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The Republic of Vengeance Paperback – 26 Jul 2011

17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press; 1 edition (26 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590204743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590204740
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 961,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'...an engrossing tale in which graphic scenes of battle are interwoven with moments of reflection and passion.' -- Daily Express

'I've waited ages for something this good to come along, and this debut brings to mind one name - Mary Renault.' -- Sue Baker, Publishing News

'Naomi Mitchison, Mary Renault, Rosemary Sutclif, William Golding - and classicist Paul Waters deserves to be mentioned in the same breath' -- Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History, Cambridge University

'This is a delight to read, beautifully plotted masterpiece, and deserves to become one of the classics of historical fiction.'
-- Manda Scott

'Waters tells a fast-moving tale with conviction.' -- Mail on Sunday

'an absolutely engrossing tale in which the graphically described battle scenes are leavened by moments of passion and tenderness.'
-- one80reviews

`A thrilling tale of revenge which grips from the start and doesn't let go'. -- James Delingpole author of Thinly Disguised Autobiography

`A wonderful debut novel.'
-- New Books Magazine

`With its restrained, elegant and poetic tone, Of Merchants & Heroes brings to mind Mary Renault.'
-- Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy

`a superior example of the sword-and-sandals ethos.' -- Dorset Echo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

At the end of the third century BC, as Republican Rome's long war with Carthage in Africa draws to a close, a new danger is arising in the east – the ruthless and ambitious King of Macedon, Philip the Fifth, is moving against the independent city-states of Greece and threatening Rome itself.

Against this background, Marcus, a young Roman, embarks on a sea crossing from Italy to Corfu with his father. Pirates, led by the wild corsair Dikaiarchos, ambush the ship and Marcus's father sacrifices his own life in order to save his son.

Marcus vows to avenge his father's death, setting him on a voyage of spiritual and emotional growth that will forge his character. He becomes the confidant of generals and politicians, and is cast into the midst of the rising conflict, travelling among the cities of Greece and Italy during a time of political turmoil and cultural upheaval. It is a journey that will bring him at last to his unexpected destiny.

In the tradition of Mary Renault and Robert Graves, Of Merchants & Heroes is a remarkable, beautifully written novel of love, loss and redemption. It is not only a historical adventure; it explores timeless questions of freedom, right and duty.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Paul Waters is a well-travelled classicist, and though educated in Britain, he has lived much of his life abroad - in Africa, America, Greece among other places. He now writes full time.

This is a first rate novel in its own right but for anyone interested the classical world of Greece and Rome is an absolute must. Set in a period when Republican Rome's long and arduous war with Carthage is at long last drawing to a close, it was almost inevitable that another power would have it's eyes on the gates of Rome. The new enemy would be Philip of Macedon.

Woven into this backdrop is the story of Marcus, a young Roman who father has been brutally murdered by pirates while on a sea voyage to the island of Corfu. Marcus vows to avenge his father's death by finding his killer. While doing this he visits some of the great cities of the 3rd century BC and makes many decisions that help to make him the man that he becomes.

The book reflects the beauty of the period and on the other side of the coin the barbarity that existed, at a time when human life was cheap and sometimes the toss of a coin decided whether a man lived or died. Undoubtedly the author has a love and passion for the period of history in which the book takes place. Well worth a read. Personally I hope that the author writes another one quickly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ben Kane on 18 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book thanks to a recommendation by another Amazon reviewer, and I am very glad that I did. Of Merchants and Heroes is an extremely well-written book, full of beautiful described scenes and wise words. Readers can find the basic plotline in the book description, but the story arc follows a Roman youth, Marcus, into early adulthood; this takes place against the backdrop of the end of the final war against Carthage and Rome's ensuing entanglement in Greece's politics. There is revenge here, as well as romance, yearning, and the understanding that can come through suffering. Far more than a 'sword and sandals' epic, this excellent book is about love, loss and emotional maturity.

Ben Kane, author of The Forgotten Legion.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I didn't quite know what to expect with this novel, having recently over-indulged on modern adventure stories. But I'm glad I read the book. Not only is it highly readable thanks very much to the writing style of the author but the story itself begs you to turn the page. It's quite a long book so you have to put it down but I found myself looking forward to the next time I could follow Marcus on his journey through the Roman States and the war-torn countryside of Greece during the third century BC.

The author cleverly mixes true and well-known (in some cases!) historical characters with his own heroes of the time and blends this work of fiction into the facts of the period.

Sometimes serene, sometimes frenetic, Marcus's life and love develops as he finally comes face to face with the man who killed his father some four years before. Now twenty, Marcus has become a man and the story of his maturity is told with a gentleness and a seriousness which ought to propel this book into the top ten for 2008.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FUTURESTARdelux on 13 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
I first read "cast not the day" his second book and was swept away into the fantastic world of ancient rome so I just had to read this book too and wasn't dissapointed (except by one thing, more of which later!) the characters are very interesting and i ended up caring what happens to them and thats not just the main characters either.
The descriptions are vivid and evocative and the plot was great too but the one thing that annoys me with this (and cast not the day) is that there areno sex scenes between marcus and menenexos and i'm not being pervy it's just the realistic thing, love happens lol.
Hopefully his new book which is to be published this year will be equally good but with more sex lol ;D
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By ereini0n on 15 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
A child stands on the edge of a cliff. He's just seen a young girl commit an enormous act of bravery. He's just seen his father stand up to death itself to save his life. He knows the face of the man who murdered his father. He will remember it forever. His father traded his own life for his. He takes this gift. He runs.

A young boy comes home to his mother, an honourable and brave Roman woman. A woman who trades her own happiness to save their farm - she marries the boy's uncle. Not a bad man. A Roman businessman - that's all there is to say.

A young man with no military experience helps save a nobleman's life against some brigands. He is introduced to the man's nephew - Titus Flamininus, a visionary, a dreamer, a lover of Greece. Impressed and honoured to be included in such company, he comes to share the love and awe of that ancient and proud land.

A young man stands on the edges of a gymnasium, watching a Greek youth train with his comrades. "That is Menexenos", says his friend Titus' brother Lucius. The Greek is noble and rich. They become friends. They train together, they fight together. They love. They live.

A young man stands on a fork in the road - he has a mother and a sister. He has a lover. He has powerful friends. He has more than enough military experience. His uncle and adoptive father has been kidnapped. He has a choice...

I never use the word 'love' in real life, and hardly ever about books, but I LOVED this one.
Such a simple but powerful story, so subtle and well written, with characters one can't help but get to know and love, be sad and happy for.
There's Marcus, clever and loyal and determined, who's gone trough more in his short life than most grown men.
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