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The Imperial Banner (The Agent of Rome)
The Imperial Banner (The Agent of Rome)
by Nick Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agent of Rome, the Imperial Banner, Nick Brown- Book review, 13 Oct 2013
The Imperial Banner is the second book in Nick Brown's The Agent of Rome series and sees us return to the third century and our inexperienced, unlikely hero Cassius Corbulo. After the events in The Siege, Cassius and his manservant Simo have some down time solving some minor crimes which understandably Corbulo enjoys! However, after a long standing conflict between Rome and its greatest rival Persia comes to an end, Corbulo and Simo are called back into action by the Imperial Security Service. As part of the peace treaty between Rome and Persia, a symbolic battle standard know as the Faridun's Banner (or the Derafsh Kaviani) which was captured by the Romans in the war, is agreed to be returned to the Persian Emperor as part of the coming together of the great Empires. The Imperial Security Service is tasked with transporting the standard from Antioch to the peace talks between Rome and Persia. However, when the convoy does not report in several days after its departure, the Service begins to fear the worst and Corbulo is tasked with retrieving the Standard from whomever stole it. Luckily for Corbulo, the Service provides the young officer with a body guard to protect him from the bandits that likely stole the Standard.

Indavara is a sword for hire and is tasked with protecting Corbulo on his investigation. A freed Gladiator, Indavara is an expert in sword fighting and archery, which is lucky for Corbulo because when Indavara first meets him, he is being attack by three Legionaries! At first Corbulo and the Service expect that the convoy was ambushed by brigands left over from Queen Zenobia's rebellion. However, when clues are unearthed and rumours about Antioch's leading politicians are proved true, Corbulo's belief that the attack on the convoy was an 'inside job' becomes stronger and stronger. Nevertheless, his superiors disagree and are convinced that the Banner was stolen accidentally by opportunistic bandits. With his limited experience, Corbulo is uncertain whether to follow orders or go with his gut instinct,but after a failed assassination attempt on his life, Corbulo is certain that Roman politics and political intrigue is at play and follows his leads to the heart of Antioch's society.

In my review of The Siege I said that I really enjoyed the book because Corbulo was not made out to be a hero, but instead was a scared and inexperienced teenager, which for me made the book more realistic. In The Imperial Banner, Corbulo is still inexperienced teenager but he also becomes a very arrogant and at times, unlikable character. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this factor because again it made the novel and Corbulo seem much more realistic. I could imagine that a rich, aristocratic teenager who has the authority of the Roman Emperor would be arrogant and self-righteous and therefore a little bit unlikable. I don't know if this was intentional but I do really like how Corbulo isn't really the hero that seems to appear in books in this genre. In addition, I found the story behind Faridun's Banner intriguing and thought it was a good mystery for Corbulo to uncover!

All in all, this was a great historical mystery novel in a very promising series and I can't wait to check out the next novel The Far Shore. I would suggest this book to fans of other Roman history novels such as Simon Scarrow's Marco and Cato series or Anthony Riches's Empire series. I'd also suggest it to fans of other historical mystery novels such as C. J. Sansom's Shardelake series.

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VIBOX Precision 6 - 4.0GHz AMD Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 1TB, Home, Office, Family, Gaming PC, Multimedia, Desktop PC Computer with 1x Top Game Bundle (4.0GHz AMD Athlon 750K Quad Core Processor, 2GB Radeon R7 240 Graphics Card, 1TB HDD Hard Drive, 8GB 1600mhz RAM, No Operating Software)
VIBOX Precision 6 - 4.0GHz AMD Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 1TB, Home, Office, Family, Gaming PC, Multimedia, Desktop PC Computer with 1x Top Game Bundle (4.0GHz AMD Athlon 750K Quad Core Processor, 2GB Radeon R7 240 Graphics Card, 1TB HDD Hard Drive, 8GB 1600mhz RAM, No Operating Software)
Offered by Vibox Ltd
Price: 449.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, 2 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I originally bought this product to play PC games on and the quality was great, letting me easily play games such as Rome Total War II on high settings.

Since then I have also started using this product to produce my own play through videos of PC games for Youtube and I have to say that the computer preforms extremely well, letting me render, record and play video games all at the same time and all running smoothly!

