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Sword of Empire: Praetorian [Kindle Edition]

Richard Foreman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 146 pages
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Book Description

171AD.

Rome is at war with the northern tribes - and is yet to win a significant battle.
The Germanic armies have crossed the Danube and have attacked the Empire, slaughtering thousands.

The Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, is losing the support of the people and the Senate.
Yet he has formed a plan he believes will change the balance of power in the region.

Aurelius has despatched an officer in the Praetorian Guard, the centurion Gaius Maximus, to escort the son and daughter of a powerful German tribal chief back to their village through enemy territory - in hope of arranging an alliance with Rome.

But Maximus, to complete his mission, must contest with enemies at home, as well as abroad.

One man will change the fate of an Empire, or die trying.

From the backstreets of Rome, to the forests of Germany, and onto the Battle of Pannonia, Sword of Empire: Praetorian is the first book in a new series from the bestselling author of the novel Augustus: Son of Rome - and the Sword of Rome collection of novellas about the campaigns of Julius Caesar.

For fans of Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane and Conn Iggulden.

Richard Foreman's books have been widely praised.

Praise for 'Augustus: Son of Rome'.

'Augustus: Son of Rome forges action and adventure with politics and philosophy. This superb story is drenched in both blood and wisdom - and puts Foreman on the map as the coming man of historical fiction'. - Saul David, Author of the Zulu Hart series.

Praise for Raffles: The Complete Innings.

“Classy, humorous and surprisingly touching tales of cricket, friendship and crime.” - David Blackburn, The Spectator.

Richard Foreman is the author of numerous best-selling books, including 'Augustus: Son of Rome' and the Raffles series of historical crime novellas. He is also the author of 'Warsaw', a literary novel set during the Second World War. He lives in London.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 482 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press Ltd. (14 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GO6EPXM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 18 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sword of Empire has everything you need in a thrilling historical read: action, good history, humour and a strong sense of character and emotive drive.

There are plenty of enigmatic male characters but I also (eventually) liked the book's heroine, Aurelia. She's not just a damsel in distress - indeed in some ways she saves the hero. Towards the end Maximus and Aurelia share a touching scene that encompasses love, grief and religion.

The author cleverly uses quotes from The Meditations and other classics to add to the dialogue. Am intrigued enough to read more about period and the author provides some recommendations in an end note.

Be warned that this is not quite a full length book, although it's far more substantial than a short story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to his second series 21 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought the Complete Campaigns which contained all the Sword of Rome series to save on money rather than buying each story and really enjoyed them. Again, whilst I prefer slightly longer works of fiction, hence why I enjoyed the omnibus, I thought this was a great introduction to the series. The writer has grown a lot as a writer. Some of the same humour features again, but less so than the previous books. A great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling mix of action and politics 13 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rome is at war with the German tribes and Emperor Marcus Aurelius has yet to win a battle. The book follows centurion Gaius Maximus on his mission to escort the son and daughter of a German tribal chief on a mission to forge an alliance.

This novella is a compelling mix of action and politics. It also touches on Roman culture and religion. The main characters are well-rounded and engaging, though some of the minor ones don't linger long enough to make an impression.

All in all entertaining historical fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, full-bodied novella 4 Jan. 2014
By hcm
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novella opens with blood, the near-fatal stabbing of a young German in a Roman villa, and the abduction of his intelligent and head-strong sister. A series of dramatic twists, sharp and often humorous dialogue and gripping action lead the story to a similarly gore-filled ending and an enemy stabbed through the neck on the battlefield. Gaius Maximus, centurion and Praetorian Guard, forges the path of the narrative, a strong and silent hero, suffering from the raw grief of losing his family, and supported by his charismatic optio Atticus. Foreman seamlessly weaves into the narrative several intrigues, from the Christianity of the German heroine, her relationship with the "ghost from her past" Maximus, to the political plotting of Atticus' own father against the philosophical Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Action unfolds at an exciting pace, and the host of interesting characters are complemented by the descriptive detail of their surroundings and the plot, making this a thoroughly enjoyable, well-balanced short read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Enjoyable 26 Dec. 2013
By Scotty
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Perhaps only a 'novella' but full of detail and well written action. A really good 'historical' adventure story, totally comparable to established mainstream Roman novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting! 18 Dec. 2013
By emily_k
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit Sword of Empire: Praetorian is not something I would usually read but I thought I would give it a try!

I was expecting the tone of the novella to be quite serious and political. I was, however, pleasantly surprised as little snippets of humour caught me off-guard and the underlying, yet subtle, themes of romance, family and rivalry made the plot interesting and entertaining.

I found some of the historical terms somewhat difficult to understand and found myself having to look-up some of the words online. However, this did not spoil by enjoyment of the novel as it was nonetheless very interesting. In particular I liked the attention and detail which was made to the historical references as it offered a short glimpse into the culture of Ancient Rome and brung the setting of the story to life.

Even though the story is quite short; a lot of action takes place and the characters are well developed and researched. However, I found some of the relationships between the characters too predictable and I would have also liked a bit more gore during the fight scenes (but that is just my weird personal taste!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing the Romans! 27 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Must say this is not my usual sort of reading, but having come across it I'm very glad I did. It's a fast and exciting military adventure with a bit of fascinating history thrown in, plus plenty of blood and sex! The scenes in Roman brothels are an eye-opener, and the way you get to see the world-view of both the Romans and the 'Germanic hordes' who are determined to bring them down is thought-provoking. Loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction at its Best. 21 Feb. 2014
By Laura
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Historical fiction at its best, author Richard Foreman grabs the reader by the toga and allows them to experience life when the Roman Empire ruled the world.
Exploring questions of identity and loyalty the story begins when two siblings are attacked in their home, German by nationality but Roman in heart, the attack sparks a battle that is set to change the Roman Empire forever. The barbaric German tribes are revolting, slaughtering Romans by the thousands. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, knows that the German armies are strong and approaching fast across the Danube. Quick-witted and eager to avoid defeat he escorts the siblings through enemy territory back to their home in Germany. Facing death at every turn, when the siblings are finally returned their father Tarbus, instead of being thankful for the safe return of his son and daughter, he imprisons the soldiers for their effort. With the attempt at allying with the German tribes failed and Marcus Aurelius is forced into battle, succeeding in a fast-paced clash of swords cinematically described and ringing with the cries of battle. The story is unexpected and gripping, with the characters skilfully crafted, involving the reader from the very start in their lives as they set out on an adventure that could very well end them. The female character of Aurelia is particularly interesting, standing out from the conventional female in historical fiction. She is far from being a two dimensional damsel in distress and is instead believably feisty and in her own way somewhat heroic. The soldiers, too, are not simply bloodthirsty villains, but philosophical and intelligent.
The result is a story that not only draws the reader in with the promise of blood and an epic battle but is also touching and interestingly human. Its philosophical musings reach across time and relate to the reader with a kindle, as to a Roman with a sword.
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