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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, Great Book
I am a big fan of historical fiction but only found out about the Marius Mules series recently.
Finished the first book in two days then bought and rattled through the whole series in quick time.
Basically it follows one of Julius Caesar's Legion commanders (or Legate), Marcus Fronto, during the invasion of Gaul, each book taking one year of the campaign...
Published 21 months ago by HPDS

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars CHARACTERS UNSYMPATHETIC BUT WRITES VIVIDLY AND HAS A GOOD GRASP OF HISTORY
I FOUND TURNEY'S STYLE OF WRITING ENJOYABLE AS IT WAS VIVID BUT ECONOMICAL IN THE DESCRIPTIONS IT GAVE. HE SHOWS A GOOD GRASP OF HISTORICAL DETAILS WHICH HELPS BRINGS TO LIFE THE ROMAN TIMES HE DESCRIBES AND AIDS THE UNDERSTANDING OF MODERN READERS. AS A NEW READER TO THE SERIES, I FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO GET TO KNOW ABOUT THE CHARACTERS FROM THE DETAILS IN THE STORY...
Published 21 months ago by BRIAN MOWAT


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, Great Book, 30 Sept. 2013
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I am a big fan of historical fiction but only found out about the Marius Mules series recently.
Finished the first book in two days then bought and rattled through the whole series in quick time.
Basically it follows one of Julius Caesar's Legion commanders (or Legate), Marcus Fronto, during the invasion of Gaul, each book taking one year of the campaign.
Marcus is a hard drinking soldiers' solider with little time for Politics which causes many clashes with not only Caesar but also some of the other commanders. He nevertheless is a masterful commander and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty to get the job done.
Well written and full of action, but also historically very informative.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 25 Jun. 2013
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I don't know if Mr Turney has struggled for a publisher, in an increasingly congested area of fiction, or whether he's chosen to go it on his own but he certainly deserves one! I picked up on the first Fronto novel a while ago and, against my better judgement, gave it a chance. Since then it's been a riveting series. The books are dense with knowledge, which never gets in the way of the storyline and you care about his heroes. I'm slightly annoyed that we're steered, as ever, into cheering on the romans but that's not Mr Turney's fault! The only wrinkle I can see is the quality of the setting/printing isn't always perfect but I'm happy to put up with that. Buy these books! They're far better than a lot of the mainstream historical novels on offer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hades Gate a BLOCKBUSTER., 11 Dec. 2013
The perfect gift for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
In HADES GATE the fifth in the Marius Mules series Simon Turney has penned a real blockbuster, with a great narrative bursting with historical facts, combined with plenty of violent gritty action. Fast paced and compelling, I found I could not put it down. I believe that Simon has now earned a place alongside all the great contemporary Roman fiction authors. Well done and keep it coming.
For those who would like further information on this epoch I highly recommend the OSPREY Campaign, Warrior, and men at arms booklets, with great overviews, excellent illustrations, and highly detailed maps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another excellent book, 5 Aug. 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Once again Simon proves himself to be one of the best writers in the Roman fiction genre. It amazes me on a daily basis that he is also self published. Not only because of the quality scope and scale of his books, but also because of the quality of the writing, editing and publication. Simon Turney offers peerless research, tireless action packed prose and plotting. Plotting that any of those hitting the best seller lists would be envious of.
Not only does simon manage this with his Roman series but he is now doing it with The Thief's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle) his latest series. His self publication seems to allow his tireless hard work space to shine with multiple books a year, and of such quality all should read no matter the genre they love.
This 5th book in the Marius Mules series sees preparation for a little visit to the island of Britannia, an insight into the great Pompey and so much action it will make your head swim. The vivid imagery of rome, the cells, the sounds the smells. SERIOUSLY...how has no publisher had the sense to pick up the great writer!!??

