreish tales and a must read for all fans of historical fiction.
Authors & Stories Featured in Rubicon:
Nick Brown - Maker of Gold
Gordon Doherty - Eagles in the Desert
Ruth Downie - Alter Ego
Richard Foreman - A Brief Affair
Alison Morton - Mystery of Victory
Anthony Riches - The Invitation
Antonia Senior - Exiles
Peter Tonkin - The Roman
L.J. Trafford - The Wedding
S.J. Turney - The Praetorian
Empires of Bronze
Four sons. One throne. A world on the precipice.
1315 BC: Tensions soar between the great powers of the Late Bronze Age. The Hittites stand toe-to-toe with Egypt, Assyria and Mycenaean Ahhiyawa, and war seems inevitable.
More, the fierce Kaskan tribes – age-old enemies of the Hittites – amass at the northern borders.When Prince Hattu is born, it should be a rare joyous moment for all the Hittite people.
But when the Goddess Ishtar comes to King Mursili in a dream, she warns that the boy is no blessing, telling of a dark future where he will stain Mursili’s throne with blood and bring destruction upon the world
Thus, Hattu endures a solitary boyhood in the shadow of his siblings, spurned by his father and shunned by the Hittite people. But when the Kaskans invade, Hattu is drawn into the fray. It is a savage journey in which he strives to show his worth and valour.
Yet with his every step, the shadow of Ishtar’s prophecy darkens…
Two great empires on the brink of war, one last hope for peace…
1294 BC: The fragile accord between the Hittite and Egyptian empires is crumbling. The ancient world braces itself for war on an unprecedented scale. Prince Hattu, the greatest of the Hittite generals, suffers dreams of terrible consequences – conjured by the Goddess Ishtar. But Hattu refuses to accept her prophecies, adamant that there is one last chance for peace.
This fragile hope lies in the borderlands of the east, where the two rival empires touch. Hattu gathers a chosen band and sets out for this distant, blistering desert land, determined and defiant. Yet the further he ventures, the darker and more twisted his mission becomes. Old ghosts rise around him and Ishtar haunts his every move.
The Goddess' divinations cannot be avoided, men say. Hattu will walk through fire to prove them wrong.
It will be the cruellest war ever waged, and the Gods will gather to watch…
1275 BC: Tensions between the Hittite and Egyptian Empires erupt and the two great superpowers mobilise for all-out war. Horns blare across the Hittite northlands and the dunes of Egypt rumble with the din of drums as each gathers an army of unprecedented size. Both set their eyes upon the border between their domains, and the first and most important target: a desert city whose name will toll through history. Kadesh!
Prince Hattu has lived in torment for years, plagued by the memory of his wife’s murder. Thoughts of her poisoner, Volca the Sherden – for so long safe and distant by Pharaoh Ramesses’ side – have sullied his dreams, blackened his waking hours and driven him to commit the darkest of deeds. Now that war is here, he at last has the chance to confront his nemesis and have his vengeance.
But as the ancient world goes to war, Hattu will learn that the cold, sweet kiss of revenge comes at a terrible price.
The King of the Hittites has been slain, and a reign of terror begins…
1272 BC: Prince Hattu returns home from the battlefield of Kadesh to find his nephew on the throne, the old king’s blood dripping from his hands. Under Urhi-Teshub’s reign, the Hittite realm has become a land of fear and violent reprisals. Ancient family lines and old ways are being wiped out as the young tyrant strengthens his bronze-fisted grip on power.
Hattu’s loved ones are spared only in return for his absolute obedience. Yet he knows he must choose between his family and his burning need for restitution. The Goddess Ishtar, ever-present in his dreams, assures him that there is only one future.
A war for the throne is coming… and blood will be let.
The war at Troy has raged for ten years. Its final throes will echo through eternity…
1258 BC: Surrounded and outnumbered by the army of Agamemnon, King Priam and his Trojan forces fight desperately to defend their city. In the lulls between battle, all talk inevitably turns to the mighty ally that has not yet arrived to their aid. Agamemnon will weep for mercy, the Trojans say, when the eastern horizons darken with the endless ranks of the Hittite Empire.
King Hattu has endured a miserable time since claiming the Hittite throne. Vassals distance themselves while rival empires circle, mocking him as an illegitimate king. Worst of all, the army of the Hittites is but a memory, destroyed in the civil war that won him the throne. Knowing that he must honour his empire’s oath to protect Troy, he sets off for Priam’s city with almost nothing, praying that the dreams he has endured since his youth – of Troy in ruins – can be thwarted. All the way, an ancient mantra rings in his head: Hittites should always heed their dreams.
