This is a bit surprising as an ‘Elite’ book in Osprey’s line, but it is certainly worth the extra pages over a regular Men-At-Arms book. I am also happy to see post-Roman Gaul and Britain considered together, especially as this is the period were Brittany developed its separate identity from absorbing refugees from Britain (which is touched on here).

Even at 64 pages, this is still too thin of a book to go into any real detail, and as ever, the strengths are in the visual reference. Sadly, Andrei Negin’s color plates are workmanlike, but hardly a source of inspiration. All of them at least have some form of background to place the type of environment these people are dealing with in, but they are solidly in the camp of standing around posing for the viewer instead of interacting, showing movement and use of equipment, and overall just being a rough miniatures painting guide.

The text itself also feels more surface level than usual. The initial sections do discuss the different paths of the various parts of Gaul, and then the notional high-level military organization of each, and then tackles Britain. Then we get the usual discussion of period equipment, with good notes of who was likely using what, and the likelihood of items being handed down (some more meditation on just how much equipment was made in Roman Gaul compared to sub- or post-Roman Gaul could be interesting here, but probably too scholarly for a enthusiast-facing book).

Beyond some of the general history, and brief mention of some of Arthur’s campaigns in the earliest sources, there’s not a lot of history here. No recounting of some of the battles of the period (admittedly, sources are the toughest part here, but it is still non-zero), to pick out bits about how armies in this period campaigned. Overall, the book feels very light and unfocused because of it. That said, there is reference to many of the early sources, some thoughts about the worth of some ‘later’ ones that seem to go back in oral tradition to this period, and as ever there is lots of good photography of artifacts and art, leaving visual reference as one of the stronger points of the book.