The reason I only gave this product 4 stars was that I had some troubles getting the 3 free games. The instructions giving send you to a wrong web page to redeem your gift and it wasn't until I got in touch with AMD that it was sorted. However, this was not Vibox's fault but AMD's and I thought I should just put this in as a warning.

All in all this a great, well priced PC for any gamer!


The Strangled Queen (The Accursed Kings, Book 2)
The Strangled Queen (The Accursed Kings, Book 2)
by Maurice Druon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.03

4.0 out of 5 stars The Strangled Queen, Maurice Druon- Book Review, 5 Sep 2013
The Strangled Queen is the second book in Maurice Druon's nail-biting The Accursed Kings series. The novel follows on from The Iron King and finds medieval France in turmoil after the death of one of its most successful and respected Kings, Philip the Fair. His son Louis has inherited the Kingdom but does not possess the brilliance of his late father and is easily swayed in making decisions by his bold and charismatic uncle Charles of Valois. Charles is of the old ways of France and hated most of Philip the Fair's new bureaucratic methods which modernised the Kingdom. In addition, Charles hated the new methods most of all because they raised the middle class into the social elite. He wants France to return to the era of chivalry and the time of powerful nobility. To do this, Charles manipulates his weak nephew by promising him a new marriage after the embarrassment of Marguerite of Burgundy (Louis wife) and Philippe d'Aunay's affair. However, to achieve his goals Charles must first remove his greatest rival Enguerrand Marigny, the old King's closet advisor, from the French court.

Meanwhile, Marguerite of Burgundy and her sister Blanche are still been held prisoners by Louis X, whom is awaiting the appointment of a new Pope to divorce his marriage from his adulterous wife. The miserable dark cell is enough to crack the once beautiful and powerful Queen of France and forces her to write a confession that states her marriage was never valid. However, after no news is heard from the King after the departure of the letter, Marguerite's future looks very bleak and when new condemning evidence is discovered against Marguerite and her protector, Enguerrand Marigny, her future also looks very short...

I found this book much better than The Iron King. Don't get me wrong, I did really like the first book, I thought as a historical-fiction novel it was probably one of the best I've read this year because it was so full of historical detail. However, as a thriller I didn't think it was that thrilling and thought marketing the novel as `the original Game of Thrones' was very misplaced. The Strangled Queen on the other hand totally fits this bill! It was full of political intrigue, plots and betrayal that I loved and like The Iron King, Druon's historical detail was top notch. Coupled with the intrigue, Druon successfully and entertainingly shows the weakness of the French crown at the start of the thirteenth century.

This was a great novel and has got me really excited to read the next book in the series The Poisoned Crown, which from the sound of its title already sounds epic! I'd suggest this book to anyone who likes historical-fiction, especially authors such as Bernard Cornwell and his Grail Quest series. I'd also suggest it to fans of Game of Thrones because as George R. R. Martin explains in his Forward note at the start of the book, this novel was the inspiration behind his series.

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Daddy Was a Punk Rocker
Daddy Was a Punk Rocker
Price: 3.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex and Drugs and Rock n' Roll!, 22 Aug 2013
Daddy Was a Punk Rocker is the deeply moving memoir written by Adam Sharp, who tells the story of his amazing life, but often difficult and troubled upbringing. Been an unwanted son of a heroin addict mother (Martine) and a punk rock father (Colin), Adam's young life was plagued with violence and abandonment. In addition, moving from households in Manchester and Newcastle made Adam question who he was as he struggled to create an identity. However, because of his spirit, determination and the belief that his father will always come good, Adam goes on to become a successful but troubled young man.

It's hard to give a review of what happens in this novel because I don't want to give too much away. What I think you guys should know is that this book is truly well written and moving. I loved how honest Sharp was in the novel, which must have been really hard because it's his own life he's talking about! Nevertheless, I think it's great that he holds nothing back as it makes his story so much more grittier and real. It also makes his memoir extremely sad. This is because throughout his childhood and adolescence, Adam clings to the idea that one day his father will be like any other Dad and return drug free and ready to whisk Adam away to a home where they can listen to punk music together. To try and speed along this dream, Adam constantly pushes himself to be stronger, smarter or faster in the hope that his personal achievements will impress his father.

However, by putting his Dad on this pedestal, Adam continually sets himself up for a fall when Colin breaks his promises by not showing up to their meetings or by returning to his drug addiction. I thought this was so sad because in the mind of a child this must be devastating- to do all that you can to impress someone in the hope they will love you and care for you and then to have it totally ignored must have been heart breaking! You can see why Adam does some of things he does in the novel. Of course, there are some happier moments in the novel too but again I don't want to say too much and spoil anything!

