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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Second Book in the Series
The only thing that confuses me about these books is.....why aren't more people reading them they're great and virtually as good as Simon Scarrow. The price of this book has dropped already!

Like a lot of people I found the first book in the series by accident on the shelves of Waterstones. It was sat there all alone and I'd never heard of the author. However,...
Published on 4 May 2010 by Je Salter

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrows of Fury
Second book in the trilogy. This book gives a taste of what it must have been like for Roman legionaries posted to the northern border of the Empire along the forts of Hadrian's Wall during the latter half of the second century AD. The harsh life of a soldier with the ever present threat of brutal hand to hand fighting with the local tribes is expressed. The only thing I...
Published on 4 Oct 2011 by Steve


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Second Book in the Series, 4 May 2010
By 
Je Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
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The only thing that confuses me about these books is.....why aren't more people reading them they're great and virtually as good as Simon Scarrow. The price of this book has dropped already!

Like a lot of people I found the first book in the series by accident on the shelves of Waterstones. It was sat there all alone and I'd never heard of the author. However, being a 'history geek' and after discovering it was about Roman Britain, I decided it was worth giving it the benefit of the doubt.

The first book in the series took Anthony Riches fourteen years to write (I believe) but he didnt have a deadline and was doing it for pleasure more than anything else and 'giving writing a go!' I saved reading that book for when I was on holiday in Scotland and found it 'kind of' enhanced the experience (being surrounded by the Mountains of the Highlands).

I couldnt put the first book down and enjoyed every page, the characters and the story. Being a history buff and especially of the Roman era and more importantly Roman Britain and Simon Scarrow etc etc, I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I discovered the subject matter and was even happier when I found that Mr Riches story telling was not only comparable to Mr Scarrow but had elements of real history included.

Considering that Anthony Riches had merely months to write the second in the series, he has done a masterful job and produced another winner in my opinion. Unlike some authors who gloss over the real aspects and fundamentally more important elements of the era, Riches gets down to brass tacks and doesnt 'fluff' up the story and tells it like we think it was.

Calgus the Britons Chieftan in the region who was victorious against a legion who he crushed and virtually destroyed, is looking to defeat the Romans and push them south. He allies himself with other tribes but defeating the invaders is not his only goal.

Centurion Corvus is attempting to keep a low profile in the wind swept and rain soaked north as he has been labelled an enemy of Rome by the Emperor. However, due to his leadership and tactical know how and his own ability fight man to man, he is quickly making a name for himself which attracts the more insideous side of certain soldiers who are supposed to be fighting with him.

