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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just gets better and better
Review

When i first picked up Wounds of Honour in 2009 i had no idea i would be starting a journey of so much danger, excitement and action. Also when starting with a debut writer i had no idea i would be enjoying these books more and more every year, watching the skill of the writer grow and the depth of the plot increase with every tome.

Book 7 the...
Published 6 months ago by Parm

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in series
This book is all about vengeance, not much happens and what does is a bit dull. However the constant threat of discovery followed by painful death that hangs over the main character needed clearing so the story could move on. I look forward to the next book and hope it's up the the usual high standard.
Published 4 months ago by Joe Samuels


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just gets better and better, 13 Feb 2014
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
Review

When i first picked up Wounds of Honour in 2009 i had no idea i would be starting a journey of so much danger, excitement and action. Also when starting with a debut writer i had no idea i would be enjoying these books more and more every year, watching the skill of the writer grow and the depth of the plot increase with every tome.

Book 7 the Emperors Knives goes so much further than its predecessors, it truly is a book crammed with Machiavellian schemes, plots within plots, as our group of heroes try to help Marcus survive his honour and the machinations of the various schemers set against him within the walls of Rome. As with any Anthony Riches book the reader is left with that ever present feeling of the norns / fates, sat there spinning away the destinies of those in the book, Tony Riches joining them at the loom of life ready to snip an unsuspecting characters life thread at a moments notice either in a spectacular or blasé fashion. I shall not spoil the book by saying if anyone interesting dies…. but blood will be spilled and as writers go Tony is a bit of a swine to his men.

This book comes with a warning to readers, it is one that sucks away your time, you will sit down to read and find that the day has passed while you are marching with legions and uncovering plots. As ever i doff my cap to Tony Riches as he exceeds the plot and power of the previous book, something very very hard to keep doing, but the constant hard work and effort, the striving for more, the digging for detail in dusty research books, and the re-enactment that gives first hand experience, really pays off in the pages of this wonderful book.

I highly recommend this book, and if you have not read any of the Empire series (Why?) then please do start it now, you will not be disappointed. Seven books in and its just getting better and better.

(Parm)

if you want to see a great Q&A from the author go visit parmenionbooks.wordpress (.com) always good to peek behind the author curtain.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, 19 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
Anthony Riches Empire series goes from strength to strength with every succeeding novel, for me The Emperor's Knives is the best yet, without giving away spoilers, the narrative is, as usual fast paced (so much so that I was up until 2 in the morning ) all ones senses are alerted, full of murky intrigue, the visceral gore of the gladiators and the arena, to the smells and sounds of every day life in ancient Rome. The characterisations of the main protagonists have been explored to the full and you end up with the feeling that you were there in another life. Highly recommended.
The perfect companion to this excellent series is THE ROMA VICTRIX wine beaker.Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Romans..., 28 May 2014
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This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
This series of books is just amazing . So much so my son and I 'fight' over who reads the latest book first!
Anthony Riches writes with wit and humour and incredible historical knowledge, it makes one feel as if one is living in Roman times!
Can't wait for the next release.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting addition to the Empire series, 14 May 2014
This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
The latest instalment in Anthony Riches' Empire series is The Emperor's Knives. After a stint in Dacia and a short stay in Britannia, this outing takes Marcus and friends to the Eternal City, the Capital of the World, Rome itself. All of our favourite Tungrians are along for the ride and in Rome we meet some old acquaintances in the form of Senator Decimus Clodius Albinus, who we last saw in Dacia while still a legatus, and Tiberius Varius Excingus, someone Marcus last saw before his stay in Germania. These links are revealed early on, though never explained in-depth, but enough for a new reader to understand their context. And if that wasn't enough, there are gladiators! All of which makes for an exciting mix and a riveting story.

The book is filled with conspiracies and double crosses and no one's alliances are what they appear to be on the surface. Especially since Excingus' loyalties are for sale to the highest bidder and he also has his own agenda, which makes untangling the lines between all the players doubly complicated. In some cases, the mysterious talks become too mysterious, as at one point Scaurus has a talk with someone, whose identity I still haven't figured out. It's quite possible however that those who've read the entire series will know who this patron was. I also liked how Riches showed how quickly alliances in Rome could shift based on politics, honour, and personal gain.

Despite Excingus' ample help, almost leading Marcus and friends by the nose, in tracking and dealing with them, I was surprised by the apparent ease with which the first three Knives were dispatched. While the Tungrians are good, this was rather too easy. However, it does leave us free to follow Marcus in his quest to kill the last Knife, which forms the meat of the story. Marcus together with one of his fellow Tungrians joins the Dacian Ludus as a gladiator, so he can get close to Mortiferum, the last of the Emperor's Knives who killed his family. I loved this look at the inner workings of a gladiator school and the Flavian Amphitheatre better known as the Colosseum. There is an interesting metaphor for modern day celebrity culture to be found in the way gladiators became virtual slaves in order to win fame and fortune and the adulation of the people. Granted, not all gladiators became one by choice, it was also a punishment for criminals and the fate of many prisoners of war.

