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Marius' Mules I: The Invasion of Gaul Paperback – 28 Nov 2012


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Marius' Mules I: The Invasion of Gaul + Marius' Mules II: The Belgae + Marius' Mules III: Gallia Invicta: 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (28 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481082884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481082884
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,273,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Having written a number of unpublished short stories in my early days, I decided back in 2003 to try and write a full length novel.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.

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Aug. 2011
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 By Simon on 19 Aug. 2011
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 By Read on Wight on 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 By Neil P55 on 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. McKay on 17 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Considering this is the author's first novel, I enjoyed it immensely. The writing style is highly entertaining and carries the story along nicely.
I did think the senior officers spent too much time drinking or occasionally acting a little slapstick, but overall the story flows along nicely and is a pleasure to read.
If you enjoy your Roman war fiction, you should have fun with this - I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.

Steven A. McKay, author of Wolf's Head (The Forest Lord) and The Wolf and the Raven: 2 (The Forest Lord)
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
When I was asked to look up this title I have to say I was unsure!
Its not main stream publication, its got little or not marketing behind it...etc. etc...
But im a sucker for a roman historical fiction book, and the tag line:
"It is perhaps time we looked at Caesar more as a scheming warmonger than a heroic warrior."
This appealed to me, ole JC gets his behind kissed a bit too much so it would be good to see him portrayed a little differently.

This is the up to date more edited version, an advantage over the big publishing houses, the author has the ability to go back do those corrections and updates and edits and then resubmit them for the next print run very easily. especially for the kindle versions of this book.

This is a great title, with a great bunch of characters, set in a pivotal period of history. really is a winner on so many levels, don't miss it!
(Parm)
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A.J. Armitt on 22 April 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is a well paced, page-turner, charting Julius Caesar's invasion of Gaul. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction from the likes of Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden and David Gemmell, then this really is a book for you!

With great characterisation, bloody battle scenes and political wranglings, the author tells a very different story of one of Rome's greatest Generals; revealing him to be a power-hungry politician rather than a hero of his people.
Written from the POV of the men under his leadership, you get a believable depiction of not only the man, but those under his command.

As an avid reader, I would have to say that this has been one of my favourite books this year.

A bloody triumph!
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