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4.5 out of 5 stars129
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2013
I've been looking forward to this book so much - Legionary 1 and 2 have firmly cemented their places in my top 10 and I had my fingers crossed that Legionary 3 would do the same. Well...it has. It's an absolute gem.

Continuing on from Legionary 2, we have Pavo and chums tasked with a mission by Emperor Valens - and without giving anything away, I can definitely say it's a very intriguing mission and one that has lasting effects on every character, not least of which being Pavo himself. Certain elements from Pavo's past have been neatly threaded through the previous volumes and more steps are taken in book 3 - in fact, there's more insight in book 3 towards not just Pavo's past but certain other characters too.

Legionary 3 takes off in a different direction than the previous books - and it's a delight. I found that my preconceptions of "oh, this is going to happen" were completely wrong - there are some surprising and eye-opening moments along the way - and I think I can safely guarantee that you will get sucked in. You will not want to put this down...and you may get a bit emotional as well. Again, I don't want to give anything away but there was more than one occasion when I found myself getting a bit teary. And THAT is why I love Gordon Doherty's novels - you don't just read them...you get involved...you care about the characters, you're there with them every step of the way and when you finish the book, you'll look up and blink a few times, wondering what happened in the world whilst you were centuries away.

In short - buy this book. And if you haven't read the first two then buy those as well, settle down in comfort and step back into the past for a while. You won't regret it.
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on 19 November 2013
I was quite lucky in a way because the release of this novel virtually coincided with me recently finishing the second book. Clearly having thoroughly enjoyed the first two in the series, I was looking forward to this one and wondered if Gordon could create another great story. Needless to say, he has, and in my humble opinion has gone a little bit further as well.

Pavo's last adventure found him in frost, snow and ice but in book three, he's under a searing hot sun and for a period of time, elsewhere but I won't say where so as not to spoil the story. Needless to say there are a few surprises along the way as well as a welcome return for some of the characters. With descriptive, easily imagined scenes, wonderful characters and a great story, you can't go wrong in reading this one.

If you enjoyed Gordon's previous novels, this is not to be missed and I think is probably the best in the series so far. If for some reason you haven't read any of Gordon's work but you like historical novels with excitement, adventure, accuracy and real authenticity, then look no further. Very highly recommended, a great read and thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 1 February 2014
I have just finished reading this,the latest in the Legionary series.There are some superb historical fiction writers out there and I have to say that this series ranks among the best.The later Roman empire is sadly neglected in book and film and these books,as well as being superb entertainment, are also an education (especially with the copious historical notes in the back). Being an ex Soldier myself, I can immediately empathise with the camaraderie of the main characters as well as the worry about those left behind at home.
These books are responsible for my ailment that I call "Kindle nose" that is I read them until I eventually fall asleep,only to be rudely awakened by the Kindle landing on my nose! I'm looking forward to many more "Kindle noses" from Gordon.
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on 15 November 2013
as a firm fan of mr dohertys novels i have been eagerly awaiting the third book in the legionary series and like all his previous 4 novels was not disappointed. this guy is a great author and takes you straight into the story from page one. plausible plots and characters make for a tremendous storyline and as usual with these novels its virtually impossible to stop reading them when you start!! who needs eating,drinking,sleeping or work when you have this story to look forward to. its almost as though your actually in the story because the writings that good and as usual im really looking forward to his next novel. for anyone with an interest in this kind of novel its a must read and i guarantee you'll be hooked
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on 21 November 2013
I've just finished reading Gordon Doherty's book and I would highly recommend it. I think it would appeal to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or who has an interest in Roman/Persian history. However, the book is more than this, the characters are highly believable and face seemingly impossible challenges along the way, there are several sub-plots in the story, with many unexpected twists and turns, and for that reason I think it would be fair to describe the book as a thriller too! In short, the book was excellent and it was hard to put it down! All of Legionary series of books are good and I would highly recommend not only this one, but all the books in the series. I can't wait for the next one!
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on 14 December 2013
Following on the series, is this fantastic story. I felt as I was in amongst the action all the way through.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 April 2015
This is volume 3 of the Legionary series that takes place during the reign of Emperor Valens (reigned AD 364 to AD 378) in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, it is also the weakest of the series because almost everything in it – historical settings, plot, characters, and battle scenes – are implausible. In other words, I am afraid that I did not like this one, to use Amazon’s terminology, and had to force myself to finish it. However, the next one in the series, which has already been published, is much better, if only because the author reverts to form with his usual little bunch of heroes (plus and minus one or two that get killed off or join the group) back in Thrace facing the Goths.

This one, however, is problematic on just about all counts: it is implausible and unbelievable from the very beginning and throughout the book.

First, it is very unlikely, to put it mildly, that an Emperor would call up a couple of centuries from the other side of the Empire to carry out a “special mission” when he has all of his field army and crack troops directly at his disposal. This is even less likely when said “other side of the Empire (Thrace, to be specific) is being overrun by a horde of Goths and needs each and every of its soldiers to contain, yet alone repel, the invasion.

Second, the errand on which these two centuries of XI Claudia are sent is, of course, crucial for the safety and the future of the Empire. However, I failed to see how recovering a copy of a fifteen (not quite) year old treaty signed by the predecessor of Valens and Shapur, the old Sassanid King of Kings would necessarily help protect and preserve the Eastern Roman Empire unless one is naïve enough to believe that Emperors and Kings necessarily and always kept his word in all circumstances and would not want to be seen as having reneged on it.

A third bunch of hard to believe features is the secondary errand that Pavo, our hero, carries out, searching for his lost father, without knowing where to search, and miraculously finding him still alive after spending close to fifteen years of forced labor in a salt mine. Related to this is the just as implausible and miraculous escape from said salt mine with his comrades (the usual bunch for those who have read the first episodes), the pursuit of their mission – retrieving the missing copy of the treaty in the “enemy’s den”, reuniting with Gallus and, of course, the “reckoning” with the “arch-nasty” magos and their pursuit by his creature, the young and warped warlord.

A fourth set of implausible events is the author’s tendency – already noticed in previous episodes – to have his heroes systematically and rather obviously “saved at the eleventh hour”. It happens in just every volume but it happens twice in this one: once when Bedouin Arabs, led by a minor version of Queen Zenobia (whom our hero becomes rather fond of, of course), and a second time with the improbable appearance of the old “Shahinshah” come to set everything right. The story does not tell who on earth could have warned him on what was going on in one of his somewhat distant provinces.

Also somewhat annoying are the rather long sessions where one of the main characters (pick your choice: Pavo, his father, Gallus and a few others) give the reader the impression of moaning, whining and generally feeling sorry for themselves.

Anyway, there is no need to go on and on: by now, anyone reading this review will have fully realized that I simply did not like this title because very little in it worked for me. Two stars.
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on 4 December 2013
I read a lot of roman fictional history, and this one is the best one yet. It beats Simon Scarrow, and all the rest. The story keeps you riveted. Lots of unexpected twists and turns. Gordon Doherty has done his research well, and gives a great insight into Rome and Persia at that time.
Only one slight concern with the main character Pavo, he endures so much pain and suffering but can still fight pitched battles. Bit of a super man.
Superb read, can't wait for the next one.
Would make a great block buster film.
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on 4 December 2013
I loved the first two books and this one is certainly as good as they are. I wont say any more so I don't spoil the plot but suffice to say you need to buy it if you're a fan of Pavo
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on 19 November 2013
Once again another brilliant book in the series.
I feel that I've really got to know Parvo and his friends quite well now and as a result felt really engaged throughout this adventure.
A thoroughly good read and extremely hard to put down once you've started.
Keep them coming please.
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