I’d like to wish a very happy publication day for the action-packed, gripping conspiracy thriller Last Prophecy of Rome by Iain King. Iain’s first novel Secrets of the Last Nazi came out last year and caused a storm and got some fabulous reviews. Published by Bookouture today, 28th January 2016, Last Prophecy of Rome is available in e-book on Amazon UK and Amazon US.
I’m delighted to be hosting a guest post from Iain below where he asks if modern society could go the way of ancient Rome.
About Last Prophecy of Rome
An ancient empire. A terrifying threat to the World’s Superpower. Only one man can stop it.
ROME: Maverick military historian Myles Munro is on holiday with girlfriend and journalist Helen Bridle. He’s convinced a bomb is about to be detonated at the American Embassy.
NEW YORK: A delivery van hurtling through Wall Street, blows up, showering the sky with a chilling message: America is about to be brought down like the Roman Empire.
Juma, an African warlord, set free by the Arab Spring, plans to make it happen.
When a US Senator is taken hostage, a chilling chain of events begins, and Myles finds himself caught in a race against time to stop Juma. But, he’s not prepared for the shocking truth that the woman he once loved, Juma’s wife, Placidia, has now become a terrorist.
An electrifying edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you coming back for more.
A Guest Post from Iain King
Could modern society go the way of the Roman Empire? It’s a greater danger than you might think… And what if a bunch of terrorists were trying to make it happen? That’s the storyline of my latest book, ‘Last Prophecy of Rome’.
There are huge similarities between modern civilisation in the West and the ancient civilisation of the Western Roman Empire. From traffic congestion, to budget deficits, to military quagmires in the Middle East: so many of the difficulties we face today were once big issues for Rome, too.
There’s a lot we can learn from Rome, and its many mistakes. And it’s especially important, because Rome fell.
Why did Rome fall? Well, there are more than two hundred theories on that. (In my book, the hero finds clues in Edward Gibbon’s masterpiece, ‘The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ – it’s still one of the best tomes on the topic.)
The ‘explanation’ which has come to the fore most recently is migration. Many of the barbarians who raided Rome in 410 AD, and ransacked the city much more brutally in 455 AD, were people who today we might call migrants or refugees. The fate of ancient Rome was even cited by the Dutch Prime Minister, when he was arguing for a block on refugees entering his country.
In fact, for the many centuries it was ascendant, Rome welcomed immigrants, and encouraged them to become citizens. Several of Rome’s most effective emperors – men like Hadrian and Diocletion – were from families which had just joined the empire; the equivalent of today’s ethnic minorities.
But by the 370s, factors beyond the Empire – including mass starvation on the Steppe and brutality in East Asia – were driving whole tribes to Europe. The plight of these people is tragically similar to the many thousands leaving Syria and Iraq today, desperately trying to reach safety in Europe.
Rome’s handling of this challenge was catastrophic. They corralled the new arrivals into internment camps, where many froze or starved. In one famous anecdote, Roman soldiers bought the daughters of immigrants for meat – many refugee girls were traded for just a single dog. The tribes fought back, and defeated the Romans in battle – most famously at Adrianople in 376AD. Exactly one century later, the Roman Empire was no more.
So could terrorists destroy modern society, just as barbarians destroyed the Roman Empire? The lesson from history is that it will depend on how we respond.
I dedicated ‘Last Prophecy of Rome’ to the 5,230 refugees who died on their journeys last year, and the book tries to show how we need to be compassionate to the desperate people fleeing their countries.
Many aspects of Roman life were terribly cruel. They showed cruelty to the many thousands of refugees who sought sanctuary within their borders, and eventually had that cruelty returned in kind.
Modern Western society differs because we have a much greater capacity to be humane.
The lesson from Rome is that, to survive, we may need to prove that we care.
About Iain King
Iain King has worked in warzones, politics, teaching and journalism. In Afghanistan he served alongside both of Britain’s most senior casualties, and in more frontline bases than any other civilian. He is one of the youngest people ever to be made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).
Once a student at Oxford University and later a Fellow at Cambridge, he has given talks at the UK’s Defence Academy and lectures to the Royal United Services Institute. He now leads the UK Government’s research unit on conflict, and writes a column about military history for a popular monthly magazine. Iain King has also been a professional speechwriter for high-profile figures, a journalist, and a report writer to the UN Security Council.
He is already the author of two very successful non-fiction books, Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo, and How to Make Good Decisions and Be Right All the Time. The Myles Munro books are his first works of fiction.
Iain wrote his first novel Secrets of the Last Nazi almost entirely in secret – a double- life he kept from both his wife and children, and his employers and coworkers – until just days before publication, when a friend accidently broke his cover with an innocuous post on Facebook, which caused mayhem.