609AD: The Roman Empire in the West has fallen.
Its territories are mostly under the rule of barbarian kings,
supervised, and often domineered over,
by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Eastern Provinces are still ruled by the Emperor from Constantinople.
Here, Greek, not Latin, is now the official language,
and the Christian Faith has been established for almost 300 years.
Though we call this Empire "Byzantium,"
its inhabitants call themselves Romans,
and take pride in their mixed classical and Christian heritage.

But the Empire has fallen on hard times.
Plague has thinned the population.
Heavy taxation and general misgovernment are grinding down the survivors.
The barbarians are pressing south into the Balkans.
Only its vast and impregnable walls
keep the Imperial City itself free from plunder.

Heresy and separatist movements in Egypt and Syria are fast coalescing
to challenge a Gaeco-Roman supremacy that has lasted
since the conquests of Alexander the Great,
a thousand years before.

Still worse, the Persian Empire, a semi-civilised oriental despotism
that rules vast territories to the east, is on the war path.
The Empire's decadent and parasitic ruling class
is no match for the Persian generals.
The provinces are falling one at a time.
Even the money is running out....

Into this world comes Aelric of England.
Young and beautiful, clever and ruthless,
he makes his way to Rome, and then to Constantinople.
Here, he changes his name to the more easily pronounced Alaric,
and rises almost at once to a wealth and power matched only by the Emperor.
Only he knows how to save the Empire -
and, in the process, how to make it worth saving.

But can he stay alive long enough to save the Empire?
Can he kill or outwit his enemies in time?
And how much money and how many books can he accumulate,
and how much sex can he get along the way?

Find out in the six Aelric novels -
available in all good bookshops,
and in at least five foreign languages.

From the Reviews:

"Fascinating to read, very well written, an intriguing plot and I enjoyed it very much."

"Vivid characters, devious plotting and buckets of gore are enhanced by his unfamiliar choice of period. Nasty, fun and educational."

"He knows how to deliver a fast-paced story and his grasp of the period is impressively detailed."

"A rollicking and raunchy read . . . Anyone who enjoys their history with large dollops of action, sex, intrigue
and, above all, fun will absolutely love this novel."
(Historical Novels Review on THE TERROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE)

"It would be hard to over-praise this extraordinary series, a near-perfect blend of historical detail and atmosphere
with the plot of a conspiracy thriller, vivid characters, high philosophy and vulgar comedy."
(Matt Coward, The Morning Star on THE SWORD OF DAMASCUS)

"Richard Blake...is the Ken Russell of historical fiction."
(Moira Hute)