Arrows of Fury is a no frills, edge of Empire, rain, dirt, fear engulfed, battle ridden, bravery soaked, full of conspiracies and traitors absorbed tail which are all included in a great second book in the series. I look forward in great anticipation the the next installment 10/10!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Four Musketeers, 3 May 2010
By 
James Eves "applegarth" (London,England) - See all my reviews
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After a very good first outing of Marcus Valeruis Aquila,one wonders if the second will live up to the first adventure,i can happily report that it does.Marcus or should i say Centurion Corvus of the 1st Tungrian cohort is still on the Northern frontier,but this time i feel that our story is more about brothers in arm`s,as we find out more about the relationship between Marcus,Ruffius,Dubnus and Juluis,as they train the Syrian Archers to adapt to the rigour`s of Legion life.We also have the intrigue of the double dealing of the Briton`s as Calgus set`s up Martos in his quest for another victory over the Romans.All this gives us the ingredients of a novel that takes us into the hart of the battle,standing toe to toe in the sheild wall.Anthony Riches joins the growing ranks of Simon Scarrow,Harry Sidebottom,Douglas Jackson,Ben Kane and John Stack, along with meny more who take us for a walk with the Roman Legions.Much more of Marcus and the 1st Tungrian please.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel, 20 Jun 2010
Having been a fan of Bernard Cornwell, Scarrow's Eagle books, Iggledon's Genghis series, (and more recently) Kane's Forgotten Legion books and Sidebottom's Warrior of Rome books, I was delighted to come across Anthony Riches whilst wandering around in a bookshop, quite by chance. His first, "Wounds of Honour", was a real page turner, and "Arrows of Fury" (the second in the series) does not disappoint. There is character development in this book betweeen Marcus, Ruffius, Dubnus and Juluis, and one feels real comradery between the four men and their quest to train the Syrian archers.
Perhaps my one point of criticism would be the over use of violence for the sake of violence. A lot of it seemed to be needless and often it did not add to the story line. I understand that Riches spent many years writing his first book and found writing the second one more difficult - certainly he has done a good job with it and I am really looking forward to reading the third one. Scarrow's books have become tired and his series could have perhaps been sewn up a while ago; Sidebottom's second "Warrior Of Rome: King of Kings" was was no match for the first "Warrior Of Rome: Fire In The East"; and Kane's "Silver Eagle" showed massive improvement in storyline, character development, and writing ability from "The Forgotten Legion". I would put Riches and Kane on a par in terms of readability and ability to create a page turner. Both have a final book to bring out and I will buy both and enjoy my comparisons between these new authors!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent blood and guts story, 8 Jun 2010
By 
A. J. Sudworth "tonysudworth" (UK) - See all my reviews
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In the preamble for the book the author wonders if he has a 2nd book in him - the answer is yes. This is at least as good as the first one in the series folowing the story of Marcus hiding in the North of England from the empires secret police
The story is a clear continuation of the first one - in fact taking place just days after the pitched battle against the 'blue noses' and is given a twist by the arrival of Syrian archers who he takes in hand to integrate into the legions. There is also a wealthy Roman who thinks he can curry favour by exposing Marcus as the traitor
The fighting scenes are very good , very graphic and leave absolutely nothing to the imagination
The camerarderie of the legions comes across as well with tribal loyalties submerged to fight with a brother in arms
The final battle where the Hamadians htrow back the Scots is simply some of the finest writing of fighting that I've come across - Cornwell had that for the shield wall descroiptions in the Arthur series )
Marcus does survive and there is a truely horrific death at the end as Furius gets his commupance - literally ..
Great story - recommend it but not for the squeamish
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, action packed storyline with strong historic background, 28 May 2010
I have always wondered who wanted to man Hadrians wall in Roman times! I would have deserted! As I have read deeply into Roman history it became clear that the empire increasingly depended on transferring and training ex tribesmen from the provinces. But of course there were also still Romans who were posted to this desolate dangerous spot for decades! Wet weather, cold winters and poor visibility (let alone the food) must have been tough for the Romans. I do like this author, as in two books he has done well to spin the historic reality into an action packed yarn which cleary explained how the Roman auxillaries worked. One could say that there was too much action for reality......but then the book becomes a great read, without too much of the usual military boredom! Well done and please ask Amazon to put up your next book so i can pre-order again. Yours in anticipation! (nb one day i would like to read more about the antonian wall and also the Roman legionary camps excavatedin Caledonia and ireland)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars arrows of fury, 3 May 2010
By 
C. Woodward (cheshire england) - See all my reviews
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I came across the first book of this series by accident and found it unputdownable, having reread it several times with equal enjoyment I looked forward to the second one and was not disappointed. When do we get no. 3?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real Triumph, 4 July 2010
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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As a huge fan of Roman Historical Fiction I've always loved books set within the United Kingdom as it's a chance for the reader to explore their heritage. What makes Anthony's work even more special for me, is that its set on Hadrian's Wall, which having grown up in Cumbria, is a place I'm more than familiar with.

With this being the second, and perhaps most difficult novel in a series for an author to write I was a little apprehensive as to how the title would develop and whether the characters would be as fun and fresh as I remembered or if they'd grow to acclimatise to their new domain. What Anthony does extremely well is writing combat sequences and when backed up with characters that you've come to care for makes it even more heart-stopping as each steps into the battle line. Add to the mix great villains, cracking dialogue and above all a soldier's humour that just oozes from within the pages and it's a title that I really can't recommend enough.

