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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2012
I can highly reccommend this book. I am an avid reader of books on ancient Rome especially the period of early empire. I had no previous knowledge of the author, therefore I was not expecting too much, especially at this low price, but it came as a real surprise to me how good it was. The author shows a remarkable knowledge of the period, covering the legions in Gaul, Britannia and even Israel (Roman Palestine)He makes a very good point in that the sacking of the temple in Jerusalem was not simply a barbaric act by the Roman conquerers(for an exellent non-fiction book on this subject, read Apocalypse by Neil Faulkner, although non-fiction it's anythything but dry history)now back to the subject review.

The author not only has a very advanced knowlege of the period's history, but reveals a vast knowledge of the legions structures, movements, weapons etc. If you are not a fan of the Roman empire, you may find the book a little slow and dry reading, if you are a fan, you will love it.
Acouple of little niggles:
He uses the accepted spelling "Gemina" only once, otherwise he uses "Gemena" and why in heaven does he repeatedly misspell bathes - baths , sheathes - sheaths and wreathes - wreaths. I also feel our hero, Marcus Furius Subara was a little overdone and overdecorated, a Roman superhero, expert at everything; however these niggles did not spoil my enjoyment of a very readable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2012
The previous review covers more the historical aspects of the book (all fantastic and highly detailed).
I'll look at it briefly as a book to be read.

Broadly speaking, whilst the story moves along at a fair old pace, for me the book falls down whenever there are passages of dialog.
Everyone apparently speaks in exactly the same way, same manner, irrespective of which language they are being quoted from. If you were to take snippets of dialog out, remove all names from it and present them all, they would not be distinctive enough to seperate male from female, hero from villain, roman from gaul. This means that characterisation suffers as there isalmost no way of telling the protagonists apart when they are speaking.

The other issue with the dialog is that, if you remove the quotes, it simply becomes more descriptive world-building.
Apparently, everyone has something to say in order to add a history lesson and a descriptive passage of dialog rapidly turns into worldd-building prose.

In the end, I started to speed-read my way through and must have missed how the girl he first 'met' became the girl with a different name he fell in love with and eventually married.

Anyway, as I said, historically accurate, very detailed but the dalog isthe weak point.
For gritty battles ad (fr me) superior dialog/characterisation, you might want to consider Christian Cameron, Anthony Riches or Scott Oden.
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on 1 August 2013
far to many honorifics and it becomes wearing the heros tend to be more than life size which is fine if they have an occasional slip up or humanity but i am sure not all romans were heroic or supermen
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on 11 November 2012
enjoyed this story even though it was in the same vein as the Macro and Cato adventures in Roman times written by Simon Scarrow. would read more if available so please keep up the good work.
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on 19 February 2013
Interesting , particularly in its detail of Roman life. It did drag a little and after a bit, it did seem a wee bit unlikely in the way themain characters developed and succeeded so easily.
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on 5 May 2013
It just about keeps you interested but it verges on the boring in parts. It's ok but I'm not sure I'd go back there.
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on 2 April 2015
First class author
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on 12 March 2015
Too gungho
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