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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hero of Rome
I was in two minds as to whether to give this book four or five stars, shame there's no facility to give 'point marks' because I would have given Hero of Rome 4.5 as it's very very good. However.......

After mulling over a four or five, initially I thought four but then I thought about how many books have gripped me like Hero of Rome did in the last few years;...
Published on 12 July 2010 by Je Salter

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good
story excellent reading
not yet up to scarrow would like a bit more action
good value for money highly recommended
Published 7 months ago by Allan Solomon


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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hero of Rome, 12 July 2010
By 
Je Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
I was in two minds as to whether to give this book four or five stars, shame there's no facility to give 'point marks' because I would have given Hero of Rome 4.5 as it's very very good. However.......

After mulling over a four or five, initially I thought four but then I thought about how many books have gripped me like Hero of Rome did in the last few years; answer, not too many, so in my humble opinion it's worth five!

I found the title slightly deceptive as I had assumed the story would revolve around Rome itself but it didnt, it's about the Roman occupation of Britain centering around AD60 just before the Boudican revolt.

The main character unlike most Roman novels is a Tribune and not a Centurion, who after serving a few months in Britain is due to return to Rome to take up a position as a lawyer.

The Romans in the meantime are planning to wipe out the Druids on Mona (Angelsey) and are moving West in order to carry this out. Tribune Valerus however, is ordered to assist with road building in present day St Albans before setting off for Rome.

Arriving at his new post he finds the area is garrisioned by veterans who were involved in the original invasion of Britain who are now retired. They have old weapons, armour and are not as fit or up todate as current soldiers but they train regularly and are still proud Roman citizens.

Back in Rome the Emperor is looking to raise taxes from places like Britain who he is also considering abandoning as they have not yet found Britains Gold mines, so a clamp down is ordered.

When Boudicas husband dies, the Romans take her land and a Roman Centurion, Crespo and enemy of Valerus, publicly flogs her and rapes her two young daugters, thereby starting the revolt.

Valerus despite falling for a local girl and becoming popular with the Britons, has to choose to fight for Rome as the revolt vastly increases in momentum. Outnumbered by tens of thousands, Valerus attempts to slow Boudica's army by attacking and then retreating to a shrine of Nero.

What follows is the conclusion to an excellent story and a thrilling first installment to what promising to be a brilliant series of books.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb escapism, 19 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
I don't intend to reiterate the story lines and characters which have been fairly comprehensively covered by previous reviewers. Suffice to say, not being a historian or literary expert, I found the book very hard to put down and was whisked away into Valerius roman Britain wonderfully every time I opened the book and enjoyed the story from cover to cover. I have read both of Douglas Jacksons previous novels and feel he has now mastered his art. I'm thrilled to see that "Hero" is the first of a trilogy and am already anticipating Valerius further adventures. If you, like me, enjoy a good story, well told, this is a book for you..!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master story-teller, 29 July 2010
By 
charles duncan (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
Douglas Jackson proved with his first two books, "Caligula" and Claudius", which followed the adventures of the emperor's elephant keeper, both in Rome and in Ancient Britain, that he is a real master of the story-telling art. Now, with "Hero of Rome", he has done it again. He has a new hero, Valerius, a young tribune serving in a Britain about to be bled dry before being abandoned by the emperor Nero. After a full scale uprising of the Celtic tribes is sparked by Crespo, a brutish centurion who has Queen Boudicca scourged before raping her daughters, it falls to Valerius to make a last stand against the massed hordes of her army with only a handful of troops and a garrison of ageing veterans.
This is a tale huge in its scope and Jackson's attention to detail is meticulous. I read this book in three sessions, finding it harder each time to put down. The climax is magnificent - bloody, brutal and totally gripping. I can hardly wait for the next episode of Valerius's adventures, when he returns to the court of Nero, hopefully, though by no means certainly, with the woman with whom he fell in love.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hero of Rome - A must for anyone enjoying Historical fiction, 26 July 2010
This review is from: Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
A enjoy all types of historical fiction, but have a soft spot for stories covering the Roman Empire. I am not a literary expert but I do know a bit about this period and a book has to be fast paced to keep my interest. This book has it all! It flows seemlessly across the chapters and the imagery and discriptive prose is believable and historically accurate. You can even smell the earthly aromas of the romo-british settlements and the rustic settings, thanks to the superlative prose. But what makes this better than it's other counterparts is the fact that it is a really good story and without spoiling the end -you will have to read the next book as it ends on one monumental cliff-hanger. Too many of these types of books harp on about how one man saves the legion or the war and then repeats itself every other chapter like an american sitcom (yes, you do need to keep bow-strings dry - we geddit Harry Sidebottom), but this author treats his reader like an adult and takes you with him on a very credible and believable journey. There is even a decent love story intertwinned between the main plot. A well researched and refreshingly well written book and a great summer read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the strength of this will definitely buy the next in the series., 1 Dec 2010
By 
S. Glossop "sgg" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
If you are a fan of Iggulden and Scarrow fiction history on Rome then you will like this. For me not quite as good as Conn Iggulden with his Emporer series, but Simon Scarrow should be worried.