The time will come, as all times must, when the world will shake, and fall to dust…
1237 BC: It is an age of panic. The great empires are in disarray – ravaged by endless drought, shaken by ferocious earthquakes and starved of precious tin. Some say the Gods have abandoned mankind.
When Tudha ascends the Hittite throne, the burden of stabilising the realm falls upon his shoulders. Despite his valiant endeavours, things continue to disintegrate; allies become foes, lethal plots arise, and enemy battle horns echo across Hittite lands.
Yet this is nothing compared to the colossal, insidious shadow emerging from the west. Crawling unseen towards Tudha’s collapsing Hittite world comes a force unlike any ever witnessed; an immeasurable swarm of outlanders, driven by the cruel whip of nature, spreading fire and destruction: the Sea Peoples.
Every age must end. The measure of a man is how he chooses to face it.
The Roman Empire is crumbling, and a shadow looms in the east…
376 AD: the Eastern Roman Empire is alone against the tide of barbarians swelling on her borders. Emperor Valens juggles the paltry border defences to stave off invasion from the Goths north of the Danube. Meanwhile, in Constantinople, a pact between faith and politics spawns a lethal plot that will bring the dark and massive hordes from the east crashing down on these struggling borders.
The fates conspire to see Numerius Vitellius Pavo, enslaved as a boy after the death of his legionary father, thrust into the limitanei, the border legions, just before they are sent to recapture the long-lost eastern Kingdom of Bosporus. He is cast into the jaws of this plot, so twisted that the survival of the entire Roman world hangs in the balance…
The Danubian frontier is weaker than ever, and a storm is gathering in the north . . .
Deep winter, 376 AD: Emperor Valens has withdrawn the field armies from Moesia and Thracia to fight in the Persian War. The impoverished limitanei legions left behind to defend the banks of the River Danubius are now all that stand between the war-hungry Goths and heart of the Eastern Roman Empire.
For Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia, the brief from Emperor Valens is simple: to avoid war with the Goths at all costs while the Roman defences are so weak. But in the frozen lands north of the Danubius a dark legend, thought long dead, has risen again. The name is on the lips of every warrior in Gutthiuda; the one who will unite the tribes, the one whose armies will march upon the empire, the one who will bathe in Roman blood . . . The Viper!
The empire is on its knees, but a last hope lies beyond the eastern frontier . . .
377 AD: Emperor Valens has stripped the Persian frontier of its legions, sending every available man to Thracia in an effort to contain the rampaging Gothic hordes. Now, covetous eyes have fallen upon Rome’s trade-rich but sparsely defended desert provinces. Shapur II, Shahanshah of the Sassanid Empire and his many client kings have long believed Rome’s eastern holdings to be theirs by ancestral right, and those lands have never been more vulnerable. Thus, Valens must grasp at the slimmest of hopes that a Persian invasion can be staved off, not by the brute force of absent legions, but by the tenacity of a hardy few. For in the heart of enemy lands, something thought long lost might just offer salvation.
When Optio Numerius Vitellius Pavo and a select group of the XI Claudia are summoned to the Persian front, they leave Thracia behind, knowing little of what awaits them. They know only that they are to march into a burning land of strange gods. They whisper tales of the mighty Persian Savaran cavalry and pray to Mithras they will see their homes and families again.
All too soon it becomes clear to them that this is no ordinary mission – indeed, the very fate of the empire might rest upon their efforts. But for Pavo the burden is weightier still, for he knows that the east also holds something even more precious to him . . . the truth about his father.
The legions are in tatters, and the Gothic hordes are gathering beyond the mountains . . .
377 AD: Thracia’s legions are few and broken in the wake of the Battle of Ad Salices. But the scattered centuries and cohorts rally in an effort to blockade the Haemus Mountain passes and hold back the relentless attacks of Fritigern’s swelling Gothic armies. These passes must endure until Eastern Emperor Valens and Western Emperor Gratian can muster and bring their Praesental Armies in relief.
Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia return to Constantinople from their brutal Persian sortie to hear widespread tales of Thracia’s plight and the precarious mountain blockades. Each of them knows what is at stake should those passes fall: the heartland of the Eastern Empire would face the wrath of the barbarians and loved ones would be at the mercy of their savage blades.
When the Claudia are despatched to aid the effort at the mountains, Pavo can think only of two souls wandering in the jaws of the Gothic threat: his beloved Felicia and his lost half-brother, Dexion. So he and his comrades march at haste, headlong into the storm that awaits them . . .