All in all this book was a great read about a father and son who both wanted to share their lives together but unfortunately couldn't. I got so addicted to Adam's story that I was reading it on my iPhone at work because I just could not get enough! I'd suggest this book to anyone who wants to read a novel that's a little bit different but that's also immensely honest and entertaining to read! Plus, at the minute the e-book is only 79p on Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain so make sure to go and buy it!

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The Siege (The Agent of Rome)
The Siege (The Agent of Rome)
by Nick Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Change to the Roman Historical Fiction Genre!, 3 July 2013
The Siege is the first book in Nick Brown's debut the Agent of Rome series and tells the tale of Cassius Corbulo, a young Roman aristocrat who after too much boozing and womanizing is forced to join the army by his Senator father. Luckily because of his standing in Roman society, Corbulo manages to gain a place in the Imperial Security Service, which in normal circumstances would handle administration within the army such as gaining food and supplies and not really fight on the front line with normal Legionaries.

However, when Queen Zenobia of Palmyra throws off the shackles of Rome and revolts in 270 AD, Corbulo finds himself been the highest ranking officer on the Syrian boundary and is tasked with holding an important fort called Alauran on the Roman supply line. Been a fresh recruit and only just passing his officer training, Corbulo is uneasy about taking a posting as the commander of the fort and when he learns that the cohort which is guarding Alauran are veterans from the Third Legion, Corbulo's insecurity is made much worse.

When Corbulo arrives at Alauran he finds the fort in a state of severe disrepair and with the death of their commander, the Legionaries of the defences have become lazy and ill disciplined. Nevertheless, Corbulo has to find a way to repair the fort and get the Legionaries on his side as news arrives that a Palmyran force has been dispatched to attack and capture Alauran. Lacking in leadership skills, Corbulo uses other methods such as bribes to gain the support of the fort's most influential officers and manages to motivate the men and their allies to fight and repair the defences with the promise of a relief column arriving within the next week (which Corbulo is not 100% sure will arrive!). However, this may not be enough as the unexplained murder of one of Corbulo's best men reveals that there is a traitor in the camp. In addition, the sheer number of Palmyran forces which arrives to siege Alauran means Corbulo will have to use all of his limited knowledge of soldiering and the experience of his officers to stem the tide of the Syrian conquest of Roman land!

As a debut novel this book was extremely well written and thought out and different to any other Roman novels I have read. Yes, like Scarrow's Cato and Riches's Corvus, the main character was an inexperienced young aristocrat who is thrown into leadership and has to make the best of a bad situation. But what I really enjoyed about this book and what I thought made it refreshing to this genre, is that whereas Cato and Corvus evolve into great leaders charging into battle and killing numerous foes, in this book at least, Corbulo doesn't. He is still nervous and confused about what he has to do as a leader and often times would rather let others tell him what to do instead of the other way round. I thought this was a great factor because it made the book seem much more realistic because I know if I was thrown into that situation, I'd have no clue what to do! I also think this factor helps portray the situation the Roman Empire was in in 270 AD as they would fast track young aristocrats into leadership roles because they had no other experienced men to fill them. I don't know, maybe in the later books Corbulo will evolve into a great leader but in this first novel I'm glad Brown made him the nervous young man I think he should have been.

I'd suggest this book to anyone who enjoys Roman historical novels and authors such as Simon Scarrow, Anthony Riches, Ben Kane and Gordon Doherty. I'd also suggest it to anyone who is looking for a great historical fiction novel because this book was brilliant and I'm sure is going to be a part of an amazing series. By the way, I'd like to say a massive thank you to Nick Brown for getting in touch and introducing me to his work- look out for his new novel Agent of Rome, The Far Shore which will be released on July 18th!

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Inferno: (Robert Langdon Book 4)
Inferno: (Robert Langdon Book 4)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inferno, Dan Brown- Book Review, 23 Jun 2013
Inferno is the fourth book in Dan Brown's truly captivating Robert Langdon series and the novel finds our favourite art historian in the beautiful and historic city of Florence to solve his next art puzzle and mystery. After waking up in a hospital bed, Langdon has no recollection of how he got there or where he is! It isn't until his Doctor (Sienna Brooks) informs him that he has been shot in the head with minor amnesia and that he is currently in Florence.

