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Legion Paperback – 15 May 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Virtualbookworm.com Publishing (15 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972872604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972872607
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,489,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Altimari and his wife Barbara live in the Tucson Mountains. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Anthropology/Archaeology and was an Animal Keeper at The Philadelphia Zoo and The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. He is an Indian Wars re-enactor and a graduate of the US Cavalry School, LLC. He is also a member of the US Cavalry Association, The American Quarter Horse Association, and The Western Writers of America. He may be contacted at waltimari@comcast.net

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
LEGION by William Altimari is the best work of fiction I have read in a very long time. I found myself staying up far too late at night as the end of each exciting chapter drew me into the next few pages. Oh just a peek won’t hurt; just had to know what was going to happen next! LEGION is a fresh take on the armies of Rome, not set in Rome, but in a far-flung outpost. Altimari has skillfully recreated the day to day existence of a Legion, and woven into the fabric of historical details a compelling tale. From the first day that the main character, a Centurion named Quintus Flavius Rufio, arrives at the Roman fort in Gaul, life for men of the 25th Legion changes. Set in the First Century B.C., on the eve of a massive invasion of German Barbarians, Rufio takes command of a century of raw recruits, whom he must not only train to fight, but to stand their ground, and push back the onslaught. LEGION is a thrilling tale, made hugely enjoyable by Altimari’s tight writing, with well developed, strong male and female characters, [and I ain’t talking muscles]. The narrative is inviting, tense, pithy, witty, and often laugh out loud funny. The battle scenes left me firmly gripping my copy of LEGION. Altimari has created a ripping yarn that deserves to be made into an epic film. LEGION is the book I am recommending to all my friends. Hail Rufio! Hail Altimari!
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Format: Paperback
I've been interested in Ancient Rome ever since seeing "Gladiator." I happened upon Altimari's "Legion" and loved it. Through the eyes of a Greek scholar and tutor, the reader experiences the daily lives and battle strategies of Roman soldiers. "Legion" is the perfect book--a balance between learning facts and details about a subject and getting lost in an exciting story. Oh, and woman-to-woman, be prepared to fall in love with "Legion's" Rufio the Centurion.
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Format: Paperback
I only meant to give this book 2-3 stars, but somehow it is showing as 5 and there is no way to undo it, but please read on!

I would divide the book into two. First, there is the recreation of life in a Roman army settlement on the Rhine frontier. This is as good as people say it is, giving a really vivid impression of what it must have been like. It puts the battles into context by showing how much of a Roman soldier's time was spent on building up the infrastructure of the empire (building roads, etc.). So far so good.
The other half of the book is the story and I felt this was very lame. One of the other reviewers descibes it as unputdownable and I am pleased they enjoyed it. To me the story left no cliche unturned and was, at best, of the level of sophistication of the action comics I used to read when I was a boy. The film "Gladiator" was clever enough to make you suspend your disbelief; this book is not half as clever and by midway through I was skimming through to find the next piece that told me something about life in the Roman army. I really didn't care what happened to the characters.
Early PC games were said to be either written by people who could program but didn't know how to design a game, or people who could devise a game but had no idea how to program it. For me, this book was written by someone skilled at recreating history (which covers about one-fifth of the book) but with no particular skills as a novelist. Because the novel takes up four-fifths of the book it gets a low score from me.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot imagine anyone reading this book can consider it anything other than a complete load of rubbish. Not even worth one star - the only thing believeable is the name of the emperor correct.

Full of inaccuracies, it is a poor pastiche of every other well-written and researched book (Scarrow, Davies, Iggulden, Bream, etc.,), and full of American clichés straight out of the poorest western genre, it commands no respect whatsoever.

To have such a major character as Rufio, even an experienced soldier, newly joining a legion and taking over all the running of legion from the Legate to the Senior Centuriate is absolutely farcical. The only reason is might be considered `unputdownable' is to see if the complete nonsense written about continues right to the bitter end! Unfortunately, it does.

And I've got to say the complete fantasy of the battle, plainly based on Suentonius defeat of Boadicea, is a dreadful parody of other, far better works and really insults the intelligence.

I shall not be buying anything by this man again for it is a complete waste of time and money.
4 Comments 21 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
When this book was passed to me by a friend, I didn't expect much of it, but I've been engrossed in it ever since I started the first page.

The great thing is the way it brings the story to life, in a way most novels of the period do not.

Also, the book is presented in short chapters, ideal for it to be able to be put down and picked up as life's interruptions well.... interrupt.

The characters are well drawn and the minutiae of life as described makes for fascinating reading.

The story is presented from the point of view of a number of characters, and that works well.

A great read, sheer pleasure.
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