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4.4 out of 5 stars18
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2014
Imagine how Roman history would have been altered had Julius Caesar not been assassinated that day in the Forum? Well, this book does that, and has Caesar marching in his planned campaign against Parthia...and continuing east from there to eventually find himself battling it out with the Japanese.

The concept itself is not a bad one. The problem is the execution. We are given no real reason for Caesar to march all the way across Asia, and no compelling argument for how he manages to bypass China and Korea without a struggle; we get a bit of lip-service about the Chinese having internal struggles, but little more. I get that this is by design; Peake wants to get to the point of the story, and that's the invasion and fighting in Japan. Just seems a bit rushed, and the character development isn't there, either. A lack of maps (at least in the Kindle edition) is problematic as well; it would be nice to be able to see where the action is.

Again, not a bad idea and a fun read, but not on par with the remainder of the (excellent) Titus Pullus series.
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on 12 August 2013
Having read the excellent preceding series of four books I was extremely disappointed in this offering. A seemingly rushed work with no passion. Peake should know when to quit with a series!
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on 5 September 2013
I hadn't read the blog that the author had created as an outline to this book, but was pleasantly surprised when I went to purchase the 5th marching book and found the completed version of Triumphant as well, so I bought them both. Good decision. I can't think of another author who has written about Caesar avoiding his death, which I found strange as the story was pretty much set out with the upcoming Parthian campaign already to go. So I was looking forward to see where R.W was going to take it. Japan!!, ok lets go with it. The forward explains why he made the choice of destination so I delved in.

This is such a fast paced book that its almost impossible to put down, because something is always happening or about to happen. While most of the characters that we all enjoyed are still in the book, its not written in the 3rd person (Pullus) like the others, so it explores the feelings and thoughts of quite a few people, including Caesar, which adds to the story.

The main battle scene is epic in scale and detail, it seems to last about half the book and you are never really sure that all is not lost and all the characters that you have gotten into over the previous 5 books will end up dead. Quite often I found myself shouting in my head ''NO, HE CAN'T'' as I got deeper into the battle.

I can't give it a fuller review as it would spoil it for new readers, so in conclusion BUY IT. If you have enjoyed the marching series you will love this as well.

My only criticism is that this could well have been a new series, starting with the aforementioned Parthian campaign and concluding with this book. Its like all good things, you just don't want them to end.

Great book, great author, look forward to the 6th marching book.
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on 27 November 2015
I feel a bit mean only giving this book three stars, as I read it every free moment over the course of about three days. The concept is a fascinating one - Caesar takes his legions all the way across Asia and invades Japan. The battle scenes are the real strength of the book - endlessly inventive and full-on action throughout, although, as one other reader has said, the main battle is far too long at over 100 pages. After reading that bit, I almost like I'd been fighting the battle along with them.

Despite its readability, however, there are serious problems with Peake's writing. Firstly, this is clearly a relative of the HBO TV series, 'Rome'. This isn't just reflected in Pullus' name - Caesar is actually made to add 'neh' to a question twice, which is absurd. Secondly, Peake's phrasing is extremely repetitive and limited. The only thing I really learnt about Pullus' character is that he's a great swordsman and really stupidly brave, which is repeated endlessly. Other characters are similarly 2D and we don't really learn much about the Japanese - Peake only bothers to give two of them names at all and they're a bland stereotype throughout. The Romans could really be fighting anyone a bit tough and good with their swords.

With decent editing, this could be a great book, but a lack of it is what lets it down.
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on 13 August 2013
Being a fan of all rws books I was a bit taken aback when I read the foreword and started reading with doubt on my mind.however this swiftly changed and was replaced by satisfaction of yet another great if unusual story.once again he manages to keep me enthralled.it would be really an interesting story to tell if I found a time machine and ended up with the legions maybe this is one for the future or.
The past.a great read
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on 18 August 2013
This book is brilliantly researched and written. It gives you a real insight into what could have happened, but also trying to stick to the history side as much as possible (referring to the Wa and the Han by those titles, instead of modern day alternatives...).
This book is a real page turner and yet again I found myself making time just to read this book, rather than doing jobs I should have been doing (I have apologised to my wife every time a new RW Peake book comes out).
As usual it comes with a healthy dose of blood, guts and the battlefield, but this book also does well at looking at the cultural and political differences in countries, as well as giving you a real feel for the emotions the characters feel.
I'm a massive fan of Peake books, but I'll also admit I was a bit speculative about this book as it isn't based on real history. I've read a few books that have taken Roman history as a starting point, and then simply ruined it, in my opinion anyway.Thankfully my fears were for nothing - this book is well worth a read!
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on 30 November 2013
When I read the synopsis I thought this won't work. I have followed Titus in all of his stories and thought that this was too far fetched but I was wrong. A great read with plenty of action that won't let you put the book down and I liked the 'what if' idea.
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on 11 April 2014
An absolutely unforgettable read I love reading fact fiction sci-fi and this book is the best work of fiction I have ever read R.W. has surpassed himself with this one all books in the series are brilliant this one goes beyond brilliant
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on 24 September 2013
Great alternative to real history and brilliant how you smoothed it in to reality at the end,Titus pullus ever the great warrior, really enjoyed it as a "what could have happened", book.who knows maybe it did!!
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on 4 September 2013
It's a terrible shame to think a great man's life was cut short and I always wonder what he may have achieved. This book goes some way in telling a fantastic fictional story of what may have been.
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