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Masters of the Sea - Captain of Rome [Hardcover]

John Stack
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Jan 2010 Masters of the Sea

The second installment of the thrilling maritime adventure; two mighty empires battle each other for control of the high seas.

Atticus is the young captain of the Aquila, the flagship of the attack fleet of the Roman navy. But his commander is a young upstart whose position has been purchased rather than earned. Bound to obey his inexperienced commander's rash orders, Atticus sails straight into a carefully-laid trap. In the battle that follows, it is only by defying his commander that he can pull his men back from the brink of defeat.

But Atticus will pay a high price for his defiance, and, as he is summoned to Rome, he realises he has created a powerful enemy. And, despite his friendship with Septimus, a Roman centurion, Atticus is dangerously unversed in the politics of the Roman senate.

So, Atticus finds himself facing battles both at sea against an ever-more ferocious enemy and on his own ship by those close to home who want their revenge.

Culminating in one of the greatest sea battles of classical times, Captain of Rome is a stirring and powerful novel and John Stack is a born storyteller.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (7 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007285256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007285259
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Stack was born and lives in County Cork. He has always wanted to write but has done a variety of jobs ending up in IT. He is married with three children, and is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Masters of the Sea series

Product Description


Praise for Ship of Rome

‘Strong characters, excellent action, SHIP OF ROME builds to a suberb climax’

‘Peopled with characters both fictional and historical, this debut novel - the first in the Masters Of The Sea series - gives a fascinating and evocative insight into the high politics and military life of the times’
Daily Mail

‘This is a seriously entertaining book for anyone who enjoys stirring descriptions of ancient warfare. You can almost taste the salt, see the blood and hear the shouts and screams…John Stack is to be welcomed into the ranks of first-rate historical writers’
Tuam Herald

‘Crank up the testosterone, this one’s a fighter!’
U Magazine Ireland

About the Author

John Stack's first novel, Ship of Rome, went straight into the Sunday Times bestseller charts. Captain of Rome is the follow-up to that novel and the second book in the Masters of the Sea series. John Stack lives in County Cork in Ireland and is married with three children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, thoguh it has its faults 1 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read the first and second instalments of this new series and all in all, have liked them both. I do however have some criticisms of the second book that I'd like to share.

In my opinion, the two main characters Septimus and Atticus are interesting and you actually care what happens to them. The bad guy in this particular book is a chap called Varro. He is the bit that spoils a good book for me. He is a weak pantomime villain bad guy who actually rather irritated me by the end of the book. There are other charracters that fit the mould as well, but I will let the reader judge these

There were other faults, perhaps the author takes a bit too long to get to the point at some sections of the book and I found myself skipping paragraphs at a time, knowing that I am not missing anything.

Other reviewers have compared John Stack to Iggulden and Cornwell. I would see where he is coming from, but we already have so many Igguldens and Cornwell type authors out there, and as these books deal with the Rome v Carthage battles, i am interested to find out more about them, I was hoping that this series was going to stand out.

As it happens, I will be buying the next book in the series, but I just don't want people to read the reviews the other guys have made and think that this book deserves 5 stars, as it blatantly doesn't, 3 stars is fair in my opinion that is. Overall, a good, if not brilliant read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action packed and exciting 4 Feb 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a worthy follow on from his previous book, Ship of Rome. The characters are all fairly well established now and this story carries on from where Ship of Rome ended. Although I cannot vouch for the historical events in which the book is set, the author has created a really exciting story and his action scenes, particularly those at sea, are first class and certainly seem to follow the lead set by Cornwell and Scarrow in the amount of visceral detail that close combat involved. I really liked the book and cannot wait for the next in the series. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL ABOARD THE AQUILA 25 Jan 2010
Captain of Rome is a great follow on from Ship of Rome,bringing back all the main characters both fictional and historical in this all action packed adventure on the high seas.John Stack brings to life the sea battle of Cape Ecnomus with great detail.I now rate John Stack right up there with Bernard Cornwell,Conn Iggulden,Harry Sidebottom and Robert Low.I hope there be more adventures with Atticu`s and Septimus in there battles with the Carthaginians.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Roman action 17 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
John Stack's follow up to "Ship of Rome" is more of the same, and that's not a bad thing at all. Set at a time when Rome and the Carthaginian Empire were the two superpowers and Rome was challenging Carthaginian dominance on the seas.

