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Marius' Mules I: The Invasion of Gaul [Kindle Edition]

S.J.A. Turney
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It is 58 BC and the mighty Tenth Legion, camped in Northern Italy, prepare for the arrival of the most notorious general in Roman history: Julius Caesar.

Marcus Falerius Fronto, commander of the Tenth is a career soldier and long-time companion of Caesar's. Despite his desire for the simplicity of the military life, he cannot help but be drawn into intrigue and politics as Caesar engineers a motive to invade the lands of Gaul.

Fronto is about to discover that politics can be as dangerous as battle, that old enemies can be trusted more than new friends, and that standing close to such a shining figure as Caesar, even the most ethical of men risk being burned.


Product Description

About the Author

I live with my wife, my son 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, on the cusp of my fortieth year, 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 Having written a number of unpublished short stories in my early days, I decided back in 2003 to try and write a full length novel.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, with three tales in each series so far and more planned.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1409 KB
  • Print Length: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Victrix Books; 2nd edition (18 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EYT3N8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,444 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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 http://www.sjaturney.co.uk I maintain a website detailing the Roman sites I visit and photograph at http://www.roman-sites.com, and blog at http://sjat.wordpress.com. 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
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up Close And Personal 10 Aug. 2011
By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author of Marius's Mules has made a number of key decisions in planning what will (hopefully) be a long series of historical novels. Firstly, he has selected a model, in this case the professional officers of the Roman Army behave not unlike professional officers of the British Army - the enemy being of less importance much of the time than internal loyalties and rivalries. This worked very well indeed in the novel "Imperial Governor" by George Shipway and S.J.A Turney uses it to advantage here. This model gives us men who, while living in an alien world, address it much as we would. Secondly, he has decided to proceed (as armies proceed) slowly. This novel only takes us up to the defeat of Ariovistus. It will take a number of novels to complete De Bello Gallico. This means characters and their actions are not hurried along but develop at their own pace. The result will be immensely pleasing to a lot of readers, especially those who do their homework on the subject.

I could not quite stretch to five stars (though 4.5 is what I wanted) because I found the characters suffered to a degree from Richard Sharpe Syndrome, they were often either all Good or all Bad. The hatchet job on P. Licinius Crassus is excellent for plot (a rich useless aristo just like Sir Henry Simmerson) but not, I think, for history. The sketch of C. Julius Caesar was much more complex however, he is clearly a leader of men, and a bit of a rotter in the eyes of our hero, the stern M. Falerius Fronto.

However, who knows what lies ahead for I see we are off to fight the fearsome Belgae in the next volume.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story but the editor should be sacked 19 Aug. 2011
By Simon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story for much of the time, but a few of the elements were worryingly grating: in both this and his second story, the plot elements are very similar: hero fights against over-whelming odds, gets injured, best friends are killed, Roman discipline, technology and tactical superiority save the day, hero gets drunk with mates and argues with Caesar who puts up with it.
But worst of all, the man who edits the story has not done a very good job. There were cases when the sentences did not make sense, where words were spelled incorrectly [ e.g. keep soldiers on a tight `reign' rather than `rein'] and some of the sentences were poorly constructed with repetition of words within them. A good editor should have spotted all these flaws.

I am no English teacher, but this is something I have rarely seen in published works, and would prefer not to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Verging on excellent 26 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have recently been an avid reader of historical novels and am always on the lookout for something new.
I agree with the majority of reviews on SJA Turney's books , but would like to add that I am particularly impressed by his battle descriptions.
I have often found descriptions of battle scenes and tactics by other authors to be 'clunky' and difficult to follow.
Not so in this first book. His ability to give clear discriptions of complicated scenes sets him out from others in his field.
Very readable. I look forward to much more.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe ... 11 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
... that I finished this series of books months ago and haven't as yet scribbled a review. I read a lot of Roman history, both fiction and non-fiction, the usual suspects ... Scarrow, Davis, Riches, Saylor, R.W Peake et al. No question, SJA Turney is a highly accomplished writer, and for those of us who like captivating story lines, who secretly imagine themselves sharing a campfire with their legionary tent mates, and who like to KEEP on following their new found buddies (that's a hint), you'll not regret enlisting with this legion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh when the tenth ... goes marching in 17 Dec. 2013
By jk
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers I've waded through ( and enjoyed ) the Scarrow, R W Peake etc Roman series. I like books that run in a series because when you get to book 2 you are working with old friends. I liked the attitude of the hero ( Fronto ) in this book .. I hadn't really thought about a senior army officer telling Ceasar that some of his ideas were crap. I had sort of got the idea that what Ceasar said went .. a guy you just didn't disagree with if you wanted to get up next morning. But here we are .. one of Ceasar's top officers having a bit of rebel in him, getting away with murder and facing Ceasar down occasionally. A rebel with a cause, a guy loved by his men, a leader who makes his legion top dogs and even though he rattles Ceasar's cage now again Ceasar tolerates it because Fronto is a "special one". There is a great line in a later book where a Gaul tells Fronto "the tenth is a legion of chaos - that's what makes them the best". A reference to the spirit of the tenth. So in book 1 we get to meet the principal characters as they trundle about fighting and drinking and fighting and drinking and ... er, well more fighting and drinking really .. and a bit of marching and digging. But if you read Roman stories you know they are all like that .. it's the characters that make the story and I reckon in Fronto we have a real character. I even found that a couple of times I was thinking .. "Fronto .. you got to cut down the drinkng man and you need a wash and a shave .. you're really going to blow it with Ceasar this time". I mean, just how do you get away with snoring and farting when Ceasar is trying to plan tomorrow's battle ! Excellent read ...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
ok
Published 11 days ago by pamela reilly
2.0 out of 5 stars Averagely gripping, averagely well written book
On the positive side, I did finish this book, even though I had to grind through it in places. On the other hand one is enough, I won't read another from this series. Read more
Published 25 days ago by ExtraPilot
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyable read
Published 26 days ago by Mr B J Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Macro and Cato
I bought this book on reading an Amazon review on the latest Simon Scarrow book. The reviewer stated that the Marius Mules series was superior to the Scarrow Eagle series books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
My girlfriend got me a kindle for christmas because i enjoy reading. Ive been reading the simon scarrow under the eagle series over the past few years and thought i would try a new... Read more
Published 1 month ago by russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong historical fiction
Julius Caesar is a man whose ambition knows no bounds and Marcus Falerius Fronto, commander of the 10th Legion, career soldier and companion of the general for ten years, knows it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by N
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good story line and enjoyable
Published 2 months ago by Terry
2.0 out of 5 stars Started well
Yes, book started well for self publish but deteriorated as americanisms, bad grammar crept in. The ubiquitous he was sat etc. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kenneth Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historic military fiction (Roman)
As an avid reader of historic military fiction I had been aware of Simon Turney’s Marius’s Mules series for some time. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Uncle Tom Cobley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Received on time - good price - good read
Published 2 months ago by garbagebinfin
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