Poor Langdon has no idea why he is in Florence but more importantly, why someone would want to shoot him. All he does know is that the weird and demonic visions which keep coming to him of a grey haired woman telling him to `seek and ye shall find' seem more and more real, but Langdon has no idea what they mean! However, Langdon's ponderings and confusion is soon ended as a blonde spiked haired woman wearing black motor cycling leathers, bursts into his hospital room and tries to shoot him! Luckily, his quick thinking doctor manages to whisk Robert away to the safety of her flat and tries to explain what is going on, revealing to Langdon that when he arrived at the hospital he was carrying a very peculiar object with him.

The object is a long metallic tube with a biohazard symbol on it that looks like it will only open with the use of a specific person's fingerprint. Again, Langdon has no idea how he got it, however, when he places his finger on the device it opens. Luckily the item inside is not radioactive but is instead a small projector which when turned on, projects one of the most famous images of the Renaissance era, the La Mappa dell'Inferno by Sandro Botticelli. After this revelation, Langdon and Sienna are taken on a journey through Dante's Inferno and discover that the person behind the projector and the reason for Langdon's presence in Florence, is an extremely rich and powerful biogenetic scientist who believes that the human population needs to be culled for it to further evolve. Langdon and Sienna must work out the mad-scientist's riddles and puzzles to discover where he has hidden his `solution' to the problem of overpopulation and prevent it from been released to the world!

Once again Dan Brown has produced an astounding, bum on the end of your seat thriller! I'm always amazed at how he manages to consistently produce a remarkable plot but at the same time fill his books with so much historical detail, which I think Inferno has the most of. Brown's understanding of Dante's Divine Comedy is apparent throughout the novel but I really like how he manages to convey the information and story and twist it to his own plot.

Overall this was a great book and I'd suggest it to anyone who likes Brown's other novels or to anyone who just wants to read a great novel!

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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson- Book Review, 3 Jun 2013
I'd noticed this book on bookshelves many weeks before I actually purchased it. For some reason I've always held a prejudice against novels with really random names such as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, because I always think that the random titles are just a marketing scheme to get readers to buy the books, but I suppose all book titles do that... Anyway, for that reason I decided not to give this novel a read, however, after a friend of mine suggested this book I thought I'd give it a go- and when I saw the novel was on a `buy-one-get-one-half-price' deal I decided, `why not'? And to be perfectly honest, I'm so glad I picked this book up, it was great!

The novel is split into two parts based around the adventures of Allan Karlsson, a ninety-nine year old Swede who decides his mundane life in a retirement home is not the life for him. The first story is that of Allan's escape from the home (through his window) and his accidental theft of a suitcase from a rude man in a bus station. Allan has no idea that the rude man is in fact a notorious Never Again gang member or that the suitcase has 50 million Swedish Krona in it! Needless to say, when the gangster finds out Allan has stolen his suitcase, he immediately groups all of the gang's resources to hunt down the hundred-year-old man. However, what the gangster doesn't realise is that though Allan is old, he is also very resourceful and manages to make new friends to evade the gang members and even the police! Nevertheless, when the leader of Never Again gets involved, Allan and his friends have to be careful or they could end up losing their lives!

The second story (and the one which I preferred) is that of Allan's life. What's so interesting about Allan's life is that he seems to have been at nearly every major historical incident in the 20th Century! Whether that be a friend of Franco's in the Spanish Civil War, working on the A-Bomb, working with Stalin, been thrown into a Soviet Gulag, been in the Korean War and working for the CIA, Allan seems to have been a major influence on all of these events. I really loved this side of the book because one I love history and two because it makes you think about older people and some of the major events in world history which they have lived through. I think this novel makes this a key point in a sort of `don't judge a book by its cover' way. Many people judge the older generation as been boring and sometimes a bit of a nuisance, but in reality they have all lived through these extraordinary events and many (like Allan) may have taken part in them, which I think is amazing!

All in all, this was a great book and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read an interesting and humorous novel with a bit of history thrown in on the side! I don't know what books to compare it to because I've never really read anything like it before, but it has definitely persuaded me to give books with really random names such as Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Monk who sold his Ferrari and A Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine a chance!

