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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart thumping and exhilarating historical fiction!
Anthony Riches' Empire series is without doubt one of the most exhilarating and heart thumping of all Roman series being published at the moment and one of its many attractions is that there is no sign of it taking a rest. This month, the sixth Empire novel is published, The Eagle's Vengeance, and in it we see Marcus Valerius Aquila and his cohort of Tungrians return to...
Published 12 months ago by Kate

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another good book by anthony
A big change in how this was written from previous books I thought, it lacked the previous books flow and was not as exciting until the end!

A lack of information in the build up no hints as to what's to come to keep you interested until the last chapter when it's titled Rome!!!

It's good to see that Marcus is finally in Rome and I have no doubt the...
Published 12 months ago by norman anderson


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart thumping and exhilarating historical fiction!, 22 Aug 2013
By 
Kate (Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Anthony Riches' Empire series is without doubt one of the most exhilarating and heart thumping of all Roman series being published at the moment and one of its many attractions is that there is no sign of it taking a rest. This month, the sixth Empire novel is published, The Eagle's Vengeance, and in it we see Marcus Valerius Aquila and his cohort of Tungrians return to the place where we first met them - Hadrian's Wall.

The Eagle's Vengeance would stand alone if you asked it to but as with most series I would recommend that you read the books in order, beginning with Wounds of Honour: v. 1 (Empire). You are at risk of discovering some of Aquila's previous story if you read on.

Set in the late 2nd century AD, the Tungrians arrive back at the Wall in a time of crisis. The barbarians have united, albeit in bad temper, and the forts of the more northern Antonine Wall have been abandoned. The Tungrians are despatched northwards, to a seemingly impregnable mountain fort surrounded by swamp where it is believed barbarians guard the eagle of the Sixth Legion alongside other disturbing relics from this slaughtered army. Rescuing the eagle, though, may be the least of the Tungrians' worries.

Each of the Empire novels is very different than others in the series. Not only have they moved around the empire, they have also focused on different elements of the Roman military world, whether it be the cavalry, bowmen or infantry, sieges or pitched battles, Roman soldiers or foreign auxiliaries. While you are absorbing all of this fascinating detail, you are being entertained by the continuing story of Marcus Valerius Aquila, or Two Knives, to evade the imperial forces that would see him as dead as his murdered family in Rome. In disguise, and now with a wife and son, he is still protected by his officers and men. After all this time, we have grown fond of them all - Dubnus, Julius, Arminius (my personal favourite) and Qadir, to name but a few. But as the cohort fights its way across the Empire - usually put in the position of greatest danger - life can be too short and there are no guarantees here that everyone will survive.

There is something very satisfying about the story of The Eagle's Vengeance. There are reminders of events and people from the earlier novels (especially the first three) and it allows the possibility of tying up some loose ends while continuing to work at the knots of the more deeply embedded mystery of why the emperor is intent on wiping Aquila's bloodline from the surface of the earth. This is a great mix and works very well.

Above all else, The Eagle's Vengeance is a fantastic adventure, packed full of intrigue, feats of courage and all out battle between men, between armies, between different ways of life and cultures. This is a developing series and so not all characters feature as heavily here as they do in others - there were a couple of old favourites I missed particularly - but this is made up for by the introduction of new characters.

The Eagle's Vengeance is written with supreme confidence and assurance. These are well developed characters; this is a subject the author knows inside out; there are few allowances made for the squeamishness of the reader's stomach. There is gore and horror as well as swearing by the bucketload (possibly a bit too much for me), but what else would one expect on this hostile frontier, where a day might mean the difference between life and death? For the first few chapters, as the soldiers wait for their next mission, there is lots of banter between the men - you are expected to know who everyone is, what their ranks are, what their relationships are - and if you haven't read the other novels then you might be confused by this. I've read every word of them all and I got muddled. But, as soon as the cohorts begin to head north, we settle into the story and the thrills and the dangers avalanche. The last section of the book is magnificent.

I have enjoyed this series from its beginning and I cannot wait for the next. May it run and run. I'm very grateful for my review
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great series continues, 24 Aug 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Eagles Vengeance Review

Our heroically dangerous Tungrians are back in Britain. Returning from their exploits in Dacia, triumphant, but with the knowledge of loss. (Tony does love to bump off a character or two).
Eagles vengeance is no different, In this latest book, Book six in the Empire series, Tony Riches send the reader on a thrill ride of dangerous exploits, daring action, Violent barbarian encounters and political manoeuvring, that will see the deaths of so many men and women we meet for the first time and some we have known for a while.

