The book “Warrior of Rome. The Amber Road” is the sixth and final part of Harry Sidebottom’s historical novel published by Rebis. The action of the novel takes place in the year 264 CE and tells of the voyage of the title character, Ballista, north to Hyperborea, his home country. To top it all off, the Empire finds itself in a civil war when Postumus proclaims himself emperor of the western Roman provinces. Rightful August Galien must crush the rebellion and restore internal order.
Ballista will once again have to face many adversities and learn the secret of his journey. The plot will not lack Balista’s former love and rivalry with distant barbarian peoples. It is worth mentioning that Balista’s journey will lead along the waterways of Central and Eastern Europe: the Dnieper and the Vistula, which should additionally interest the Polish reader. The main character will have contact with people living in Poland and the mouth of the Vistula River.
Most readers will surely be sad to read the last part of the adventures, the real character, Ballista. The awareness that the great adventure of the hero, who is practically in every corner of the Empire and beyond, is coming to an end, causes unpleasant feelings. The whole volume turned out to be extremely successful. The author of the historical novel himself emphasized that some aspects of the action were deliberately stretched and were not true. What is important, however, in the afterword, he explains his decisions and indicates the relevant literature that was useful to him when writing, and which can be a supplement for readers who want to explore further.
The last part of the novel cannot be rated worse than the previous ones, considering that it is the finale of a great story. The action, as in the other volumes, is fast, the characters expressive, the work abounds in historical and mythological flavors, and the reader reaching for the last volume without contact with the previous ones will certainly not get lost.
It is sad that the novel ends. However, the humor will certainly improve the news that the eminent writer Harry Sidebottom is currently working on a new, hopefully equally outstanding, work set in Roman times.