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The Nowhere Legion [Kindle Edition]

Francis Hagan
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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  • Length: 552 pages
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Book Description

It is two years after Julian, the last pagan emperor of Rome, has died in the disaster of his Persian invasion and the east of Rome now is in chaos. A usurper has appeared to challenge the rule of the emperor Valens while all along the frontiers of the empire, the Persians and the Saraceni are rising up in war and revolt. For one lonely legion, marching south from Damascus to a transit camp, these events conspire to lead it out into the hostile deserts and ruins deep in the lands of the Saraceni. There, it must garrison an abandoned fort far from home; a fort riddled with betrayal and in whose shadow lies the awful legacy of a dead emperor.

Follow the exploits of the men and officers of the Quinta Macedonica Legio as it makes a final stand far from empire and succour only to discover that the sands of the past run deep and no one is quite who he appears to be . . .

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2185 KB
  • Print Length: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Francis Hagan; 1 edition (15 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008LUX4HW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #139,981 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I have been writing on and off since I was a shy lad hiding under the bed and scribbling in an out of date diary (I think it was about my space travels). Most of my works have been either plays populated with grotesques who stumble around ruins and those odd places we forget about - or epic tales of those last Roman legionaries as they falter and fall at the end of Empire.

In these stories, the dying light of Rome flutters one final desperate time as I seek to follow the last of the Eagles down into their fates. Here, archaeological record, literary fragments, and my own invention intertwine to set a stage ripe for heroics and betrayal. 'The Nowhere Legion' is the first in a series of novels I am writing which will delve into that fatal period where the emperor Valens is slaughtered upon the fields of Hadrianople and the Goths break forever into the Roman Empire. It is a period fraught with tragedy and heroics, caught as it is on a cusp between the last of the ancient world and dawning of what we are later to call the 'middle ages' . . .

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic 24 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This isn't a particularly sophisticated review. I just wanted to pipe up and have my say on a book that deserves it.
I always a soldier myself I get bored quite easily and i never put my kindle down. So I've read a fair few books from Harry Potter to Chris Ryan. However my kindle is full of titles from authors such as Anthony Riches, Gordon Doherty, Harry Sidebottom, Douglas Jackson and Simon Scarrow so its safe to say the Roman Empire and its Legions have always gripped me, mainly because I'm a fan of the gritty descriptions of the hand to hand combat of those days.

So to The Nowehere Legion. This book as absolutely enthralled me. I couldn't put it down...I've spent hours in coffee shops reading while my coffee gets cold on the table with my stomach in butterfly's as I hang on every word!
It's got the face to face gritty hand to hand combat with a complex mix of what I can only describe as soul stirring emotions. Yes ok as a simple reader I can get bogged down in some of the writing and language but it's just enough so that you can burst through it and read on all the while these complex words and stirring emotions seem to hit home with pin point accuracy.

I love how everything just falls into place in this story...which is obvious as its a book! But for me it was so easy to lose yourself in it, that it could be an epic tale straight from the pages of a history textbook.
Maybe because I'm a soldier but this books gives me certain nostalgia, in comrades and in a commander and leader of men, of selfless heroics, of honour and loyalty mixed with old gods and a crumbling Empire.

To sum this review up...of all the books i have read I've never written a review before. This book has made me want to write one as I'm so convinced that people need to read this, and as a result will be better off for it because it might teach them something or they might learn something about themselves.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pathos, Glory, Redemption and Loss 18 July 2012
By Ybbon
Format:Kindle Edition
I read the original of this novel on the TWC (Total War Center) where it was written in a format called an AAR (After Action Report). Some of these are fun, diverting, entertaining but ultimately just people writing about their games.

The Nowhere Legion had a startlingly original take, just a couple of old professors with an academic correspondence about some dusty old scrolls. As the story underneath built we are first entranced by the discussion between these clearly old friends, then we are taken to the next story, an old Legion being decommissioned by the faceless bureaucrats of the time. The eunuch administrator ignoring the Legions, honours, past glories and traditions, just one more piece of paperwork to be filled in, filed and forgotten. Now why does that sound familiar?