The philosophy behind this tale of revenge is interesting as in the end, Marcus himself admits revenge is hollow, feeling only emptiness once his revenge was accomplished instead of the satisfaction he'd expected to feel. There is a strange morality to this book where death is treated as an everyday occurrence and as a means of entertainment for the masses. In the previous two Empire books I've read the body count was equally high, but fascinatingly it only became disturbing in The Emperor's Knives. In all likelihood, this is due to the fact that many of the previous deaths took place in battle and this is a natural outcome of war, while the deaths in this book are often quite premeditated, not only killing those marked for vengeance, but also relatively innocent bystanders, whose biggest crime was for example drawing guard duty on the wrong night. And of course, the blood-letting in the arena, where men, women, and beasts are sent out to die in horrible combat or other indignities--the larger the amount of blood spilled, the louder the watching crowds cheered. Marcus is an honourable man, he's never written as anything less, yet in this book he's also a cold-hearted killer, killing everything standing between him and the objects of his revenge, something that felt jarring and a little disturbing.

There is also a lot of humour and ingenuity in The Emperor's Knives. I loved the ruse the Tungrians set up to protect Felicia, when she goes to live in her father's house in the city of Rome, instead of the cohorts' barracks. The barber shop is fantastic and quite funny, especially the way that the less-than-reputable standard bearer Morban runs the shop. In the scenes in the shop and throughout the book there is an enormous amount of banter to be found; often it's off-colour and low-brow, at times dry or acidic, but it feels genuine and adds comic punctuation for the darker scenes in the book. My favourite addition to the cohorts' forces was the group of engineers headed by Avidus, as sappers are a special breed and I hope they'll be around in the next book as well.

The Emperor's Knives is a wonderful addition to the Empire series. Rounding out a multiple book story arc with Marcus' family avenged, it'll be interesting to see where Riches will take Marcus and the Tungrians next, especially given the commissions handed out at the end of the book. I'm really glad that I took a chance and started the Empire series five books in, as the three I've now read are excellent and Marcus and company make for great entertainment. While The Emperor's Knives needs perhaps a bit more grounding in the series than the previous two books, it still stands alone exceedingly well. If historical fiction set in the Roman Empire is to your taste, you can't afford to miss The Emperor's Knives.

This book was provided for review by the publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riches does the best Roman books for me and many others are excellent,which says it all, 4 May 2014
By 
Christopher J. Eley "Chris Eley" (Chichester Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
I have been reading books about the Romans since schooldays back in 1959 and Rosemary Sutcliffe and to date this author has hit the spot for me above all others around currently-which is a difficult thing to do given the exclllence of the competition. This is the latest in a ine of novels about 'Two Knives' and each story is of the same standard as the previous. If you love this genre that I feel sure you will really come to appreciate Anthony Riches.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A slight departure, but overall a welcome one., 8 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
This book is a departure from the rest of the series, being set in Rome, with Marcus aiming to finally get his revenge for what happened to his family. I found it a bit slow to start, and, since it's all in the city the settings didn't seem too inspiring. It also seemed to be rather predictable as it built to the inevitable conclusion and things had gone so smoothly. Marcus is harder to identify with here too, as he's basically ready to leave his wife and small child without a husband and father, in order to kill the men that destroyed his family. I don't know, as a father myself, I think I'd rather see my children grow up than throw my life away so selfishly but hey, that's the character and I expect people really were as filled with bloodlust in those times - the gladiatorial contests prove that!
In all, I was starting to get a little disappointed despite the fact the fight scenes were brutal and excellently written as usual and I've been rooting for Marcus since I read the first book in the series a number of years ago.
Then something happened and there was a neat twist that I genuinely didn't see coming and things exploded back into life again and I had to mentally apologise to Anthony Riches for doubting him!
Overall, this is a fine addition to the series, with some limitations due to the nature of the setting that couldn't really be avoided by the author but it finishes on a fine, satisfying note, leaving the reader looking forward to the next book. If you get the edition of the book with the free short story you'll enjoy that too so look out for it if you can.
Steven A. McKay, author of Wolf's Head (The Forest Lord Book 1) and The Wolf and the Raven (The Forest Lord Book 2)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
this book was ordered as a present for one of my grandchildren. so I will not be able to give you an accurate appraisal until after their birthday
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as those it follows, 30 April 2014
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This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
I could hardly wait to get my hand on the latest adventure of "Two Knives" and wasn't disappointed by what I read, and hope that more will follow
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in series, 20 April 2014
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This book is all about vengeance, not much happens and what does is a bit dull. However the constant threat of discovery followed by painful death that hangs over the main character needed clearing so the story could move on. I look forward to the next book and hope it's up the the usual high standard.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book VII of an excellent series., 13 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. Ray. Brown (Arbroath Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Emperor's Knives (Empire) (Hardcover)
The latest outing for Centurion Corvus who in his quest for vengeance has travelled to Rome. As with Tony's other books the tale is full of action, has some magnificent twists and one liners, when added to a camaraderie that gives the reader a bond with not only the principle character but the unit around him seems to generates a book that is not only hard to put down but nigh impossible. (Read it in Two day's)
Tony writes with a closeness of character you would think he has spent a good few years in the military himself. I have taken forever to read this as I work away and tend to use the kindle, but as I have all of Mr Richie's books in Hardback I want to keep my collection complete. keep up the good work and look forward to the next instalment in Parthia.
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The Emperor's Knives (Empire)
The Emperor's Knives (Empire) by Anthony Riches (Hardcover - 13 Feb 2014)
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