Marian L Thorpe

Author of “Empress & Soldier”

A warm welcome to Marian L Thorpe, who has just published her stand-alone novel, “Empress & Soldier”, reviewed here by Fiona Forsyth . . .

Content on this page © Marian L Thorpe 2023

“My books are historical fiction of an imagined world, one that is close to Britain, Northern Europe, and Rome, but isn’t any of them. A world where a society evolved differently after the Eastern Empire left, an Empire on the edge of history.”

So writes Marian L. Thorpe about her acclaimed “Empire’s Legacy” series. This could be a danger, I thought, as I began the stand-alone novel set in the world of “Empire’s Legacy”: would a died-in-the-wool history buff like me be able to cope with elements that I did not recognise? Would I spend the whole read unable to cope with the differences, muttering crossly every time I spotted a bit of Roman-ness??

And the answer was that I managed “Empress and Soldier” just fine, immediately drawn into this new – and familiar – world. I actually found it hugely interesting to see which details I could identify as “Roman” and how the author had used them in her world-building. The patron-client relationship is, I felt, particularly well handled. Hints of Latin pepper the narrative and the conversations, and again, I enjoyed seeing them used by the author to signal layers in status and conventions of her society.
Marion L Thorpe is a very skilful storyteller and the read goes smoothly and easily. It’s a deceptive ease though: it is borne out of beautifully crafted prose, and a confidence in her characters and world. I found that my visualisation of the scenes was almost unconscious, and this really impressed me: I know how difficult it is to convey an atmosphere and physical environment together, but I feel I could navigate the palace, the city and the battlefield pretty easily!

Also impressive was the skill with which two first person characters were sharply differentiated throughout the narrative. The two main characters, Eudekia and Druisius, are genuinely interesting and complex, and very intelligent: in Eudekia’s case, I enjoyed seeing her grow in confidence and maturity, becoming an altogether admirable woman and leader. Druisius is less open than Eudekia – and you will see why. He has to be more cautious, more wary. He will act with violence if he considers it necessary, but his sense of justice is keen. Other characters are rounded and distinct – Eudekia’s wonderful grandmother is typical of the care given by the author to her people.
So my worries were dismissed, and I can recommend “Empress and Soldier” wholeheartedly. It is a very enjoyable read for any history fan like me, but also for anyone who likes a good story about interesting people.

© Marian L Thorpe 2023


A boy of the night-time streets. A girl of libraries and learning.
Druisius, the son of a merchant, is sixteen when an order from his father that he can neither forgive nor forget drives him from home and into the danger and intrigue of the military.
Eudekia, a scholar’s daughter, educated and dutiful, is not meant to be a prince’s bride. In an empire at war, and in a city beset by famine and unrest, she must prove herself worthy of its throne.
A decade after a first, brief meeting, their lives intersect again. When a delegation arrives from the lost West, asking Eudekia for sanctuary for a princess and support for a desperate war, Druisius is assigned to guard them. In the span of a few weeks, a young captain will capture the hearts of both Empress and soldier in very different ways, offering a future neither could have foreseen.
A stand-alone novel that can also serve as a second entry point into the Empire’s Legacy series.


“After two careers as a research scientist and an educator, I decided it was time to do what I’d always really wanted, and be a writer. As well as my novels, I’ve published short stories and poetry. My life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history provided the inspiration for my books, while my other interests in landscape archaeology and birding provide background.”


Amazon link:

© Marian L Thorpe 2023

And “Empress & Soldier” can be found at : 

Content on this page © Marian L Thorpe 2023

One Response

  1. I will admit I was a bit apprehensive when I realized you were on the reviewers list, for all the same reasons! I am very glad you were able to slide into my world, and thank you for the generous review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best user experience. It does not use advertising or tracking cookies. Details are in our Privacy Statement