The fate of the East rests on the edge of a sword as the legions and the Goths march to war…
378 AD: Fritigern’s Gothic horde tightens its iron grip on Thracia and only a handful of well-walled cities to the south remain in imperial hands. The few tattered legions pinned in these cities can only watch on from the battlements as smoke rises across their lost lands and the Goths roam at will, pillaging and extorting.
Every Roman – legionary or citizen – speaks of only one thing: the Emperors of East and West, Valens and Gratian, who are said to be closing swiftly on this war-stricken land, each bringing with them vast armies capable of vanquishing the horde.
Awaiting the relief armies in Constantinople, Centurion Pavo and the XI Claudia prepare as best they can. The Gothic War has taken much from each of them, and none more so than Pavo. But still he and his fellow officers cling to the chance that two lost to them might yet return: their leaders, Tribunus Gallus and Primus Pilus Dexion – Pavo’s brother – have not been seen or heard from since setting off on a mission to Emperor Gratian’s court in the West.
Some are sure they must have fallen, yet Pavo refuses to give up hope, instead whetting his blade and praying that fate will guide the pair back in time for the clash that is to come: a clash that promises to end the Gothic War – for the empire’s finest legions are destined to meet Fritigern’s ferocious masses… on the plains of Adrianople.
379 AD: Thracia has fallen to the Gothic horde…
With the ashes of Adrianople still swirling in the air, the Eastern Roman Empire is in turmoil. The emperor is dead, the throne lies empty and the remaining fragments of the army are few and scattered. Numerius Vitellius Pavo, now Tribunus of the XI Claudia, tries to hold his patchwork ranks together amidst the storm. One of the few legions to have survived the disaster at Adrianople, the Claudia do what they can to keep alive the dying flame of hope.
When word spreads of a new Eastern Emperor, those hopes rise. But the coming of this leader will stir the Gothic War to new heights. And it will cast Pavo headlong into the sights of the one responsible for the East’s plight – a man mighty and seemingly untouchable, and one who will surely crush any who dares to challenge him.
From the ashes of Adrianople, new heroes will rise… with dark ghosts in close pursuit.
381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor's name will be written in blood...
The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East!
The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades... and tides of blood.
What hope has one forgotten soldier of bringing an emperor to justice?
Winter, 382 AD. The Gothic War is over. After years of bloodshed, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Goths have struck a deal for peace. Imperial heralds crow about the treaty as if it were a triumph. Feasts and celebrations take place across the Eastern provinces. Every hero of the war is honoured and acclaimed... except one.
Tribunus Pavo languishes in exile, haunted by a dark truth: that it was Gratian, Emperor of the West – the most powerful man alive – who caused the war and manipulated its every turn. Tormented by memories of loved ones lost during the great conflict, one word tolls endlessly through Pavo’s mind: Justice!
But in this great game of empire, justice rarely comes without a grave cost…
Easier to split the sky, than part a soldier from his blade.
386 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire faces a trident of threats. The Gothic truce grows unstable. The standoff with Persia escalates. And the ambitions of the usurper on the Western throne grow dangerously unchecked.
Pavo, a broken veteran of the legions, cares for none of these things. His life is one of pastoral seclusion on his Thracian farm. A life of love, of peace. His wife and young son are his world. Still, every so often, things seen and done in his old life haunt him, like a cold and unwelcome breeze. But that is all they are, echoes of the past…
…until the past rises, like a shade, to rip his world and the Roman Empire apart.
Forged in Fire: three searing historical novels that cut a swathe through separate histories - each one with a protagonist who has the weight of empires upon their shoulders.
Marius' Mules I:
It is 58 BC and the mighty Tenth Legion, camped in Northern Italy, prepare for the arrival of the most notorious general in Roman history: Julius Caesar.
Marcus Falerius Fronto, commander of the Tenth, is about to discover that politics can be as dangerous as battle, that old enemies can be trusted more than new friends, and that when standing close to such a shining figure as Caesar, even the most ethical of men risk being burned.
Strategos: Born in the Borderlands:
1046 AD The Byzantine Empire teeters on full blown war. In the borderlands of Eastern Anatolia, young Apion’s life is shattered in one swift and brutal Seljuk night raid.
A hunger for revenge burns in his soul, and he is drawn down a dark path that leads him right into the heart of a conflict that will echo through the ages.
Tyrian purple, the unique dye that denotes Byzantine power, is held under close guard by the imperial house. To steal it is treason against the Empire.
A secret supply has been discovered and Tobias the minstrel begins a perilous journey into the heart of Byzantium to retrieve the purple and deliver it to a Venetian merchant’s hands.
Trade is cut-throat and men are expendable as life dances on the edge of a sword-blade. Money is power and Constantinople provides the exotic backdrop during a time of secrets and shadows.
