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4.6 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2013
I read all 4 of these books in the space of a few weeks, one after the other, finishing this one only a few days ago - and I am already missing Fronto and his adventures with his wine-drinking mates!! All 4 books are set in the 1st century BC around Julius Caesar's campaigns in Gaul (for those with a weak disposition, please note that some of the battle narrative is rather detailed, gruesome and violent!), it is so well written you can't help but feel like you are there with the characters, love the fact that the Gauls seem to have northern accents and between battles the main characters like to pop to the pub (a lot!!)

I am not an expert on roman history, battles or politics, but it made me want to find out about the real events, people and places that these stories take their inspiration from - and from what I can tell they're pretty close to the reality of Ceasars invasion of Gaul over the same 4 year period, although the only Fronto I could find that excelled in battle and became a Legate was a Marcus Claudius Fronto from the second century AD (killed in battle 170 AD)

Regardless of fact and fiction the stories are a wonderfully entertaining and absorbing read, so I hope that if you pick these books up you enjoy them as much as I did - and please, please Mr Turney, I do hope there are more tales of Fronto on the way . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2013
Without doubt the best in the series so far. Mr Turney expertly deals with the action of Caesar's legions' push across the Rhine and then into England, whilst simulaneously personalising, through Frodo's sister and betrothed, the increasingly politicised violence erupting in Rome. Lets hope Frontos knee get better soon. Bring on the Rubicon
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2013
Have just finished Marius' Mules IV and found it to be as excellent as the previous three, with one criticism. The ending seemed rather rushed and totally out of step with the pace and intensity of the rest of the story. In fact it almost felt like it had been written by someone else. However, I find Mr Turney an outstanding writer of this genre and with a great knowledge of Roman military life and the Caesar campaigns.

The book's abrupt ending leaves the reader with the impression that this will be the last of the Mules series, yet the story leaves enough unfinished threads for at least two further books. I for one will be very disappointed if this does end the series as I have only recently discovered Mr Turney and I would certainly rate his work on a par with Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell. Once you start reading you just don't want to put the book (or Kindle) down. So come on Mr Turney - will there be a Mules V?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2013
Great series of books and book 4 is no let down
If you like Simon Scarrows' tales of Cato and Macro then this is a book for you.
It is very well written with a good story line - Roman Legions, lots of action with down to earth characters and just enough history.
I would definitely recommend this book to any historical fiction fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2013
good content - good story well told - keeps you interested - description of geography, legion behaviour, uniform and weapons allows you to be in the story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2013
Just as good as this authors previous booksn in this series ( i recomend them all ) a slight devation into politics but graphic enough to keep the reader interested
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2013
This the best kept secret in book writing, i loved every page and can't wait for any follow up books, this is as good a s Simon Scarrow, the plots are great and the stories twist and turn to keep you on edge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2013
Another great read from Turney. But only 4 stars from me (only!!).
I started to get irritated by Fronto. His sister was correct - he is childish. Yet I feel his growing experience and his age ought to be having the opposite effect. All that happens to him should wear down his naivety, not make it worse.
I was admiring the author for his avoidance of contrived rescues (the cavalry thundering in just as the hero was doomed) but it happened twice in this book : most disappointingly at the end when the two centuries turn up at the family home.
More gripes: "gubernatorial" and "layover" are Americanism. I am happy with modern English but please use English English!!
According to the arborial historians Fronto would have to wait another half century before he could sit on a sycamore stump in S E England.
Please take care Mr Turney.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2015
When I reviewed MM III on here I said that although the books were very 'samey', I was hooked and probably would read the lot. Well, after MM IV, I think I need a break. Although I enjoy the accuracy and storytelling of the campaign in Gaul, I sometimes just want to give Fronto a thump. His moodyness, and the completely unrealistic relationship with Caeser detracts from the real narrative of what happened in Gaul, and frankly Caeser would have had a Legate hung, drawn and quartered for addressing him in the manner that Fronto does. For me, the author just takes Fronto's character too far. You can summarise these books: Fronto gets drunk; Fronto falls out with Caeser; Fronto gets drunk again; Fronto gets injured; Fronto gets drunk again; Fronto foils a plot; Fronto gets drunk again; Fronto saves the day; Fronto gets drunk again. I need a rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2013
Not sure where the series is going now. Fronto is acting more like a teenager who has discovered the world isn't perfect than an aging hardened veteran of a very brutal [from our current point of view] time in history. There was lots of good in this novel but when the central character seems to have lost his way then its a problem. The book has all the elements of the first 3 in the series which were all 5 star but the balancing of character relationships v action v thriller has, in my opinion, gone astray.
It won''t stop me from buying the next in the series but unless it gets back to describing a fascinating time in history from the view of our friend Legate Fronto instead of describing his angst and problems with a side show of what was happening in history I might struggle to continue.
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