Tony's writing is for me subtly different from many others in the genre. Take for example Douglas Jackson (insert review) who writes with such passion and detail, while retaining a narrow cast. Tony Riches gives us the broad canvas of the Tungrian Cohorts, delving into the lives of so many of his men, and exploring who the Centurions and Chosen men of this group are. He brings the camaraderie of the squaddie to life in the ancient world. Many authors bring life to their characters, but miss this feeling of the group, the passion of the legion or men. Tony always hits this square on, and it's not just his unique colourful turn of phrase, it's something of the man himself, someone who comes alive in a group, a man built to entertain and be larger than life. That's the passion he brings to people like Marcus and Dubnus and the men of the Tungrian Cohorts.

I enjoyed this book, but I don't think I can say too much about it not without giving away what happens to whom and why and where, and those are spoilers I would not want. I can say that while it's not my favourite book in the series, (that's still reserved for Wounds of Honour), it's an excellent read that can stand alone and provide hours of entertainment. But my personal advice would be go buy all the books if you have never read the series, follow the life and exploits, the ups and downs of the hardest b@stards in the Roman Legion,.

Highly recommended
(Parm)

The Tungrian auxiliary cohorts return to Hadrian's Wall after their successful Dacian campaign, only to find Britannia in chaos. The legions are overstretched, struggling to man the forts of the northern frontier in the face of increasing barbarian resistance.

The Tungrians are the only soldiers who can be sent into the northern wastes, far beyond the long abandoned wall built by Antoninus, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Victorious Legion is reputed to await them. Protected by an impassable swamp and hidden in a fortress atop a high mountain, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive.

Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy's strength, ghosting through a deadly wilderness patrolled by vicious huntresses before breaching the walls of the Fang, an all-but-impregnable fort, if they are to rescue the legion's venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous, with the might of a barbarian tribe at their heels
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back in Britannia another Triumph., 11 Dec 2013
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
The latest Empire saga finds the Tungrians back on the wall after their gruelling Dacian campaign, their mission to recover the captured VI Victrix Eagle. In this sequel Anthony Riches does not disappoint, as with his previous novels, the narrative is exciting, gritty, realistic, and fast paced. His historical knowledge on Rome and her Legions is second to none. I lived on Hadrian's wall for some time and walked its length on a number of occasions, therefore I can attest to the authors in-depth knowledge, both historically and geographically. I have the complete Empire series to date and enjoyed it immensely. Highly recommended.
For those who would like further information on this epoch I highly recommend the OSPREY Campaign, Warrior, and men at arms booklets, with great overviews, excellent illustrations, and highly detailed maps.

THE PERFECT COMPANION TO THE EMPIRE SERIES IS, THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKER.Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle's Vengeance - Anthony Riches, 31 Jan 2014
By 
Je Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This is another thrilling instalment in the Empire series and one you should read, especially if you are interested in Roman Britain (Britannia, Albion). Tony Riches always manages to combine a gripping and realistic story with humorous touches that will have you laughing out loud. The relationships between the characters and the way they are written, are very reminiscent of my days in the forces, blunt, funny and a reflection of how it is today, and more than likely, how it's always been to be in a military unit.

I know that a very small minority find the latter debatable, and it puts them off reading this kind of novel, but they are the ones that are missing out. Ancient graffiti and historical texts and even artefacts, demonstrate that Mr Riches version of the ancient world, especially when it comes to the Roman Military, is far closer to fact than their perception. That aside however, The Eagle's Vengeance is an exciting tale and one that I would highly recommend.

If you haven't read his novels before, I would suggest trying the first in the series, Wounds of Honour and if that's to your taste, and I'm sure it will be, try the rest, you'll be in for a treat. An easy 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle's Vengeance. Empire VI, 3 April 2014
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Have read all the previous books in this entertaining series by Anthony Riches and thoroughly recommend his novels.Can't recommend his work highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another gem from Mr Riches, 2 April 2014
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The story of Marcus continues and there is no let up in plot or action, a fine read delivered with style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 14 Mar 2014
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Super book, the story keeps moving, following in the steps of the previous five, can't wait for the next one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the eagles vengengence is my kind of book, 12 Mar 2014
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The Eagle's Vengence is my kind of book because the Author writes in a way that keeps your interest mainly because you want to know what happens to the characters in the book. There are always surprises both good and bad and your interest is engaged right to the last sentence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE LEGIONS, 6 Mar 2014
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EXCELLENT as always from MR RICHES truly an excellent read and gripping throughout. brilliant detail leading you through the Tungrian cohorts characters to the legions themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riches does it again., 23 Feb 2014
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Brilliant characters who you are made to care about, engaging, fast storyline. A book you don't want to put down.
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The Eagle's Vengeance (Empire)
The Eagle's Vengeance (Empire) by Anthony Riches (Paperback - 27 Mar 2014)
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