At the end of "Ship", Rome had just started to see the importance of a Navy and had won a significant naval victory against Carthaginian . In this book we have the car building a plan for revenge and with an eye on the strategic Scilly while Rome has become too complacent after their victory and too focussed on internal politics rather then their enemy.

But this is about action, set within an interesting historical period, the author blends both land and sea action so we readers get quite a wide perspective from naval action to Legionaries mixing it on the land. Our lead characters are a Greek Captain in the Roman fleet and a Centurion acting as a marine within the fleet. Our heroes have made enemies with influence in Rome, can they survive long enough to be part of the big battle that is to come and might decide Rome's future?

This is good stuff, well written and fast paced. There is an element of the expected in this, the traditional bad guy, the two friends, the love interest and the action but it is well put together and takes a rightful place alongside those more well known authors of this period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars swashbuckling adventure 18 Feb 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For a good, old-fashioned escapist adventure, this book was great. Very similar to Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, but with interesting historical details thrown in about the Roman Republic era. The book might also appeal to those interested in the development of naval warfare.
The characters are well defined and the author gives an insight into the high political intrigue of the day, drawing parallels between the ruling elites of Rome and Carthage.
Easy reading but very enjoyable. I think this series has way to go yet.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A clone 27 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure who started first, Robert Stack, Roberto Fabbri or Simon Scarrow, but this book felt like a clone of other works. I'm sure the historical content is accurate, but the characters lacked epth and the plot was too predictable for me. Stacks' book about the Spanish Armada was far more satisfying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captain of Rome 10 Jun 2014
By bob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
excellent read. good plot and characters.highly recommended. I can't wait to start the third part of the trilogy. cracking read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captain of Rome 3 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Story was very good, I didn't want to put it down once I started reading!
Charactures were very believable and I enjoyed the historic input.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thoroughly enjoyable read.
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Fighting for Rome
You can smell the sea feel the sun and taste the blood of your enemies what do you need ENJOY
Published 10 months ago by gronnard
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
Written by a very good author who continues to produce excellent works which I find very enjoyable and look forward to the next one.
Published 18 months ago by J. Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a great read.
Read the entire series if you love history (especially early (c256: First Punic War) Roman history.
Stack is excellent at describing scenes; I could feel the excitement and... Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2012 by Christian A. Tischhauser
1.0 out of 5 stars Competent, but predictable
Time was, it would be easy to know whether a book was 'pulp fiction' or not depending on whether it was in those rotating stacks at your local railway station or at the airport. Read more
Published on 18 May 2012 by Signalman
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulls no punches
Battles for dominance between Romans and Carthaginians form the backbone of this gripping novel, with the activities of sea captain Atticus and Centurion Septimus centremost. Read more
Published on 13 Dec 2011 by JoTownhead
3.0 out of 5 stars row row row your boat
i woud rank this as good as anything by ben kane but this second book tends just to drift a bit
the villians so good in the first book tend to be pantomine by book two has... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2011 by mark1000
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
If you can live with the historical inaccuracies, and the many typos and grammatical errors, then you'll enjoy this pacy, exciting book.
Published on 26 July 2011 by Mr. P. Colbourne
5.0 out of 5 stars Roman naval warfare for fans of history
I eagerly awaited the second instalment of this exciting new series & was not disappointed. I have been a fan of Simon Scarrow for some time & the style, in depth research &... Read more
Published on 18 July 2011 by T. J. Sowerbutts
5.0 out of 5 stars The Continuing Saga... Good stuff!
This is the second in the series of books dealing with the Punic Wars, with the focus very much on war at sea - an unusual and refreshing take on the period. Read more
Published on 3 July 2011 by Mike Mac
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