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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 1 January 2012
The Amazon website does clearly state that this is a prequel to the first of the series on Vespasian. The second book in the series is called Rome's Executioner, due out in May 2012.

The file size is 348 KB which is less than half of the size of the Vespasian story at 783 KB. I would suggest that the price of £2.46 is probably too high when compared to the cut price of the Vespasian novel at £3.58 for the Kindle edition. The relative high price loses the rating a star.

The story is written in the same flowing style as Vespasian and also includes some of the same characters, including Lady Antonia and Sejanus. The novella fleshes out the background of the hard man like Magnus, who now is Vespasian's batman whilst on expedition fighting for Rome. The gangs of men who inhabit the Crossroads are a necessary evil, but at the same time they can be a force for good. The story also fleshes out the workings of patronage, political intrigue and spies, and the power of the Praetorian Guard. An enjoyable short read but not an essential purchase.

I really enjoyed Vespasian: Tribune of Rome, and I can not wait for book 2 in the Vespasian series, Rome's Executioner. If you are looking for books to read in the meantime you must look at First Man In Rome (Masters of Rome), or Under the Eagle (Roman Legion 1).
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on 24 January 2012
Robert Fabbri's first book last year, Vespasian: Tribune of Rome was without doubt one of the novels that I enjoyed the most last year. The Crossroads Brotherhood is a prequel to that story which is touched upon in the debut book and revolves around life on the streets of Rome, which proves to be a fascinating insight, well researched and authentic in the telling. It's a short story but easily worth the few pounds it can be purchased for on Kindle.

Robert Fabbri is quickly establishing himself as a great story teller, who so smoothly allows the reader to picture the environment he discusses in his books. For anyone interested in this era, I would highly recommend his books, I for one can't wait for the sequel to Vespasian: Tribune of Rome, a fantastic story that mirrors history and the life of one of Rome's greatest personalities.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 January 2012
There is one low review on here, and i have seen bad reviews elsewhere, why? because those people didn't know it wasn't book 2 and didn't know it was a short story.
Seriously the description, you claim , by spending the money to be fans of reading and the author, so read the description.

This prequel, is fun, the characters are great and like Duncan McDonald my only critic is that this wasn't saved for a full length book. This novella just reinforces for me the writing ability of Fabbri, his skill with characters and the roman world.
If anything i liked this more than Vespasian...damn...why wasn't it a full book...Robert, there must be a book or series on the seedy underbelly of Rome!!

well Liked and recommended

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on 21 April 2012
A really clever prequel to Vespasian set in Rome prior to Vespasian entering the city in Tribune of Rome. Great characters and a fascinating insight into Roman life including the sleazy underworld. Should be pointed out that Vespasian does not figure at all in this book but do not let this put you off. I loved it.
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on 23 March 2014
A short story that confused me to start with (not difficult) despite reading 'Vespasian: Tribune of Rome' first, but once I remembered who Magnus was I enjoyed this stand alone story. The way Robert Fabbri portrays the seedy side of Roman life with gangs protecting their 'turf', offering their dubious services to cash customers and looking after the interests of a victim(?) of their protection racket by removing a troublesome competitor makes 'The Crossroads Brotherhood' an excellent read. There are plenty of Ancient Rome adventures about and if you enjoy this genre the Vespasian series wont disappoint.
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on 3 January 2015
I can't speak highly enough of Robert Fabbri's Vespasian books. Going off at a bit of a tangent it's an excellent combination of fictional action and historical fact, making it a stonking good read. My only thought is that it could have been longer but then there are more to follow.
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on 30 March 2012
I bought the US Kindle Edition of this book shortly after reading Vespasian: Tribune of Rome. The Crossroads Brotherhood narrates one of the episodes in the life of Magnus shortly before his appearance in the Vespasian series. In fact the final part of the book weaves into the part where Magnus first meets Vespasian and his party on their entry into Rome.

I have given the book 3 stars because of the following reasons: (a) The Crossroads Brotherhood is just long enough to be a short story rather than a stand alone novella or novel by itself. The pricing (at $3) seemed a tad high for such a short story. (b) As a big fan of Ancient Roman civilisation I could enjoy the story (with all the details about Rome) but the tale or the narration by itself is not very remarkable.

I guess this book is a good choice if you have a couple of hours to spare, a kindle to hand and an interest in Rome and the Vespasian series that the author is releasing.
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on 31 December 2011
If you understand that this is a novella and is a prequel to the Vespasian novel then it is an enjoyable glimpse of the lives of the crossroads brotherhood characters and the end of the novella segues nicely into how they meet up with Vespasian's family on their entrance to Rome.

It is a fascinating insight in how the mechanics of cities worked, from the protection rackets, the political classes and posturing at all levels and what most of us would consider outrageous was considered normal every day life. Murder, prostitution, extortion and protection rackets, all considered run of the mill and normal life and whilst these still exist today they are discreet and considered antisocial rather than accepted business practices.

I really enjoyed this novella but my one criticism is that I wish it were an actual novel and longer, the characters have so much scope, I would like to see more of the lives of these characters in the Vespasian series and it gives Robert Fabbri scope for further sub-plots on the periphery of main stories.
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on 5 December 2013
As with the Racing Factions, this story should have been part of a full novel, in the style we have become accustomed to from Fabbri. Although it demonstrates the background to his excellent novels, it would have been better to link a few together as a complete prequel book.
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on 27 August 2013
I've enjoyed the couple of Vespasian books I've read, and found 'The Crossroads Brotherhood' novella an entertaining aside into the adventures of Rome's rank and file as Magnus, the firm-but-fair, friendly neighbourhood mobster and his colleagues, engineer some creative mayhem to service some tricky demands handed down from on high. Amusing politics of Roman villainy, intrigue, suspense, murder and a good climactic conflagration. Enjoyable read.
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