Get your hands on a copy of Fordham author’s latest page-turner

Dr Harry Sidebottom

Dr Harry Sidebottom - Credit: Archant

The Ely Standard has three signed copies of Harry Sidebottom’s latest novel, Blood and Steel, to give away.

Dr Sidebottom, from Fordham, released the second instalment in the acclaimed Throne of the Caesars series in May and the novel follows hot on the heels of the author’s Iron and Rust book.

Dr Sidebottom is a lecturer in classical history at the University of Oxford – where he studied for a doctorate - and was educated at King’s Ely.

His latest offering, Blood and Steel, tells the story of a struggle for power in third century Rome involving emperor Maximinus and pretenders to his crown.

At the helm of an empire that is bleeding manpower and money to sustain his wars in the north, rebellions flare in the far reaches of Maximinus’ territories.

In Africa, Gordian the Elder and Younger are proclaimed as the new Augusti. A family descending from the imperial bloodline, they represent a chance for the establishment to take back the empire.

In Rome, the first blood of the revolt is shed when an assassin murders Maximinus’ prefect and announces to Rome that their ruler is dead and the Gordians have taken the throne.

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Still bitter at having a soldier from the barracks wearing the imperial purple, the Senate endorses the rebellion: the Gordiani are hailed as Emperors.

But as chaos descends on the capital, news reaches Maximinus of the betrayal. A man of war, he acts with decisive brutality and violence. On the dusty plains outside Carthage, bloody battle will determine the fate of the Roman empire.

To be in with a chance of winning one of the signed copies of Blood and Steel, simply answer the following question.

At which university if Dr Sidebottom a lecturer in classical history?

Answers via e-mail to or by post to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

The deadline for entries is July 2.

Standard Archant competition rules apply. See our website for details.