Swords of Artaius
High adventure in Celtic Europe
Swords of Artaius is the third novel penned by William Russeth. Set in ancient Gaul 200 years before the Roman conquest. “Swords of Artaius” is a thrilling, fast moving adventure with mythological overtones and a strong element of romance. The fates of two desperate souls collide and they find themselves clinging together in the face of a massive invasion of barbarous Germanic tribes led by the dreadful chieftain, Morga Raven Wings.
Artaius and Lughin run for their lives, watching the invading horde sweep through Celtica, scourging the land, and ravaging the impregnable fortress, Lugdunum. Believing each night together will be their last, they find solace in each other’s arms. Trapped in a mountain top stockade, the last bastion of protection, they make their stand. Their only hope is the rage and sword of Artaius the Bear.
William Russeth’s tale is a blend of fictional and historical settings in Europe prior to the Roman occupation, an era not exploited by many authors.
Before Romans conquered Europe, the people that lived in Northern Italy and most of Europe were known as the Keltoi to the Greeks and the Gauls to the Romans. Hundreds of fiercely independent tribes populated this area. Celtic languages were spoken from Asia Minor to Spain and from Spain to Great Britain. While they had no written word, their culture was highly advanced. They forged durable iron weapons, wove fine woolen cloth, raised hearty crops, and traded beer for wine with the Romans. Mystical druids, not only acted as judges in their complicated legal system, but also served as doctors, seers, bards, and religious leaders. Fierce chieftains and an elite warrior class ruled the tribes. Romans feared the Celtic tribes and respected them as great warriors. In 387 BCE a famous Celtic chief, Brennus, attacked Rome and exacted a huge ransom in return for not burning the city.