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Ironroot (Tales of the Empire Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

S.J.A. Turney
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Captain Varro of the Fourth army is about to have the worst day of his life. Wounded in battle and fearing for his life and his future, he stumbles upon a plot that reaches deep into the past and into the roots of everything in which he believes.

Accompanied by a young engineer from his unit and the daughter of his commander in chief, he begins to unpeel layers of treachery and murder that threaten not only himself, but the people that he loves.

Ironroot is a tale of treason and revenge set in the world of the Interregnum, some twenty years after the events of that book.

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More About the Author

I live with my wife, my son and daughter, and two (close approximations of) dogs in rural North Yorkshire, where my wife and I both grew up, surrounded by friends and family. A born and bred Yorkshireman with a love of the country, I cannot envisage spending my life anywhere else, though my anchor is sometimes tested as the wanderlust hits and we travel wherever I can find the breathtaking remains of the classical world. I have a love of travel and history, architecture and writing and those four interact well enough to keep me almost permanently busy.

Since leaving school and University, I have tried a great number of careers, including car sales, insurance, software engineering, computer network management, civil service and even painting and decorating sales. I have lived in four counties and travelled as widely as time and budget allowed and find myself in my forties, back where I began and finally doing something I love.

Having written a number of unpublished short stories in my early days, I decided back in 2003 to try and write a full length novel. That was the start of Marius' Mules. Being a lover of Roman history, I decided to combine my love of writing and my love of classical history. Marius' Mules was followed two years later by Interregnum, my attempt to create a new fantasy story still with a heavy flavour of Rome. Since then, the success and popularity of both has spawned sequels to each work, and a new series set in the early Ottoman world, with a total of 12 novels in general release and numerous short stories.

As well as my own website at I maintain a website detailing the Roman sites I visit and photograph at, and blog at I am an almost terminally chatty person. That's just a due warning if you feel like contacting me (via my website or through Facebook or Twitter, where I am [prolific.) I am always happy to speak to people and have put together an FAQ gathered together from things I have been asked previously.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem for all historical fiction fans! 30 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ironroot is the first of this author's work I have tried, and what can I say? It's dark, tense, pacy, delightfully twisty and evocative and I found myself being sucked into the Roman-like world in which it is set.

From the poetic and vivid opening chapter I was hooked and then only sleep or work could pull me away from my kindle as it wound its way around the lands of the Empire, following a tight-knit trio of characters as they bonded in the face of espionage and skullduggery. Indeed the characters really grew on me as the story unfolded, so much so that I was parrying every sword-blow with Varro and his entourage before long!

The 'hook' factor has left me wanting to explore the world of the 'Tales of the Empire' series, so I'll definitely be reading more of this series and the author's other works.

One of the finds of the year so far for me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars compulsive reading 10 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this historical roman read is fully worth four stars , when commenced you want to continue reading to see how the main caricture Varro overcomes his problems ably assisted by his younger ,junior rank friend.
Quite similar to the Simon Scarrow Novels , altogether a very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ironroot by S.J.A. Turney 24 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Given the fact that I have read many of Simon Turney's books I would have thought by now that it would be nigh unto impossible for him to surprise me. I am used to the plot twists that he infuses into his novels, indeed I sort of expect them. However, in Ironroot, the second of three books set in a pseudo Roman world, he managed to do just that.

The protagonist Varro, a Captain in the Imperial Army, is wounded during a skirmish and is subsequently told that he is dying because the weapon used on him was laced with Ironroot, a poison with no antidote. When it becomes apparent that he was specifically targeted, a conspiracy to cover up a senior officer's treasonous activities unfolds. Thus begins a race against time as he and an enterprising member of an engineers cohort seek out the truth and possible revenge. What follows is an exciting tale of action, loyalty and a steadfast belief that they were chosen for this mission by a local tribal deity.

Now the author could have gone in many different ways with this including a formulaic one but this is where all the surprises in the plot come to the fore. The climatic scenes are wonderfully portrayed demonstrating Mr. Turney's vivid imagination and abundant sense of irony. I would love to be more specific but that would be unfair to the author and to prospective readers...after all, they deserve to be as surprised in their reading of this novel as I was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic read 9 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid addition to the series 9 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the second book in the author's 'Tales of Empire' series. The books largely stand on their own, and, although there are a few links between them, you can read one without having read the previous one.
This episode is well written, and well thought out; it isn't the most original or surprising story, but it still kept me interested right until the end.
Unfortunately, the grammatical and spelling errors crept in again towards the end, although they weren't as bad as some self-published efforts. However, it really does spoil the overall impression.
Overall, a readable story, in an imagined world. If you haven't read anything by this author, and you like historical fiction, then I would thoroughly recommend this series, or his 'Marius Mules' series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ironroot 15 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent story could not put this one down.. really looking forward to starting the third in the series hope it is just as good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb 4 May 2013
By iron
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yet another great story. Can't wait for the next! Gripping until the end. Couldn't put it down until the las word!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down 6 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have now read a few of this authors books and he has the ability to keep my attention all the way through the book. Great character building and an excellent read. Once I picked it up I didn't want to put it down again.
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