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Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) Hardcover – 8 Jul 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (8 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593065123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593065129
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,636 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

Visit my websites at and

Or read my blog about the highs and lows of becoming a published author on

Product Description


"If I were Conn Iggulden or Simon Scarrow, I'd be rather worried by the new Scottish kid on the block" The Scotsman "A master of his discipline rightly hailed as one of the best historical novelists writing today" Daily Express "A splendid piece of story-telling and a vivid recreaion of a long-dead world ... [Jackson] succeeds triumphantly. The final battle against Boudicca's forces is as vivid and bloody as anyone might wish" Allan Massie -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Book Description

A major new Roman trilogy from this highly acclaimed historical novelist.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was in two minds as to whether to give this book four or five stars, shame there's no facility to give 'point marks' because I would have given Hero of Rome 4.5 as it's very very good. However.......

After mulling over a four or five, initially I thought four but then I thought about how many books have gripped me like Hero of Rome did in the last few years; answer, not too many, so in my humble opinion it's worth five!

I found the title slightly deceptive as I had assumed the story would revolve around Rome itself but it didnt, it's about the Roman occupation of Britain centering around AD60 just before the Boudican revolt.

The main character unlike most Roman novels is a Tribune and not a Centurion, who after serving a few months in Britain is due to return to Rome to take up a position as a lawyer.

The Romans in the meantime are planning to wipe out the Druids on Mona (Angelsey) and are moving West in order to carry this out. Tribune Valerus however, is ordered to assist with road building in present day St Albans before setting off for Rome.

Arriving at his new post he finds the area is garrisioned by veterans who were involved in the original invasion of Britain who are now retired. They have old weapons, armour and are not as fit or up todate as current soldiers but they train regularly and are still proud Roman citizens.

Back in Rome the Emperor is looking to raise taxes from places like Britain who he is also considering abandoning as they have not yet found Britains Gold mines, so a clamp down is ordered.

When Boudicas husband dies, the Romans take her land and a Roman Centurion, Crespo and enemy of Valerus, publicly flogs her and rapes her two young daugters, thereby starting the revolt.
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3 Comments 83 of 89 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of those times when I really should have read the blurb before I bought the book, I often pick up certain authors just because I enjoyed previous books and Douglas is no exception.
The previous books though had been a bit of fun and I have to admit I was getting a little tired of the elephant so I had put off reading this one, every time it got to the top of the reading pile it got jumped by something more appealing until eventually a bit of face book posting guilt got the better of me.
This weekend in hospital Hero of Rome became my best friend helping me through the boredom of a 3 day visit.

Not only was I surprised by the fact that this was not a continuation of the existing series, but also that the writing had changed, it had...grown/ evolved.
The new characters were a revelation and the new story a breath of fresh air. Following the first cohort across country to colonia ( Camulodunum ) where you get a link to the previous stories was great fun. For me the real depth to the story was the everyday camaraderie that was shown between Varrens and his men and the other groups he came into contact with, and also the animosity between him and his enemy Crespo, all this human characterisation is wrapped in and around the build up to the Iceni revolt and the rise of Boudica.

What follows is a well written well researched well thought out story, and for once the cover blurb about there being a new writer on the block etc is not hype, this really is the start of a great new series.

A solid 4/5 because I think there is better to come from Douglas and I for one look forward to it (Parm)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't intend to reiterate the story lines and characters which have been fairly comprehensively covered by previous reviewers. Suffice to say, not being a historian or literary expert, I found the book very hard to put down and was whisked away into Valerius roman Britain wonderfully every time I opened the book and enjoyed the story from cover to cover. I have read both of Douglas Jacksons previous novels and feel he has now mastered his art. I'm thrilled to see that "Hero" is the first of a trilogy and am already anticipating Valerius further adventures. If you, like me, enjoy a good story, well told, this is a book for you..!
1 Comment 17 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By amazon customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The perfect companion for all military history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

It's not often you meet a character in the first few pages of a book you just know you are going to like, care about and want to follow in all future books...which you decide you're going to have to be buying even though you're only 10 pages in to the first one.

'Hero of Rome's Gaius Valerius Verrens, Tribune of the XXth Legion, stationed in first century Britain, is one of those characters.

Gaius Valerians Verrens, is a Tribune in the Roman Army stationed in Britain. He is looking forward to going back to Rome and continuing his career in Law and Politics. He's not a reluctant hero in any way, possessed by self-doubts and all the other nonsense authors usually load onto their characters, thinking it gives them depth and, character. But Valerius does have perhaps a more 'mature' and well-rounded view of why he and his countrymen are in Britannia and there's a sense that he actually seems to care about how the Britons feel about the Romans.

The whole of 'Hero of Rome' has a nice flow to it. There's a confidence and an understated surety running through the whole of this involving story. A trust, it felt like. That Douglas Jackson knows his subject, has absorbed it and is writing a story in a very natural way, without pushing his knowledge and research up in your face. Make sense? I don't know, it's hard trying to grab and tie a nuance down, but that's kind of how it felt.
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