Finally I want to wish Anthony the very best for his Help the Heroes Charity Walk (in full Roman Military gear.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not a disappointing sequel!, 21 May 2010
By 
Mark Treacher (Stratford upon Avon, England) - See all my reviews
I found the first book, Wounds of Honour, on one of those expeditions to the bookshop where one is looking for something different for a change. I am one of those hard science fiction fans and with such a dearth of decent new material I thought I'd try an historical novel for a change. What a delight that first book was. I read it in a weekend and eagerly awaited the second book. I re-read the first again before starting on Arrows of Fury.
A second book from a new novelist is always a risk. Will it match up to the expectations from the debut novel? Well, I can honestly say that Anthony Riches is now one of my favourite writers and he has converted me to the genre. I am looking forward to the third book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrows of Fury, 4 Oct 2011
By 
Steve "Trajan" (Northern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arrows of Fury: II (Empire) (Paperback)
Second book in the trilogy. This book gives a taste of what it must have been like for Roman legionaries posted to the northern border of the Empire along the forts of Hadrian's Wall during the latter half of the second century AD. The harsh life of a soldier with the ever present threat of brutal hand to hand fighting with the local tribes is expressed. The only thing I found as bit off putting was some of the trivial dialogue between the characters with the use of modern day language and expressions although no doubt, they probably spoke like that during the second century only in latin. I would have also prefered words like "Primus Pilus" instead of First Spear. The combat was powerful writing though and gave a taste of the sheer terror of fighting for one's life against a six foot Brigante tribesman wealding an axe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent follow up, 24 April 2012
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This review is from: Arrows of Fury: II (Empire) (Paperback)
I've waited until I finished the third book in this series before posting a review of any of them, and for a particular reason. Most of the historical series I've read consist of a new separate story with each book, often defined by a narrator's pause or some such device. Most series are different stories with different themes that build a series.

Wile clearly part of a series, Tony's first three Empire books are different. To me they follow on so closely and seamlessly that the series so far could easily be seen as one huge story spread over three books with appropriate pauses between releases. The stories are readable independently, for sure, but the best will be got from them by reading them one after the other. Quite simply, you can't read one book of this series without wanting to go on with the story. In order to get the best from the story, you need to read them all, and for the best possible results, I would suggest back-to-back.

A second thing that I would say that concerns each of Tony's works is what I consider his greatest strength as an author: The gritty military reality of his tale-telling. I have spent some time in my life, in a civilian situation but alongside men of military units, and there is something so authentic about Tony's characterisation that it felt truly familiar and real. You will find it hard to disbelieve anything about Tony's depiction of the legions, auxiliary troopers, the cavalry, their structure, style, attitude and actions. While no one can confirm exactly how soldiers then spoke and acted, it's hard to believe they were any different from the modern military and Tony has made these ancient soldiers understandable and relevant to the modern reader.

I feel that it is better for me to review the series as a whole, which I have given an appropriate 5 stars of 5, and then add a short section on the individual novel. I find it almost impossible to put down Tony's books and eagerly await the Leopard Sword to see what new direction the series might take.

Book Two

Arrows of fury follows up perfectly from Wounds of honour, and takes the action to a new level, concentrating more this time on the war that was the impetus and background of the first book, the Tribal leader who has become the great antagonist of the Empire series and the campaigns of great leaders (and occasionally of chinless idiots.)

Alongside this great military campaign, we experience the machinations of wicked and stupid men and best of all heroics from the most unexpected quarters. The Hamian unit that are the reason for the book's name simply blew me away and made me reassess the importance of missile troops in the Roman military. I have come to love Qadir as a character. Arrows of fury doesn't just follow on from Wounds of Honour, but builds on it, introducing wonderful new characters and elements.
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Arrows of Fury: II (Empire)
Arrows of Fury: II (Empire) by Anthony Riches (Paperback - 9 Dec 2010)
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