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Ross tackles his first full length novel bringing the ancient world of Rome from its humble beginnings to a modern audience with historical facts interwoven in a tale that shows that the epic heroes that modern fantasy has come to exude did have living counterparts in the ancient world. The fact that the book is dedicated to David Gemmell is also a nice touch as many a reader of his books will see parallels to the "living" heroes within the pages of this tale. A writer of history who has brought the ancient world in a more accessable way to the modern reader and as such means that he should be applauded for tackling this huge subject in such a way. If you're looking for a book to help with research this tale also fulfills the brief and as such will provide that outline for the hero that you feel is missing. Great work Ross.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2009
I loved the inherent romanticism of this book. Any author that name checks David Gemmell in a work of history gets my vote! The chapters on superstition and single combat cheerfully undermine the thoughtless conformism of wargames rules and bad 'Roman' fiction. I found the stuff on 'devotio' the most intereting. I managed to get through a classical education and a 35 year interest in the wars of ancient Rome without knowing of this. Essentially, early Roman generals sometimes sacrificed themselves in single handed charges to guarantee divine backing for a victory. One military family even had a tradition of it! A real WOW factor, crisply written and very engaging prose. I wish it was twice as long.
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