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Defender of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens 2) [Hardcover]

Douglas Jackson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

18 Aug 2011 Gaius Valerius Verrens 2

Gaius Valerius Verrens returns to Rome from the successful campaign against Boudicca in Britain. Now hailed a 'Hero of Rome', Valerius is not the man he once was - scarred both physically and emotionally by the battles he has fought, his sister is mortally ill, his father in self-imposed exile. And neither is Rome the same city as the one he left.

The Emperor Nero grows increasingly paranoid. Those who seek power for themselves whisper darkly in the emperor's ears. They speak of a new threat, one found within the walls of Rome itself. A new religious sect, the followers of Christus, deny Nero's divinity and are rumoured to be spreading sedition.

Nero calls on his 'Hero of Rome' to become a 'Defender of Rome', to seek out this rebel sect, to capture their leader, a man known as Petrus. Failure would be to forfeit his life, and the lives of twenty thousands Judaeans living in Rome. But as Valerius begins his search, a quest which will take him to the edge of the empire, he will discover that success may cost him nearly as much as failure.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (18 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059306514X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593065143
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Douglas Jackson is the author of the successful historical novels Caligula and Claudius and my next book Hero of Rome, the first of a new trilogy, will be published in July 2010. I was born in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders in the summer of 1956. Educated at Parkside Primary School and Jedburgh Grammar School, I left three weeks before my 16th birthday with six O levels and no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Luckily, a friend worked in the local employment office and got me a place on a Youth Opportunities Scheme. It turned out to be restoring a Roman marching camp at Pennymuir in the Cheviot Hills and I had a wonderful summer turning turf and dreaming of Romans. Later I joined my local paper and for the next 36 years worked in local and national newspapers in Scotland, including the Daily Record and the Scotsman. I left the Scotsman after nine years as assistant editor in the summer of 2009 to become a full-time writer.

Get in touch or become a fan on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Doug-Jackson-author/245467143762?ref=nf

Visit my websites at www.douglas-jackson.net and http://authorsplace.co.uk/doug-jackson

Or read my blog about the highs and lows of becoming a published author on http://dougsbookblog.blogspot.com

Product Description

Review

Praise for Douglas Jackson: "If I were Conn Iggulden or Simon Scarrow, I'd be rather worried by the new kid on the block." --"Scotsman"

Book Description

'A master of his discipline rightly hailed as one of the best historical novelists writing today' Daily Express

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb follow up. 16 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover
Two years after Valerius' defence of Colonia against Boudicca in "Hero of Rome", the eponymous characters is in Rome. Changed by the events he lived through he is a darker, slightly hollow man. Struggling to find a path, he finds himself landed with a new task by the unstable emperor Nero: to root out and bring to 'justice' a rabble rouser, a leader of the sect of Christians in Rome.

Plagued by a frail and ill sister, a splintered family relationship, the uncertain moods of the emperor and the machinations of those who wield power under Nero, including the prefect of the Praetorians, Valerius' investigation, aided by gladiator friends, unearths a number of secrets, some of which cut deep. The story builds to a massive crescendo, set to a backdrop of another great event of the era.

Defender is, in short, a great book and a worthy successor to the excellent Hero of Rome. There are three things that particularly impressed me:

1. Valerius' character. In Hero, we were introduced to a man who was still young and relatively full of promise, even optimistic and loving. Defender sees him changed. Doug has done an excellent job of painting the character of a man who has suffered the things Valerius did in Britannia. It feels like a natural progression and is therefore perfectly done.

2. The portrayal of Nero. That emperor has had a lot of treatment by a lot of authors before now, and yet this did not feel old or samey for some reason. There is about the character an oily wickedness, mixed with a childish excitement that really brings him to life. You will truly hate this emperor.

3. The way the Christians are portrayed. Until now the best such portrayal in Roman fiction I had seen was Simon Scarrow's Eagle in the Sand. This now rivals it, for sure.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A left Handed Sword 16 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover
Well what can i say,Douglas Jackson has done it again,at first i was not sure if i was going to like a political adventure for our hero Valerius after the blood and guts of the first book,but it was not long before i was totality enmeshed in the struggle for power in Emperor Nero Rome. Against the back drop of the rise of Christianity ,which i found really interesting, our story is laced with action and suspense that for me made it a great read.I must confess that i had forgotten that Valerius had lost his hand and as a lefty myself i was intrigued in how he coped with this handicap in a world that was so right-handed.Once again Douglas Jackson has used his detail research to put us into the heart of Rome and let`s us walk in the footsteps of Valerius as he try`s to cope with the dirty work that Emperor Nero has put his way.It`s been a very good year for the Roman novel, so far we have had Harry Sidebottom,Anthony Riches,John Stack and M.C.Scott and now Douglas Jackson Defender of Rome is right up there with them as top draw reading,and now i can not wait fot the next outing of Valerius.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Review

