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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Latest in a brilliant series
Review
Over the last few book of the Gaius Valerius Verrens series i have been forced to re-evaluate my views on Roman fiction writers. They fit into different brackets, there are the Roman crime writers, the Roman mystery writers, the Roman Blood and Guts (or sandals as some would class them) writers and there are the Roman Adventures, this last one for me is the...
Published 11 months ago by Parm

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a drop in form...
I've enjoyed this series to date but have to admit that Sword of Rome is easily the weakest book in the series.

Firstly, the plot is virtually non-existent and revolves around Verrens traipsing back and forwards between potential Emperors to very little effect. The plot picks up a little towards the end of the book but the ending itself stretches the readers...
Published 3 months ago by Mingster


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Latest in a brilliant series, 20 Aug 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Review
Over the last few book of the Gaius Valerius Verrens series i have been forced to re-evaluate my views on Roman fiction writers. They fit into different brackets, there are the Roman crime writers, the Roman mystery writers, the Roman Blood and Guts (or sandals as some would class them) writers and there are the Roman Adventures, this last one for me is the cream of the crop, the beating heart of Roman fiction, getting into the hearts and minds of the characters and how they lived, how they died and how they interacted with the world full of conspiracy going on around them.
In book 1 Hero of Rome, Douglas Jackson wrote what i still consider to be the greatest, most evocative and emotional scene in any Roman Fiction book i have read, the temple scene left me stunned, and wondering if he could ever reach those heights again.
In book 3 Avenger of Rome Douglas Jackson took that skill and spread it throughout an entire novel. The back and forth plot lines with Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo coupled with the fast paced action packed plot made book 3 one of the best Roman fiction books written.
Book 4 Sword of Rome, for me had too much to live up to, how on earth could it rise to the heady heights of Avenger?
It tried and it made a damn fine job of it. The book covers the early part of the year of the four emperors, and reading it made for an interesting comparison to Henry Venmore Rowlands The Last Caesar and Sword and Throne: His duology following the trials of Aulus Caecina Severus where Douglas Jackson's follow Verrens and the opposite side under Otho.
This juxtaposition helped make the book an even greater experience. I was worried that Serpentius was starting to become too good, a caricature of the perfect fictional character, too good to be true, but then Douglas Jackson ended the book with a battle that was pitched just right, that played just perfectly to his ex-gladiators skills and gave the book a dramatic conclusion and set the series up to see the conclusion of the year of the 4 emperors out with our hero's front and centre and surrounded by intrigue.
If you have never read any of Douglas Jacksons books then although you can read each book as a stand alone, I would still recommend going back to the start of this series
Gaius Valerius Verrens
1. Hero of Rome (2010)
2. Defender of Rome (2011)
3. Avenger of Rome (2012)
4. Sword of Rome (2013)

You will be very hard pressed to find a finer series of books set in the Roman period.
Very Highly recommended
(Parm)

(If you are interested in an author Q&A visit my blog, link is on my profile)

Other titles
Rufus
1. Caligula: The Tyranny of Rome (2008)
2. Claudius (2009)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A veritable triumph!, 12 Dec 2013
This is my first outing with Douglas Jacksons Varens series, the sword of Rome was highly recommended by a friend as a stand alone read, and what a thoroughly good page turner it has turned out to be. I have to admit I was initially a bit dubious with the plethora of great novels, all on the road to the grand finale of the year of the four Emperors. I am however pleased to say this work, to my mind, is one of the best, the author weaves an exhilarating narrative interwoven with historical facts, the pace never lets up and the action ubiquitous. Needless to say I shall be investing in all the earlier works in this series. Highly recommended.

The perfect companion to the Varens series is the ROMA VICTRIX wine beaker, engraved in high relief with three panels, one of which is dedicated exclusively to Vespasian and his legion II Augusta. In the apex of all three panels there are beautifully engraved busts of the great man himself.Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Roman Fiction, 15 Aug 2013
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sword of Rome (Kindle Edition)
OK, you love historical fiction, want high octane action which when backed with twists and turns of the political machinations of Rome generates a story that you just can't leave. So what are you going to do? Well if you've been following the release schedule for the last few years, you'll have seen Douglas Jackson going from not only strength to strength but adding a set of figures that make him one of the growing stars of the genre for me.

I love his characters, I love the way he blends historical facts into the story and above all else, for me, I love the way he utilises great action sequences to help the pace alongside balancing the slower moments that are just as full of tension as a misplaced word can have all sorts of catastrophic effects. All round another solid offering in this series and one that readers will gather around to see what is next in line for the principle hero. However the only downside in this book and one that I'm letting readers know about is you have to have read the other titles in the series first to get the most from this. All round though, great stuff.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read, 13 Oct 2013
This review is from: Sword of Rome (Kindle Edition)
This is an excellent well written book, that takes you straight back into roman times, with all their scandals etc. A fantastic page turner.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive continuation of the series, 6 Sep 2013
By 
Mcdowall "jmaccyd" (hertford, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The strongest outing in this series of very enjoyable novels. Well written with action that skips along at a healthy pace. Literally is a 'page turner' as you hate having to put the book down. Any faults? Perhaps too many escapes that stretch credibility just a touch.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 3 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Sword of Rome (Kindle Edition)
This series just gets better and better, can't wait fir the next one, for those of you that like Scarrows and Igguldon, this series is a must
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Men Don`t Laugh, 20 Aug 2013
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Great,Brilliant,Fantastic and that was before i open The Sword of Rome and discovered that Douglas Jackson had me looking for more words to add to the praise of the Valerius series.The first three books have establish the series as one of the best around and my anticipation that The Sword of Rome would be just as good as the first three books was not missed placed,in fact,in my humble opinion this is the best yet,so Great,Brilliant,Fantastic.Chapter one sets the pace of the book and from then on it never falters,even when you are involved in the cut and thrust of the political dog fight`s of the Emperor`s.The action comes thick and fast as the story builds to the battle of Bedtiacum and Douglas Jackson has you in the heart of the battle,standing side by side with Valerius and Serpentius as the battle rages.With great research and writing of the highest quality,Douglas has produced a page turner that makes you want more of Galus Valerius Verrens and Serpentius and with such a great ending i am sure Douglas Jackson will be hunch over his typewriter plotting more Great,Brilliant and Fantastic books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 17 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. C. J. Nicholls (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This is the first novel I've read about the period of chaos and civil war which followed the assassination of the Emperor Nero. It dodges about a bit, as one might expect, but is a super read, as I've come to expect. Plenty of treachery, betrayal and blood and guts - standard fare for this period and much of the Roman Empire.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good ., 10 Jun 2014
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Got this good for my dad . He is just about finished reading it and is enjoying . He would recommended .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel - Great insight into the year of the 4 Emperors, 12 May 2014
By 
Roger Eynon "dodger" (Bristol, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Another great novel in Varens series, great characterisation as is expected from Douglas Jackson.
This novel becomes even better as it fleshed up those involved in this tumultuous year. I've read histories of this era, but did not get a feel for the personalities involved.
Jackson fills the gap and provides a better understanding of the main protagonists, as well as what it felt like to be fighting friends.
Best so far
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