Also the new covers are a triumph, and well worth collecting the whole series to have the combined set.
Long may this series continue.
(Parm)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marius Mules V - Hades Gate, 20 May 2013
Once again I found myself enthralled by a book by S.J.A. Turney. That shouldn't be so easy as this series takes place in one of my favorite periods of ancient history and involves some of the more colorful/powerful men in Rome's history and as such I expect a lot from writers who tackle those subject matters. I have yet to be disappointed by Mr. Turney's efforts. At the end of MM IV the main character in the series, Marcus Falerius Fronto had a seemingly irreparable falling out with Caesar which means he will be spending this campaigning season in Rome and Puteoli instead of Britain and Gaul. Trouble and more finds him anyway in many guises, from the maddened Pompey to a revenge seeking German, no place is safe for Fronto or his family and friends.

Meanwhile, Caesar has his own difficulties in Britain and then with the threat of a somewhat united Gaul rising up against him. With his officer corps somewhat depleted, Caesar finds it necessary to bring in experienced men from other legions. Thus the author introduces, who because of the HBO series, Rome, are probably known to most of us already; Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus have important roles to play as senior centurions in the 14th Legion. There are differences between the Rome versions and the two crafted by the author one of them being the fact that they are both centurions and Pullo is the more senior of the two. I think that it is interesting to note that Pullo and Vorenus , I believe, are the only two legionaries mentioned by name in Caesar's War Commentaries so it is only fitting that they play their part in Marius Mules, although I do conjure up the faces of Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson when reading their parts in the book.

The dual plots are handled in such a way that it seems each scene ends in a cliff hanging scenario which only spurs the reader to keep going in spite of the lateness of the hour. With each volume in this series the main characters keep progressing in their development, those that survive anyway as the author has a knack for surprises when it comes to not only the intrigue of the story lines but with who gets rubbed out. Not that that is a bad thing, war and other nefarious characters are always ready to claim a victim or two, though I have found myself shouting at the ceiling, 'oh my God, he killed so and so.'

Like a devious-devising Kronos, S.J.A. Turney weaves a tale of intrigue and action in Marius Mules V - Hades Gate. Like the previous volumes in this series Hades Gate is historical fiction at it's best. Great time of history, wonderful characters and the raw power of a Roman Legion shield wall have me looking longingly forward to Marius Mules VI...they just keep getting better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MMV-Hades' Gate, 2 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Marius' Mules V: Hades' Gate (Kindle Edition)
A fantastic and exciting read. Well done again. S.J.A..Turney.
So relieved that you are underway with VI and VII. It seems as though the series is going to get even better. Can't wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bring it on, 30 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Marius' Mules V: Hades' Gate (Kindle Edition)
An excellent read. Each book has made me become more involved with both the story and the characters. Can,t wait for VI & VII
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MM V, 11 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Marius' Mules V: Hades' Gate (Kindle Edition)
Excellent story, just gets better! looking forward to the next two books if they are to be campaign based. Get writing Mr. Turney!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This series gets better and better., 8 Sept. 2013
By 
A. Thomas - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Marius' Mules V: Hades' Gate (Kindle Edition)
A fantastic series of books, can highly recommend them to anyone who has an interest in fictional history. Characters are realistic and come to life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improving with every book, 5 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Marius' Mules V: Hades' Gate (Kindle Edition)
I took a bit of a punt on the first Marius Mules novel and enjoyed it enough to keep going. The focus on the daily functioning of a legion on campaign and the inter-action of soldiers was an interesting viewpoint for me, as was Mr Turney's portrayal of Caesar. The battle scenes were also extremely well described - as good as anything I have read. There were some factual errors here and there but nothing too annoying, however my main criticism was that I found the dialogue a bit stilted and forced at times. I believe Mr Turney self-publishes, or at least did for the earlier books, which unfortunately meant a lot of typos in the kindle version.

However, the books have improved with each new installment and the dialogue has become much more "natural" with a good dose of humour thrown in. The fifth book in the series had me gripped from start to finish and there were very few typos for a kindle book. It seems to me that the author has grown and developed along with his main characters and has now hit his stride, with the result being a well paced, well written book with interesting characters and plot. I hope this carries on in the 6th book - due out next year I believe.
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