Empire’s Victory third release by Stittsville author John W. Egan in his Gaspunk series – The Roman Sky

(Stittsville author, John W. Egan, has released his third book in his exciting historical series that follows Cillian, a young Roman citizen. This new novel is entitled Empire’s Victory with more books to follow.)

Empire’s Victory, John W. Egan’s third book in his The Roman Sky series, continues the Gaspunk genre set in the sixth century Roman empire that has airships and other advances. The series follows Cillian, a young Roman citizen with Gael-Goth roots, who serves in an airborne legion of the Roman Army.

As Empire’s Victory begins, Cillian’s legion has stopped on its way west at Constantinople (today is known as Istanbul, Turkey). While there, Cillian is to be celebrated by Emperor Justinian for saving his cousin, Germanus’s life. But the Blues and Greens, thuggish supporters of the chariot teams named after those colours, clog the streets of the capital, loudly demanding freedom for their friends who were convicted of murder. It will not take much to turn their protests into riots and then into something much worse that threatens Constantinople, Emperor Justinian, and the Empire. Cillian and his legion will be caught up in this unexpected conflict. 

(A map of Constantinpole and the key locations of events in John W. Egan’s newest book Empire’s Victory.)

John shares his thoughts on creating this exceptional series. “When I outlined what this alternative history series would cover and alter, I decided it would include what our history knows as the Nika Riots, the central conflict in this latest novel. Even if the Nika Riots are not a military campaign, it was too big a story to be reduced to a few chapters at the front of another novel and too important to skip over or omit as it plays a critical role in this history too. It also made a great midpoint between the previous stories set in the east and the coming stories set in the west. Dealing with these riots was also the right time and place to have Cillian meet Emperor Justinian, be interrogated by Empress Theodora, and discuss destiny, choice, and identity with Theodora’s soldier-like sister, Anastasia. These imposing characters will all appear again, later in the series. 

Creating this alternative tale of the Nika Riots also lets Cillian hear Empress Theodora’s famous “Purple Shroud” speech that inspired the wavering men advising the Emperor to recommend he stay and fight instead of run. The story also let me bring back that era’s master of war, Belisarius, as well as Germanus to lead that fight, if not command Cillian again.

While the outline for this book was drafted six years ago, John completed the story over a period of six months this past year. The story is unique in this series as it takes place over two weeks instead of several months and it involves an armed insurrection instead of an opposing army. Palace intrigues and political plots are also something new for Cillian to confront.

John added, “As I wrote this story about a January riot clogging a capitol that turned into an insurrection inspired by lies about an election, it no longer seemed 1500 years distant from me. It resonated with recent 2022 January events in Washington, D.C. and February Ottawa, and 25 years ago in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for those of us whose lives it altered. History might not repeat itself, but it rhymes”.

Empire’s Victory’s e-book and paperback editions are on sale now by all major booksellers, namely Chapters-Indigo, Smashwords, Kobo and GoodReads. An e-book version can also be purchased online at Barnes & Noble. Both a paperback copy or an e-book copy can be purchased at Amazon. All seven of John’s books can be purchased at the booksellers mentioned.

John released his first novel in the Gaspunk series – The Roman Sky, ‘Empire’s Gate‘ in December 2020, followed by ‘Empire’s Shield’ in 2022. John has also written historical fiction novels – the ‘Winter of 1813-beyond 1812’ and ‘Angel & Mercy-The Ceasefire War’ and has co-written with Bakar Mansaray, an author in his own right, ‘Angel & Mercy-The Ebola War‘. He is currently writing another historical fiction novel ‘Spring of 1813’ in follow-up to ‘Winter of 1813-beyond 1812’.

(Stittsville author John W. Egan in Sierre Leone.)


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