ABOUT THE BOOK
A group of archaeology students in northern England scrape at the soil near Hadrian’s Wall, once a barrier that divided Roman Britannia from wild Caledonian tribes.
Twenty-year-old Noah makes an intriguing find, but hasn’t anticipated becoming the object of desire in a developing love triangle in the isolated academic community at Vindolanda. He is living his best life, but must learn to prioritise in a race against time to solve an astounding 2,000-year-old riddle, and an artefact theft, as he comes to realise his future career prospects depend on it.
In the same place, in the year 180 C.E., Centurion Gaius Atticianus, hungover and unaware of the bloody conflicts that will soon challenge him, is rattled by the hoot of an owl, a bad omen.
These are the protagonists whose lives will brush together in the alternating strands of this dual timeline historical novel, one trying to get himself noticed and the other trying to stay intact as he approaches retirement.
How will the breathless battles fought by a Roman officer influence the fortunes of a twenty-first century archaeology mud rat? Can naive Noah, distracted by the attentions of two very different women, work out who to trust?
Find out in Tim Walker’s thrilling historical dual timeline novel, Guardians at the Wall.
I have read several of Tim Walker’s books in the past, but he has taken a new approach with this book, set on dual timelines. I was apprehensive, wondering if it would destroy the flow of the historical story in the past, but the two stories linked nicely together.
The story opens in the present day as a group of third-year archaeology students are part of a dig, at Hadrian’s Wall. Noah Jessop makes the first discovery of interest, giving the rest of them hope of more to come. The students have to choose the subject that they will do their final piece on for university. His choice links to the past and the life of Gaius Atticianus, a Roman in 180CE that lived not far from Hadrian’s Wall and the border separating Roman Britannia and the Caledonian tribes. The two normally kept to their sides, but things were about to change that ripple through the centuries to the present day.
I took a little while to settle into the time changes and was eager to return to the past, and impending battles. Gaius had so far been one of the rare men that could possible retire if he can survive just a little longer. The story tells of him, his native wife and their son. Gaius is a good and fair man. The Romans are ill-prepared when the wall is breached. Tim Walker, the author, creates exciting and, at times, brutal battles of wits and body. The story looks at both sides of the wall and the tactics used by both sides. This will sound traitorous, but I was backing Gaius all the way.
When the story returned to the present day, the more I read and the more I wanted this band of scholars to find the truth from the past. There was a secret, a myth and a lot of enthusiasm if Noah and his fellow students could piece it all together. There are a couple of storylines running that are connected in the present day, which are light and at times made me chuckle, in the nicest possible way. Another top story for this author.
I wish to thank the author for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Walker is an independent author based in the UK. His latest book is a thrilling dual timeline novel, Guardians at the Wall, published in June 2021. Archaeologists uncover artefacts that connect them to the life of a Roman centurion in second century Roman Britain.
Tim published three books in 2020 – Perverse (April); Arthur Rex Brittonum (June) and Charly in Space (September).
Arthur, Rex Brittonum, a re-imagining of the King Arthur story, is book five in his historical series, A Light in the Dark Ages, and follows on from 2019’s Arthur Dux Bellorum. Book one in the series is Abandoned (second edition 2018), followed by Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017); and book three is Uther’s Destiny (2018). Series book covers are designed by Canadian graphic artist, Cathy Walker. The series connects the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend, presenting an imagined history (inspired by early historical sources) of Britain in the early Medieval period, once called the Dark Ages.
Tim lives near Windsor – close to the River Thames – the inspiration for his first book of short stories, Thames Valley Tales (2015). In September 2017 he published a second book of short stories, Postcards from London. These stories draw on the local history and current affairs of towns and cities along the course of the Thames where the author has lived and worked. A new collection of poems and short fiction, Perverse, was published in April 2020.
His first novel was a political thriller, Devil Gate Dawn, that received pre-publication exposure on the Kindle Scout programme in March/April 2016. It found a wide readership due to its unnerving predictions of a post-Brexit Britain beset by political turmoil under King Charles III’s rule and buckling under attacks from terrorist groups and includes a chapter that anticipated life in Trump America, written a year before his election.
In early 2017 he published his first children’s book, co-authored with his daughter, Cathy – The Adventures of Charly Holmes. Another adventure story was published in 2018 – Charly & The Superheroes, followed by Charly in Space (2020).