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4.6 out of 5 stars123
4.6 out of 5 stars
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2014
Those of you who have read the previous volumes in this series may not find it hard to believe but I will say it anyway...they just keep getting better. The author left himself a considerable task at the end of book refresh your memory it is there that the main fictional character, Marcus Falerius Fronto, has a major falling out with his friend and commanding general, Gaius Julius Caesar. A rift so vast that Fronto leaves the army and spends the whole of book 5 dealing with personal issues while Caesar continues his quest without one of his most trusted advisers and tacticians. Getting them back together did not seem possible but Simon is nothing if he isn't a resourceful writer.

Their reunion, put forward by none other than Marcus Antonious, is not an easy one and that is one reason why this book is such a great read. Nothing is easy...Simon could have had them patch up, shake hands and gone forward right from the beginning of the reunion but that would be too easy and a bit of a boring letdown. I will say no more lest I give away too much. The main plots are, for Caesar, the death of Ambiorix, the Eburone King who was responsible for the destruction of two legions and for Fronto, the return to the fold and command of a legion. Of course, those two aspects of the story are intertwined, converging like two tributaries to the Rhenus and becoming one in the end.

The continued development of the main characters is an ever constant need and has become a strength of the author. I especially enjoyed the progress of some of the main characters such as:
Caesar - much more human/not the above the fray-confident specimen he is often portrayed as...his conversations with Fronto especially are very telling and interesting
Labienus - another example of a differing representation - not a madman bent on outdoing Caesar
Antonius - now, he is larger than life...imagine Richard Burton meets James Purefoy
Fronto - he has been many things in this series and has grown with it...seeing him as commander of a Navy Seal like operation was well done...
On the fringe and just waiting to burst on the scene is that ever popular Gaulish rebel, Vercingetorix...his brief appearances here leaves one with the impression that he could be the most formidable foe yet to take on Caesar and Fronto.
I throw 5 stars at Simon Turney for yet again turning it up a notch. Now get to work on Alesia. :-)
About the author:
I live with my wife, my slightly barmy son and very vocal daughter, and two (close approximations of) dogs in rural North Yorkshire, where my wife and I both grew up, surrounded by friends and family. A born and bred Yorkshireman with a love of country, I cannot envisage spending my life anywhere else, though my anchor is sometimes tested as the wanderlust hits and we travel wherever I can find the breathtaking remains of the classical world. I have a love of travel and history, architecture and writing and those four interact well enough to keep me almost permanently busy.

Since leaving school and University, I have tried a great number of careers, including car sales, insurance, software engineering, computer network management, civil service and even paint ing and decorating sales. I have lived in four counties and travelled as widely as time and budget allowed and find myself, on the cusp of my fortieth year, back where I began and finally doing something I love.

Having written a number of unpublished short stories in my early days, I decided back in 2003 to try and write a full length novel. That was the start of Marius' Mules. Being a lover of Roman history, I decided to combine my love of writing and my love of classical history. Marius' Mules was followed two years later by Interregnum, my attempt to create a new fantasy story still with a heavy flavour of Rome. Since then, the success and popularity of both have inflated my head so that I can no longer comfortably fit through doors, and has spawned sequels to each work, with a third in the fantasy series and the sixth Marius' Mules now complete, as well as a series set in the 15th century Mediterranean.

I maintain another website detailing the Roman sites I visit and photograph, and write a blog about books. Find me on twitter as @sjaturney. I am an almost terminally chatty person. That's just a due warning if you feel like contacting me (see above.) I am always happy to speak to people and have put together an FAQ gathered together from things I have been asked previously. [...] [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 October 2014
The perfect gift for all historical buffs THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This excellent series just keeps going from strength to strength, Caesars vow as with his previous works is laced with historical facts, a fast paced narrative interwoven with three dimensional characters, intrigue, dry humour and visceral bloody action. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, long may you reign Simon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2014
This is another good volume in the series. I won't go into details of the plot, but it is another gripping adventure for Fronto and his friends and enemies! The author has a clear grasp of the characters involved, and they continue to develop as the series progresses.
My one gripe about this episode - and the reason for only four stars - is that, for me, there were too many new characters introduced in this story. This meant that you hardly had time to work out who was who, before they started dying - or becoming very important, and you therefore did not have enough invested in them to care. I know that this was part of the point, because Fronto had the same problem, but for me, it meant less engagement than normal.
However, still a good read, and I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 January 2014
To be totally transparent, Simon is a friend, but that that said if one of his books was a dud then i would avoid reviewing it.
Marius Mules 6 is a long way from a dud, in fact its a clear sign that Simon has become on of the finest writers in Roman Fiction. His character Fronto has grown with every chapter of his tale, his plot construction has grown and developed to a level of skill and complexity that engage the reader and ensure you are on the edge of your seat from first page to the last.

For anyone who might think he is a one trick pony... try The Thief's Tale: 1 (The Ottoman Cycle) and some of his other books. Whats even more impressive is that to date he is still self published. (not for too much longer if the publishers have an sense) Until that date, Simon remains a writing machine, turning out several tales a year, and improving the quality of his craft with every one.

Fronto is back, and he is still a grumpy, clever, witty, Dangerous SOB.... don't miss the story!

Highly recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2014
Yet again I was transported back to the legions with fronto. This book is slower to start than the other books but once it gets going the pace, plots and characters jump out from the page. Really enjoyed the fights as usual.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2014
Ripping tale, good continuation of the story so far. Characters are 'real' and the reader actually believes in them and their actions. Can't wait to read 'Mules V11'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2014
Once again Avery good read, which holds you from beginning to end and in some small way, imparts a little knowledge to the reader, can't wait to read the next one
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2014
Another excellent page turner, I read V and VI one after the other, the story flowed effortlessly ( to me the reader) keeping me enthralled for hours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2014
The historical story continues with some twists and turns again the author has not been afraid to kill off some of the central characters which keeps the outcome of the story into their personal lives interesting. It is difficult to review a book in a series without spoiling it for another reader yet to enjoy this authors work. I highly recommend this and am now waiting for the author to catch up to my reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2014
love these books, always look forward to these books, hope they keep coming.they always capture the times.of old army life and Rome
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