I was totally blown away by this book, the last Verrens title "Hero of Rome" was in my opinion a step up in writing from Douglas Jacksons previous books, books that i totally enjoyed, but were not in the same league as "Hero of Rome". Defender of Rome takes yet another leap forward.

This book keeps the brilliantly written characters the flowing gripping action and pace and story arc that the last book had, but then adds in the new angle of political intrigue in the frightening world of Emperor Nero, so well told in this book i was scared for Varrens and still now i wonder which is the real Nero and which is the actor?

This book clearly catapults Douglas into the top flight of Roman Historical Fiction Writers and very much deserves to hit the top of the best seller charts.

I have read what i consider to be many of the best books past and present and this holds it own with a heck of a lot of them.

I very much look forward to the next book by Douglas, and am very intrigued by the forthcoming Doomsday Testament coming out under the name James Douglas, if as im sure the writing quality transfers across then its going to be a great read.

Book Description

Gaius Valerius Verrens returns to Rome from the successful campaign against Boudicca in Britain. Now hailed a `Hero of Rome', Valerius is not the man he once was - scarred both physically and emotionally by the battles he has fought, his sister is mortally ill, his father in self-imposed exile. And neither is Rome the same city as the one he left.

The Emperor Nero grows increasingly paranoid. Those who seek power for themselves whisper darkly in the emperor's ears. They speak of a new threat, one found within the walls of Rome itself.
Read more ›
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Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Douglas just gets better and better 19 Aug 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
If you're a fan of Historical Fiction, then the odds are that you've noticed the steady rise of an author by the name of Douglas Jackson, his stories are vivid, the cast spectacular and of course his writing style wonderfully balances the needs of combat with the smarts of lulls and peaks to keep the reader enthralled.

Here in the second book in his latest series (the first being Hero of Rome) Valerius returns triumphant from the previous title to face the slings and arrows or Roman Politics as well as the madness of the Emperor only to be manipulated on a highly dangerous mission that could cost as much to him for success as for failure. It's cleverly written, the plot line is fast moving and of course the reader is left on tenterhooks from start to finish as to the fate of many of the cast. Add to this great characterisation and a lead hero who is fully rounded and it's a title that demonstrates just how much Douglas has grown from his first book. Excellent stuff.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book was a Christmas present for my dad . He has enjoyed reading it . He loves his Romans so I knew this would be a good buy .
Published 2 months ago by cat
3.0 out of 5 stars good but too much religion
I enjoyed the beginning and end, way too much Christian evangelising in the middle. Almost read like a religious text, back to the action please.
Published 2 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars JACKSON
Follows superbly book one. Can't wait to read book three. From start to finish, a great read with realistic twists and turns. Absolutely loved it
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Nicola T Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Defender of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens 2) Douglas Jackson
Gaius Valerius Verrens has returned to Rome and is made a Hero Of Rome by the Emperor, Nero for his actions and bravery in Britain. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars defender of rome
good book/well researched,the battle scenes are very authentic,the sub plots add to the whole and are very convincing.well worth the five star rating
Published 5 months ago by Mr John Rolph
4.0 out of 5 stars defender of rome
I chose this rating because this book was good but not quite as good as another roman author which i read, there was an awful lot of the book which i did like would recommend this... Read more
Published 7 months ago by nigel higgs
4.0 out of 5 stars bookworm
This book was ordered for a friend of mine how has not given me any feedback yet but will issue when he does.
Published 8 months ago by Lee David Haxell
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for my dad
I bought this to go with the other books in the 'set' and my dad tells me they are excellent.
Published 10 months ago by J. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Defender of Rome
Once again an excellent read, these books are so hard to put down, so very exciting & informative, a must for all to read!
Published 12 months ago by Mr Robert White
4.0 out of 5 stars Valerius
Good , detailed story telling based on a reasonable interpretation of the contradictory in many cases available facts. I would recommend heartily.
Published 13 months ago by Robert J
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