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William Harper
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Asked to rebuild the Fourth-Britannia Legion by Governor Quintus Urbicus to defend an effort to build a wall north of Hadrian's Wall to protect friendly tribes there, former legate Gaius Marcus accepts the challenge on his wife's advice to gain advancement for his eldest son, Marcus Heraclius who will go as his optio. Gaius finds the British legionaries and auxiliaries eager for action, pay, and advancement. He leads north up the center while Legate Appius takes the Twentieth up the west. Governor Urbicus advances in the east. Gaius is doubtful about the identity of the tribes he fought as Caledonians early in Hadrian's reign.
He meets Prince Ponarax of the horse-loving Epidii, friendly to Rome. Urbicus buys a horse. But there is a hostile alliance, the Maeatae, whose leader-Bellamachus spits in Governor Urbicus' face and goes to sea. Appius and Gaius are attacked by a strong force. They medicate and free the survivors to try to split the alliance. Their victory helps justify Antoninus Pius' title Imperator. Coming to the River Clyde, Appius and the Twentieth begin work on its north side while Gaius and the Fourth fight a desperate battle to the north to protect them and the Damnonii people living in an old Roman fort Colonica. Young Marcus Heraclius falls in love with Chief Ciridimacius daughter, lovely Elefra, though the Damnonii are no help in the battle. Epidii lancers do help. Yet the Damnonii cattle and sheep-herders provide food to Gaius' Fourth. Lunging north on an old Roman road, Gaius and his troops take Bellamachus' harbor stronghold by a ruse. Between the Roman Navy and Marcus' Artillery Bellamachus is killed by an arrow from Gaius' bow. The pirate captains are executed and the Triumph on Ocean goes to Admiral Murexus. The Northern tribes must turn to a more peaceful life-way. Attacks continue by archery on unprotected workers, and by night on fortifications. Pictish pirate attacks on the Epidii turn out to be a small problems, when one night battle has the Damnonii fighting for their lives. Behind the Fourth the Antonine Wall is completed. The Picts unexpectedly appeal for clemency, when they are driven from their impoverished part of Hibernia. The tribes protected between the walls welcome them and Imperator Antoninus Pius sees they are fed and have seed grain. With his son married to Elefra, Gaius has become a grandfather. Damnonii archers and Picts grow interested in becoming Roman auxiliaries. Gaius recruits and ascertains none wish to train with the Brigantes at Hadrian's Wall. He passes his command to his Primus Pilus Dagdadumnus. With permission of Governor and Imperator Gaius returns to Italia with family and optio. He gets a letter from Greek General and author Arrian that the Alani Horde is about to invade eastern Dacia. Some cast doubts. By the time Imperator Antoninus has given power to Gaius to act, none have doubts. The Alani, 40,000, strong raid the Bastarnae horse herds before King Jordonos can summon his cavalry and phalanx warriors. Gaius persuades him to gamble more horses and fake gold. With these they lure the Alani onto bad ground, where they defeat them decisively. Jordonos sets out to sell the horses at Tomis on the Black Sea. Gaius scouts to the east and finds a huge devastated region. At Roman Angusta he finds from Tribune Macrinus that 60,000 Alani under Adarnasir are not forty miles east. Gaius fortifies and seeks allies. Hubric, Uncle of Jordonos, brings livestock for food and his cavalry and phalanx men. The Romans practice the phalanx. They mount their artillery and fortify, massing their cavalry. With enemies north and south the Alans under Adarnasir try to charge over them, but are defeated by the phalanx, archery and artillery as well as fortification. Hubric goes to sell horses. Gaius leads his men back to Italia. He tells the Imperator to keep Picts and Brigantes apart for peace in Britannia. In Dacia peace will last a generation. Gaius goes to Sephrona never to leave again.

Books In This Series (5 Books)
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    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 2811 KB
    • Print Length: 289 pages
    • Publisher: KINDLE BOOKS; FIRST ED. KINDLE BOOKS. WILLIAM HARPER JAN. 2014 edition (3 Jan. 2014)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00HO1WQP0
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #177,704 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    2.0 out of 5 stars Detail 25 Jan. 2015
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    this book is well written. It is apparent from the beginning of the book the William Harper is an expert in his field. He speaks of weapons and seige weapons as would a roman soldier of the day. but it would have helped if we had a glossary describing all the things mentioned. Not a Simon Scarrow.
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    By dee43
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Brilliant, I started from the wrong end and having read this last book was eager to read the first book and about the family lives amid turbolent times
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    2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Drivel 12 May 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Cardboard characters and schoolboy prose compounded with the poorest historical research I think that I have ever seen in a novel of this genre.
    Fortunately I bought the Kindle version which was easily deleted with no cost to the environment, the printed versions are a waste of a good tree.
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    3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but..... 20 Jun. 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Story okay, but written in a strange way. I thought it was maybe a translation, as it did not read that well. Still worth a look though.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 10 July 2014
    By HMS
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Entertaining novel of Roman Britain.
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