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24 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Roman read, 7 July 2014
This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
I had the privilege to be one of the lucky few to read a proof copy of this novel quite a while before it was released. The story revolves around a retired soldier returning to Rome only to find himself drawn into unexpected conflict when he steps in to save an innocent from local thugs. Through a series of unforeseen events, he ends up owning a tavern in the city and becoming involved with the not-particularly-respected local vigiles (watchmen and firefighters).

Soon, he finds himself caught in the middle of deadly enmities and a plot by a foreign priestess to destroy Rome for what it has done to her people. Carbo is no hero, no noble or champion, but on his shoulders and those of his disprespected friends rests the future of the city and possibly the Empire.

This book has been produced through a small independant press, having read the early draft I can already say that 'Watchmen' is easily the match of any of the Roman fiction out there published by the major houses and they missed a gem in it.

The book is a good example of an action adventure plot at its best, with a pace that doesn't let up throughout, with no slow parts or chunks that could have been cut. Characterisation is strong, particularly in the case of Carbo, who while being the protagonist is far from a heroic character. He is a realistic, believable fellow, who does what he must and what he feels needs doing not for the glory of success or the desire to follow a moral path as much as through expediency and necessity. Also, I particularly liked his friend in the vigiles, as I'm sure you will too.

The crescendo as the book lunges towards its finale is fabulously portrayed, very visually and with edge-of-your-seat action.

In short, the book is one of the better reads in the genre and I would urge anyone to take a chance and give it a read. If you love Rome, action, adventure, intrigue and comedy even, you'll enjoy it.

A top read,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 28 Aug 2014
This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
An interesting story which has good characters and moves at a good pace. The main character, Carbo, must be superhuman as he is beaten black and blue but still manages to save the day. Overall I enjoyed the story and it was well worth buying. There are a few typos which need looking at but they don't detract too much from a good story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something a little different., 27 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to experience a different perspective of Rome from the usual political side that is usually represented in historical novels.

I enjoyed Carbo's 'adventures', and hope to read more of him in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one for the top shelf, 17 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
this book just held me as i like reading books on rome i had not seen this wrighter before will hope to get more by him
if you like this type of book domt miss it give me more MR GOUGH
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable., 15 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Really liked this book. A good story, easy to read. Well drawn characters and a genuine knowledge and feel for ancient Rome.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watchmen of Rome Alex Gough, 25 July 2014
This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Ahh, the sights and pungent smells of The Subura, a lovely place for the setting of this engaging story. Carbo has returned home to Rome after 25 years in the Legions from which he retired as a Pilus Prior Centurion and who survived the Teutoburg Forest disaster. All he is looking for is to reunite with his aged mother and to begin a relaxing life as a civilian, none of which is in his immediate future. From the get go the author takes the reader on an adventurous ride as Carbo faces one challenge after another. A neighborhood protection gang, a runaway slave and her daughter who Carbo had sworn an oath to protect years ago, a fanatical priestess of the old Carthaginian gods who has plans to destroy Rome using the slave’s daughter as human sacrifice and a relentless, ruthless fugitive slave hunter…suffice to say that the author has given us tale filled with action as well as a tale filled with emotional strain and anguish. The characters are well developed and are such that you feel what they feel; this is also evident in the descriptions of the stew that was the Subura, you can envision the dense crowds, the noise of hawking vendors, the smell of the detritus of chamberpots, the reality of the daily lives of the poor. That is another of the reasons I enjoyed this novel, the characters are the ordinary, the lowborn, the freedmen and the slaves not the high and mighty. Tiberius and Sejanus while they are mentioned are there only to give the sense of time and atmosphere.

As this book was recommended to me, so to do I recommend it to you. A solid 5 stars.

About the author:

I’m a veterinary surgeon from the southwest of England, working in referral practice. I have had a decades long interest in Ancient Roman history, and Watchmen of Rome is the culmination of a lot of research into the underclasses of Ancient Rome. I am also the author of two veterinary textbooks, Breed Predispositions to Disease in Dogs and Cats and Differential Diagnosis in Small Animal Medicine, both of which have been translated into multiple languages and are in their second editions. I would love to interact with readers, please email me at romanfiction@hotmail.co.uk. You can also follow me on twitter @romanfiction, like romanfiction on facebook, or visit my website for reviews of roman fiction, and articles about Roman history www.romanfiction.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Seen as though this is the author's first book, I honestly thought it was superb. It had everything to make me want to keep reading it and I thought it was well written, well researched and highly entertaining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting find !, 20 July 2014
By 
stickman (south bucks , england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
I set myself the task recently of reading a genre that I wouldn't usually embark on. I can't tell you what made me choose Watchmen Of Rome , but what I can tell you is that I'm jolly glad I did . A thoroughly enjoyable read with more twists and turns than a country road!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent glimpse of the underbelly of Rome, 14 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Excellent glimpse of the underbelly of Rome. The characters are balanced and the pace of the story is good with glimpses into the problems of fire and law and order. I would recommend this author who had caught the spirit of the time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scorching page-turner!, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Watchmen of Rome (Kindle Edition)
I bought this not quite knowing what to expect, and I was in for a surprise - it's brilliant! Alex Gough has a fantastic feel for what makes ancient Rome tick, the sights, the sounds, the peculiarities, but even more important he's a natural story-teller. The book has a tremendous sense of time, pace and place, with a big ballsy plot packed with twists and turns, and great characters you believe in. This is a classic page-turner, the sort of thriller which makes you laugh out loud one minute, then duck to avoid the next punch coming. It kept me gripped to the end. Perfect for the holidays.
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Watchmen of Rome
Watchmen of Rome by Alex Gough
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