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The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, Book 1)
The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, Book 1)
by Maurice Druon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars The Iron King, Maurice Druon- Book Review, 11 May 2013
After reading on George R. R. Martin's blog that this series of books was the inspiration behind the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I eagerly picked up this book from my local bookstore. As Martin said, the characters in this tale were as clever and as cunning as any in the Game of Thrones, however, the fact that all of them were real people made this book extremely appealing to me because you all know how much I love historical fiction. Alongside this, the fact that the novel was written by a French author about French history also had a great appeal to me because most of the historical fiction I've read has always been written by Englishmen and therefore, I think always making the stories a little one sided!

The book takes place in the early 14th century and is based around the court of Philip the Fair, or as some call him the `Iron King'. King Philip and his advisors have just managed to finally murder the last of the innocent Templar Knights that had been living in France since the last Crusade. In an attempt to seize their money and power, Philip and his advisors had created false accusations of heresy, sodomy and many other vile acts to create a case against the once respected Templars. However, just before the Grand Master of the Knights, Jacques De Molay is finally burned, he puts a curse on Philip's family (the Capets) which curses their line to the 13th generation.

Meanwhile in England, the new Queen Isabella (Philip's daughter) is plotting against her three sister-in-laws. There are rumours circulating around Paris and even in London that her three sister-in-laws; Marguerite, Jeanne and Blanche have lovers other than their husbands. If proved to be true, this outrage could bring great shame to the House of Capet. Isabella uses her quick mind to try and find out if the rumours are true and punish her sister-in-laws for the shame they are bringing to France.

The final story in the novel is that of Guccio Baglioni who is the nephew of a wealthy Italian banker called Spinello Tolomei. Guccio is tasked with sending a message to Queen Isabella to help her find evidence against her sister-in-laws. On his way back from England, Guccio is also given the chore of retrieving a debt from a noble family that has fallen on hard times. However, when he gets to the family's house, he falls in love with their daughter and gives them a further year to pay off their debts. This act of kindness helps Guccio and his uncle later on in the novel after it is discovered that King Philip is moving to expel all of the Italian bankers from France. Tolomei tasks his nephew with finding a safe place to hide a document that could be used to blackmail one of the King's advisors into preventing the expulsion. Guccio decides the best place to hide the item is at his new love's run down home.

As I said before I was excited to read this book because of the amount of social intrigue George R. R. Martin said there was in it. If I'm been honest, this aspect of the novel was a little disappointing for me because there was no point in the book where I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next, like I always am when I'm reading Martin's novels. However, as a historical fiction novel I thought it was brilliant and as Martin said, the characters in the book are great because they are so evil, nave and cunning like many of the characters in the Game of Thrones, however, these characters are all real, making the events in the book seem even more cold and hard-heated then they already are! Moreover, the events of this time were interesting to read because it was the prelude to the Hundred Years War, which I'm fascinated with and it was interesting to see these events from a French perspective.

All in all, this was a good historical fiction novel but I think it was a little misleading with some of the marketing on the book. I am definitely going to continue the series and I can't wait to see what happens in the next novel! I would suggest this book to anyone who is a historical fiction fan and enjoys books such as Bernard Cornwell's Thomas Hookton novels. I would also suggest it to fans of George R. R. Martin and I'd be really interested to hear what you thought of the book, so please let me know if you have read it!

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The Scarlet Thief (Jack Lark)
The Scarlet Thief (Jack Lark)
by Paul Fraser Collard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scarlet Thief, Paul Fraser Collard- Book review, 8 May 2013
Jack Lark was just a normal boy from the poor east-end of London who, sick of lifting heavy beer barrels in his mother's pub, decided he wanted something more. For Jack, that opportunity came when the recruiting officers of the British Army arrived in Jack's borough looking incredibly impressive and promising the young Londoner a life of excitement and adventure with postings in the vast British Empire. So, one day, Jack plucked up the courage to leave his mother's pub and join the army, however once enlisted, Jack realises that the life of a soldier is not as exciting as he hoped...

The year is 1854 and Britain has not been at war since the days of Napoleon and Wellington. Therefore, most British troops are not in active service but are instead on garrison duty in the heartland of England. Unluckily for Jack, his new unit is garrisoned in Aldershot and Jack soon finds out that garrison life can be extremely boring. However, trying to better himself and trying to impress a young woman, Jack manages to get promoted to the station of Orderly under Captain Sloames. Being new at his job, Jack is not as efficient as other orderlies in the camp, but with an understanding Captain like Arthur Sloames, he soon learns what his duties are.