Rise of Emperors (Co-authored with Simon Turney)
Four Emperors. Two Friends. One Destiny.
As twilight descends on the 3rd century AD, the Roman Empire is but a shadow of its former self. Decades of usurping emperors, splinter kingdoms, and savage wars have left the people beleaguered, the armies weary, and the future uncertain. And into this chaos Emperor Diocletian steps, reforming the succession to allow for not one emperor to rule the world, but four.
Meanwhile, two boys share a chance meeting in the great city of Treverorum as Diocletian's dream is announced to the imperial court. Throughout the years that follow, they share heartbreak and glory as that dream sours and the empire endures an era of tyranny and dread. Their lives are inextricably linked, their destinies ever-converging as they rise through Rome's savage stations, to the zenith of empire. For Constantine and Maxentius, the purple robes beckon...
Their rivalry will change the world forever.
As competition for the imperial throne intensifies, Constantine and Maxentius realise their childhood friendship cannot last. Each man struggles to control their respective quadrant of empire, battered by currents of politics, religion and personal tragedy, threatened by barbarian forces and enemies within.
With their positions becoming at once stronger and more troubled, the strained threads of their friendship begin to unravel. Unfortunate words and misunderstandings finally sever their ties, leaving them as bitter opponents in the greatest game of all, with the throne of Rome the prize.
It is a matter that can only be settled by outright war...
For one to rule, the other must die.
312 AD is a year of horrific and brutal warfare. Constantine's northern army is a small force, plagued by religious rivalries, but seemingly unstoppable as they invade Maxentius' Italian heartlands. These relentless clashes, incidents of treachery and twists of fortune see Maxentius' armies driven back to Rome.
Constantine has his prize in sight, yet his army is diminished and on the verge of revolt. Maxentius meanwhile works to calm a restive and dissenting Roman populace. When the two forces clash in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, there are factors at work beyond their control and soon they are left with carnage.
There is only one way Constantine and Maxentius' rivalry will end. With one on a bloodied sword and the other the sole ruler of Rome...
An orphan's tale. Born in a broken land, drawn into a savage war
When the falcon has flown, the mountain lion will charge from the east, and all Byzantium will quake. Only one man can save the empire . . . the Haga!
1046 AD. The Byzantine Empire teeters on full-blown war with the Seljuk Sultanate. In the borderlands of Eastern Anatolia, a land riven with bloodshed and doubt, young Apion's life is shattered in one swift and brutal Seljuk night raid. Only the benevolence of Mansur, a Seljuk farmer, offers him a second chance of happiness.
Yet a hunger for revenge burns in Apion's soul, and he is drawn down a dark path that leads him right into the heart of a conflict that will echo through the ages.
A voyage into the heart of Byzantium…
Stay strong, Haga, for the Golden Heart will rise in the west. At dawn, he will wear the guise of a lion hunter. At noon, he will march to the east as if to conquer the sun itself. At dusk, you will stand with him in the final battle, like an island in the storm . . .
1068 AD: the armies of the Seljuk Sultanate tear at Byzantium's borders, poised to strike the death blow that will bring all Anatolia under their yoke. Alp Arslan's armies grow stronger with every passing season, while the beleaguered Byzantine soldiers defend for their lives, the hope in their hearts guttering its last.
This war has been Apion's mistress for many years, casting a dark shadow across his soul. When the mysterious crone comes to him, she can offer him only a glimmer of light. But at the darkest of moments, the smallest chink of light can be blinding. It will sweep Apion into the heart of the empire, Constantinople, and then onto the arid plains of Syria. It will taunt him with trust, betrayal, intrigue, love and brutal conflict. But, above all, it will offer him hope.
The storm is upon us, Haga. The answers you seek dance within its wrath . . .
1071 AD. Emperor Romanus Diogenes has rekindled the guttering flame of Byzantium. Yet in the eastern borderlands, two vital strongholds hang in the balance. Manzikert and Chliat must be won to secure the empire’s fragile frontiers and vanquish the would-be usurpers who covet the imperial throne. But Sultan Alp Arslan and his vast Seljuk armies look to those twin fortress-towns also, resolute on seizing them first.
Apion rides by the emperor’s side as they march east, marshalling Byzantium’s armies for the conflict that is to come. He knows only too well that the threat posed by the Sultan’s hordes is well-matched by malevolent forces within the Byzantine ranks. Thus, the road to war is a savage one, but one he cannot refuse. For at its end, Fate beckons, taunting him with a choice of two futures.
On the plains of Manzikert, one great power will rise and another will fall. On the plains of Manzikert, Apion will face the storm.