Forced to read a scroll of the exploits of one of the Legion commanders, Felix, we are dragged into a march into hell. The Legion, to project the force of Rome and oppose the Persians is sent into the Syrian deserts to occupy an old broken fort. With no support they drag the Persian armies after them into the Nefud Desert for a final climactic confrontation.

There are no heroes, no villains, just regular soldiers doing their job under the most difficult circumstances, no support, no triumphal procession into Rome with virgins throwing themselves on the Legionnaires. Brutal, yet beautifully told, pathos and wit combine to show the lot of a Legionnaire in a dying Empire far from home with every element and every stranger determined to lay them low.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Enjoyable Read 20 July 2012
By Bregil
Format:Kindle Edition
Like Ybbon, I read this story on the Total War Center forums while it was being written.
Though it starts a bit slow (there are, after all, several different sets of characters that you need to get acquainted with) the story soon takes off on a whirlwind of an adventure. Through highs and lows, victories and defeats, you are so thoroughly immersed in the setting that your imagination does not have to work hard at all to believe you are marching, fighting, and enduring alongside the main character.

If you at all enjoy the Late Roman period (even just historical fiction in general) The Nowhere Legion is certainly worth the read. Bernard Cornwell is one of the few other authors that have immersed me into an era as well as Francis Hagan has managed to do. It truly is one of those books that you find yourself saying, 'just one more chapter' at 3 AM. If you are at all on the fence about this book, it is hard to go wrong at it's current price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable historical novel 25 Mar. 2013
Works of historical fiction can often fail to deliver well on the fiction side of the equation, and I always open one with trepidation, hoping that I am not about to read a dry, factual history. I'm happy to say that The Nowhere Legion succeeds admirably in achieving the balance between good storytelling and historical content and is far from dry, historical fact.

The 'found document' plot device is used to good effect to bring the main story of the Legion into play, which then alternates back and forth between the content of the document and a letter from its reader to a colleague in the present day. At first, I thought that the back and forth would become a distraction, but the author is careful to limit it after the first couple of chapters and not let it get in the way of the story telling.

When the eponymous legion sets out on a mission that is seemingly very mundane, things turn out to be anything but. The author does an excellent job at bringing the details of the daily life of the Legion to the page, and the protagonists of the story are well-rounded and believable in the historical context. Metaphors are used liberally in the writing to good effect, bringing to life the landscapes and the objects and characters that populate them. The author uses a number of esoteric words that are appropriate for the work, but limits them to a small number that are then used often throughout the book: you may find yourself reaching for a dictionary at first, but after a chapter or two you will be well acquainted with the words and no new ones are introduced.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read
Published 5 months ago by Roger Jenkins
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a little hard going at times
This is gritty, realistic and somewhat unusual Roman historical fiction novel. It's a great story but seemed to wallow at times, or maybe that's just me. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dor
1.0 out of 5 stars Good story badly told
Verbose and disappointing. Good story badly told.
Published 11 months ago by Mr M T Humphreys
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 12 months ago by Sarah Covins
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent effort
Read anything by Manfredi. Then read this.

Unlike Manfredi, Hagan appears to understand how to complete a story, as well as start one. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Eternal sunshine of the optimistic mind
4.0 out of 5 stars Too long
A good story but a bit drawn out.12more words required,fancy being told to write by a computer!!!!!!so thank you and goodbye.
Published 23 months ago by H.B.Leonard
3.0 out of 5 stars long winded at times
good read but at times repeats itself and gets long winded seems to go on about things that have already been covered as if to stretch out the book
Published on 31 July 2013 by tommy
1.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and disappointing
I forced myself to keep reading the first thirty pages before realizing this was not for me. I dipped into the book at various places further on, but failed to be gripped by the... Read more
Published on 11 July 2013 by Mr. C. J. Nicholls
4.0 out of 5 stars Desert Warriors
I have given it 4 stars because I found the interruptive text spoilt the flow of the story. A good tale however and I would enjoy future stories by this author.
Published on 11 Jun. 2013 by david m lewis
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Carelessness with syntax, otherwise quite enjoyable. The setting and period are of interest and not much is written about Julian.
Published on 22 May 2013 by Nandita Menon
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