So: I highly recommend Conspiracies of Rome (which I have read) and The Terror of Constantinople (which I am now reading) by Richard Blake. I strongly suspect that said recommendation will extend to The Blood of Alexandria and The Sword of Damascus, which I haven't yet read but intend to as soon as possible.
Richard Blake is a pseudonym for Sean Gabb, whom you likely know as the public face of the United Kingdom's Libertarian Alliance. For this reason, I should probably get one likely pre-conception out of the way: These novels are not "libertarian novels."
To be a little more specific and walk that back just a tiny bit, they are not didactic texts or ideological rants disguised as story of the type often associated with with the idea of "libertarian novels." They certainly embody values I've come to associate with Sean's non-fiction forays: Love of England and of "western civilization," an Epicurean sensibility, etc.
But -- and this is intended as compliment, not criticism -- story comes first, last and always in the Blake novels. If you're looking for Ayn Rand Does The 7th Century AD, don't bother. Or at least don't blame me for pointing you in Blake's direction. The novels are intellectually rewarding, but they need to be read as novels.
Both the first and second novels are written in first person, past tense: The adventures of one young Aelric, set in the early 7th Century and as recalled by a very elderly Aelric in the late 7th Century. And, as the titles suggest, two background plot points loom large:
- The decline and decay of the Roman Empire; and
- The coalescence of the Holy Roman Catholic Church