Nevertheless, just as Jack believes he is getting somewhere in the army he becomes a target for the rough and bullying Colour Sergeant Slater who has a grudge against Jack for been promoted and therefore, no longer been under Slater's control. The Colour Sergeant has been known in the camp to frame other soldiers to get his revenge, so Jack is as cautious as he can be around Slater. However, after a fight between the two soldiers, which accidently results in a death, Jack has to escape the camp or face a severe punishment. Luckily, Captain Sloames helps Jack again and offers him the opportunity to join the division of troops that have been deployed to the Crimea to fight the Russians.

Jack happily accepts, as it will get him away from Slater. However, on the road to Dover, Captain Sloames is struck by a fever which ends in his death. Jack is at a loss of what to do. He thought the war in Russia would lead him to glory and riches but with Sloames's death, that future is uncertain. On the other hand, he cannot return to the garrison for fear of punishment, which could see him whipped and Slater, which could see him killed. Jack has to make a decision on his own future and eventually makes one that will see him go to the Crimea, not just as an Orderly, but as the new Captain of the King's Royal Fusiliers!

As a first book in a new historical series, I thought Fraser Collard did an excellent job. At first seeing this book was based in the Crimean War, I assumed that the novel would take place around the Siege of Sevastopol, which is probably the best know event in the war after the Charge of the Light Brigade. However, I was totally wrong, as Fraser Collard bases the novel at the very start of the war with the first battle between the allies (Britain and France) and the Russians at the Battle of the Alma. I really liked this fact because I did not know that much about the battle and found reading Fraser Collard's description of it both entertaining and exciting but also really interesting, making me want to find out more about this period of history!

I also really enjoyed the story in the novel as it was the type of zero-hero plot which I always love in a historical fiction book. I think this is why the book has been compared to Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels so often (along with the fact it in based in the 19th Century). However, I did like uniqueness of how Jack became a hero in this novel and how his personality and attitude still manages to shine through even when he becomes an officer. Plus, I thought the ending set up the next novel in the series really well, making me want to read more of Jack's tale!

All in all, this was an exciting and interesting novel which I really enjoyed reading! If you are a fan of British military history and like novels such Sharpe, then I think you'll love this book so make sure to check it out!

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The Wolf's Gold (Empire)
The Wolf's Gold (Empire)
by Anthony Riches
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wolf's Gold, Anthony Riches- Book Review, 28 April 2013
Wolf's Gold is the fifth book in Anthony Riches's action packed Empire series. In his latest book, Riches takes our hero Centurion Marcus Corvus and his Tungrians away from their recent victory in Germania to the far reaches of the Empire. Their destination is Dacia on the north-eastern edge of the Empire, and their job is to protect an important gold mine that supplies the Imperial Treasury with tonnes of gold every day! The mine has come under threat from the Sarmatians, a rebellious tribe that lives in the area. The Sarmatians are a war-like people who are feared for their skills in archery and for the poisoned arrows they use against their enemies.

However, as Marcus and his fellow officers find out, the rebellion is not as straightforward as it seems, as the King of the Sarmatian horde, Asander is not as hostile to Rome as is first thought. However, he is a puppet for his hot headed brother-in-law Inarmaz, who is violently opposed to Roman rule in Dacia. Marcus and his Tribune, Scaurus work hard to have Inarmaz removed as a threat from the Sarmatian army. However, they soon find out that the temptation of gold is not easily quenched, as traitors from within their own ranks plot to seize the gold mine and steal all of the Emperor's gold, whilst setting their old comrades up to face a severe fight. The likes of which they haven't seen since Germania.

This was another great edition to Riches's Empire series. I liked the fact that the Tungrians were taken to another part of the Empire to fight new and interesting allies. I also liked the fact that Marcus's storyline is built on in this book, as he debates with himself if he should return to Rome to avenge his family's murder, or just try and move on with his new wife and son. It gives some insight to where the series is going to go in the next few books, which got me really excited to read the next novel!

I'd suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of other `Roman' novels and authors such as Ben Kane, Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden and Gordon Doherty. As a series, I'd highly suggest it to anyone who wants to get into Roman historical-fiction as it is a great series packed full of action, battles and great characters!

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