Coming in March, 2018

The Last Centurion

By Bernard Schopen

Tad Fellows is an American graduate student working on an archaeological dig in rural England. He is also a wounded veteran of the Afghanistan war, where he found purpose and identity as a cog in the vast military machine of the U.S. Army. A quiet man prone to unexplained blackouts, guided and comforted by the stoic advice of Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius, Tad is intent on doing what he now  believes is his destined role—protecting the dig and its artifacts, including the mummified corpse of a Roman soldier. The dig completed, Tad is assigned to catalogue its artifacts in the cellar of a Cambridge museum. At ease in the world only when he is surrounded by the detritus of the past, Tad believes himself content.

Instead, he finds himself at the center of a maelstrom where academic rivalries, international politics, the stultifying English class system, and his own awkward foray into love leave him bewildered and more alone than ever. Marcus’s wisdom no longer suffices, and a series of devastating betrayals drive Tad deeper into his own dark world, toward a cataclysmic climax.

Novelist Bernard Schopen is at the top of his form in this gripping, perceptive account of a misfit struggling to hold fast to ancient values of loyalty and duty in a world where little is as it seems and only the past can be trusted.


Bernard Schopen was born and raised in Deadwood, South Dakota. He attended the University of Washington and the University of Nevada, Reno where upon receiving his Ph.D. in English he taught for many years. He is the author of three Jack Ross novels, as well as a study of the novels of Ross McDonald. His last novel, Calamity Jane, was released in 2013.

Book Details

Title: The Last Centurion

Author: Bernard Schopen

Publication Date: March 2018

Paperback: $17.95

ISBN: 978-1-936097-14-2

Dist. by Publishers Group West, 800-788-2123

Advance Praise

“Surrealistic tones emphasize heavy questions of empire-building and cultural subsumption in this thoughtful
archaeology novel.” —Foreword Reviews

“Love, war, the dreams and follies of empire—The Last Centurion‘s got it all. Bernard Schopen writes with style and gravitas. Readers will savor this book.” —Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood

Schopen’s The Last Centurion is a timely and gripping reflection of the complexities our untidy world today. But in its telling, it also shows that human tensions—old vs. new, barbarian vs. civilized, sacred vs. profane—are timeless. The Last Centurion may be Schopen’s best work yet.”—Caleb S. Cage, Author, Desert Mementos: Stories of Iraq and Nevada

“In The Last Centurion author Bernard Schopen uses his considerable talent for detail and nuance to weave the intriguing story of Tad
Fellows, a physically and psychologically wounded American war veteran
living in Cambridge, England who is seeking inner peace among relics of
the ancient past, most prominently the sensational find of a perfectly
mummified Roman soldier, gruesomely killed in battle.  Tad soon
discovers an awakened sense of purpose in the universal and timeless
brotherhood of warriors, bound by duty and loyalty to protect one anothe—often sacrificing all for the good of the whole. However, this
epiphany soon puts him in mortal peril at the hands of a diverse group
players who, unlike, Tad, are tied to the mummy’s fate solely to
further their own self-interests.  This agonizing, yet captivating, clash of ancient and modern values builds to a surprising
climax and left me with much to contemplate. The Last Centurion is as enlightening as it is exciting. —Michael Archer, author of A Patch of Ground: Khe Sanh Remembered