on 13 May 2013
Having read virtually everything on offer in the historical military fiction genre including Cornwell, Severin, Mace, Riches, Sidebottom, Jackson, Iggulden, Kane, Turney, Kristian, Cameron etc I was overjoyed to find a series of this quality that was, at that point, completely unknown to me. Peake's 'Marching with Caesar' series, with hopefully a fifth book to come, comfortably sits alongside the works of all of these authors. I'd compare it to S J A Turney's Marius' Mules series most closely.
Buy all 4 books and go on the march with Primus Pilus Titus Pullus and his 10th Legion for the weekend - you will not regret it.
on 19 April 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. RW succeeds in bringing to life, characters that we have all heard about at sometime in our lives. His portrayal of Cleopatra, is a far cry from the dry facts of history or the glamourous versions seen in the movies. Likewise with Mark Anthony. Being an ex soldier, I can certainly identify with the life of the common legionary, that he depicts in his books. It seems that little has changed in the last two thousand years(weaponry excepted!) for the ordinary soldier, from the camaraderie of units and inter unit rivalries, to the officers that lord it over the troops. This book has it all! Eagerly awaiting RWs next offering!
on 19 April 2013
Another great read from Mr Peake. I have thoroughly enjoyed all 4 of the marching with Caesar books and they are up there with Conn Igguldon's Emperor 'quadrology', which is just about the highest praise I can give for books about this era. Well written, fast paced and with enough action to satisfy lovers of all things martial. Igguldon is releasing a 5th in the series and I would like to think that Mr Peake will follow suit and continue the tale of Titus Pullus. MOOOOOORE PLEASE.
on 10 June 2013
I have thoroughly enjoyed all the books in this series. In particular, the gradual character development of the protagonist - Titus Pullus - over his c. 35 year career span. The advantage of a self published book is the freedom to take a longterm view and not submit to a publishing house's formulaic script for success and squash everything into 200 pages!
Our hero starts as a naïve but enthusiastic young soldier, slowly but surely learns to take on responsibility and becomes a leader of men. By the end of book 4 he has matured to such an extent the legion almost runs itself through his sometimes troubled but usually wise choice of centurions and optios. Titus has reached the pinnacle of his career. He knows his strengths and weaknesses and is not too proud to seek advice when he doesn't have the answers. His insecurities have changed but he learns to overcome them with the support of friends. But above all he is ambitious and is prepared to sacrifice everything to succeed.
The books have a brutal sense of realism and Titus is ruthless when it comes to enforcing the might and honour of Rome. He allows nothing to stand in his way - queen, princep, pleb or even generals. Peake, through Titus (and all the other characters), provides a engrossing representation of how ancient peoples lived, what their moral compass was and what they valued and considered worth dying for.
The portrayal of marching 20 to 30 miles followed by digging are second to none! One can smell the earth (and hopefully not the feet!) of the Roman legionaries as they trudge their way across the ever expanding and contracting empire. The battle scenes are intense, gripping and never confusing to follow.
The exciting sub plots and mini adventures all tie into the main storyline and are not redundant distractions. These lighter notes balance some of the relentless drudgery of battling the elements in Parthia and helped skim over the stodgier parts of Roman history.
"Old soldiers never die, they only fade away" and so one is led to believe at the beginning of each book when Titus dictates his memories to his freedman and friend Diocles. However, we are far from the faded stage and the last pages of book 4 set the stage nicely for a confirmed book 5 and the start of Octavian's / Augustus' career as dictator. I sincerely hope the wait won't be too long.
on 15 July 2015
As an avid reader of historical fiction particularly interested in Rome's Legions I have found every book in the series to date to be totally absorbing. An exciting and compelling read from first to last page. I would recommend this series to any one and everyone. R. W Peake is unrivalled in bringing The Roman Empire to life.
on 22 May 2013
The story of the life of the legio X continues as Pullo only advances through the Centuriate and the legions marches with Antony. The poor editing / proof reading ( undiscriminating sprinkling of spaces) detracts from the story hence four stars.
on 18 June 2013
I have just finished the latest book in ex-Marine R.W. Peake's series on Titus Pullus. I do advocate reading them all from Book One; they really just get better and better, and it is nice to see how this top notch author "hones" his already superb writing skills.
Altho' the books are for all who love action, excitement - and factual Roman history, I think that ex-military people will enjoy (and understand) the books in a slightly different way, as Mr. Peake is obviously taking some of the "character traits" from his service with probably the best arm of the United States military - the Marines. Smashing stuff!
I am sure there WAS such a bloke as Titus Pullus (there must have been in such a large army), and all I can say is that I could not put any of the books down; the facts are so well researched and convincingly presented - and when there is historical doubt Mr. Peake tells you in his epilogues. Integrity shines thro' in all the books, in more ways than one.
Most strongly recommended.
on 30 June 2013
This was a fitting conclusion to a long campaign and yet leaves the door open to another interesting phase in Roman history. It is written with conviction and Peake didn't labour the politics of the time, keeping to the Legionary view of the events. It is fiction yet is largely believable fiction. I know some have commented that some of the more aggressive responses that the hero, Titus, makes to his superiors would not be tolerated in reality but I would disagree and say it is entirely within character of a senior officer to express his point of view to his General. There is one storyline which doesn't seem to fit with the rest, seemingly inspired by Steven Saylor but it is handled well and neatly ties up another loose end.
Peake's military past comes through in the scenes between the legionaries, writing plausibly about matters he obviously knows well. A great series and to be recommended for those who like the genre
on 17 April 2013
I've been following this series and have enjoyed every book (with a slight reservation about book 2). This is a great read. Again it has been well researched, has intrigue (I'm not going to give anything away!) and it had me thoroughly absorbed. I like the way the story includes sub plots, camp life, the thoughts of the soldiers of the 10th Legion. If you haven't read any of them then start with first in the series. I promise you a good read!
On a small downer I agree with other coments. There are no typos to speak of except for the fact that many words have no spaces between them. It might be a Kindle thing and one that should be easy to resolve for future readers. Even so it did not dictract from an excellent book. Encore! More!
on 1 June 2013
As with the three earlier books in the series this one is another page turner. With the author putting the reader in the midst of battles providing an almost "I was there " experience, not forgetting plenty of intrigue, just the right amount of romance and lots of well hidden twists and turns along the way.
In my opinion R.W. Peake has now cemented himself as one of the greats and is right up there with Cornwell, Scarrow and Iggulden when it comes to the art of weaving enthralling stories based on historical facts.
I would recommend this book and the others in the series to not only fans of Roman history but also to any lovers of ancient history who don't mind a lack of sleep.