The characters are well fleshed out and the action is believable, I think Mr Jackson is a bit wary of the love bits but all in all very good.

Also a very interesting subject matter with the rising of Boudicca, which he treats well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hero of Rome by Douglas Jackson, 14 Dec 2013
When I mentioned on social networks that I was reading Hero of Rome by Douglas Jackson I was informed that I was going to love this book. Well between the time I started it and finished it I had begun writing my own novel(my first)...the main reason it took me so long to finish Hero. Normally I would have read a book this intriguing in a much shorter time frame but I needed to take time to get my efforts off the ground. The biggest problem I have encountered while having both balls in the air is this; Douglas Jackson is masterful. If I can be one-quarter as descriptive...if I can be one-tenth the character developer that he is, I will be a happy author. He has written a book that draws you right into the hearts and minds of his characters, most especially the main character, Gaius Valerius Verrens.

The place is Britain prior to and then during Boudicca's revolt. Valerius is a Tribune assigned to Colonia, the town where the temple to Claudius was built. He is due to return to Rome to begin his climb up the political ladder but finds himself instead in an impossible situation having to defend the town against a force of really ticked off British tribes that is at least ten times larger than what he has at his disposal. The first part of the book deals with the politics and policies used by Rome to bring Britain into "civilization". Naturally some Roman officials are overly dismissive of these barbarians in their charge and that is the fuel that ignites the tinderbox that Boudicca fans into a full fledged bloody revolt. The last part of the book, the revolt itself, is an edge of the seat, page turning brilliant example of great historical fiction writing. When I finished I knew I would be reading the rest of the books in this series which I am told by my social network friends are even better than the first. Oh my!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotive tale, 7 Jan 2012
As has been noted in other reviews for 'hero', the only thing that I could see that might put a potential reader off is the fact that Boudicca's revolt is far from anew theme or setting for Roman fiction.

The thing that counters it for me is the angle from which the events are seen. This is not the story of the Iceni warrior-queen, or of Cerialis. This is the story of a young officer, talented and bright, but out of place and often out of his depth. The revolt of Boudicca is not the crux of the story, but rather the scene against which the tale is set.

Another thing that I appreciated was that the eponymous hero was ar from the infallible superman that is often the standard portrayal of a Roman officer, but a man who endures fear, doubt, guilt and more. A real 3 dimensional character in whom I could easily believe.

The book is a good read from start to finish but, in my opinion, improves over the second half to a realy satisfying conclusion. The scenes of panic, evacuation, and tense preparation for coming dangers really sprang to life for me and will live on in my imagination.

I've read Jackson's earlier novels (Caligula & Claudius) and they were good enough that I would not hesitate to recommend them, but Hero is a step up from them and one of the best books I've read for a while. I have now added the rest of the series to my reading list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written well researched well thought out story, 11 Jun 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
This is one of those times when I really should have read the blurb before I bought the book, I often pick up certain authors just because I enjoyed previous books and Douglas is no exception.
The previous books though had been a bit of fun and I have to admit I was getting a little tired of the elephant so I had put off reading this one, every time it got to the top of the reading pile it got jumped by something more appealing until eventually a bit of face book posting guilt got the better of me.
This weekend in hospital Hero of Rome became my best friend helping me through the boredom of a 3 day visit.

Not only was I surprised by the fact that this was not a continuation of the existing series, but also that the writing had changed, it had...grown/ evolved.
The new characters were a revelation and the new story a breath of fresh air. Following the first cohort across country to colonia ( Camulodunum ) where you get a link to the previous stories was great fun. For me the real depth to the story was the everyday camaraderie that was shown between Varrens and his men and the other groups he came into contact with, and also the animosity between him and his enemy Crespo, all this human characterisation is wrapped in and around the build up to the Iceni revolt and the rise of Boudica.

What follows is a well written well researched well thought out story, and for once the cover blurb about there being a new writer on the block etc is not hype, this really is the start of a great new series.

A solid 4/5 because I think there is better to come from Douglas and I for one look forward to it (Parm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK, 6 Feb 2014
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My husband really enjoyed this book and is looking for another by the same author. Made a great extra present at Christmas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 Jan 2014
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I give this book 5 star an would have give it more if possible. The book has you on the edge of your seat standing in the lines with every soldier.
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Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1)
Hero of Rome (Roman Trilogy 1) by Douglas Jackson (Hardcover - 8 July 2010)
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