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Hero of Rome: (Gaius Valerius Verrens 1) Paperback – 13 Oct 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (13 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552161330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552161336
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"If I were Conn Iggulden or Simon Scarrow, I'd be rather worried by the new Scottish kid on the block" (The Scotsman)

"A master of his discipline rightly hailed as one of the best historical novelists writing today" (Daily Express)

"A splendid piece of storytelling and a vivid recreation of a long-dead-world" (Allan Massie)

Book Description

The first book in an action-packed and rigrously researched new Roman historical series by the acclaimed author of Caligula and Claudius.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was in two minds as to whether to give this book four or five stars, shame there's no facility to give 'point marks' because I would have given Hero of Rome 4.5 as it's very very good. However.......

After mulling over a four or five, initially I thought four but then I thought about how many books have gripped me like Hero of Rome did in the last few years; answer, not too many, so in my humble opinion it's worth five!

I found the title slightly deceptive as I had assumed the story would revolve around Rome itself but it didnt, it's about the Roman occupation of Britain centering around AD60 just before the Boudican revolt.

The main character unlike most Roman novels is a Tribune and not a Centurion, who after serving a few months in Britain is due to return to Rome to take up a position as a lawyer.

The Romans in the meantime are planning to wipe out the Druids on Mona (Angelsey) and are moving West in order to carry this out. Tribune Valerus however, is ordered to assist with road building in present day St Albans before setting off for Rome.

Arriving at his new post he finds the area is garrisioned by veterans who were involved in the original invasion of Britain who are now retired. They have old weapons, armour and are not as fit or up todate as current soldiers but they train regularly and are still proud Roman citizens.

Back in Rome the Emperor is looking to raise taxes from places like Britain who he is also considering abandoning as they have not yet found Britains Gold mines, so a clamp down is ordered.

When Boudicas husband dies, the Romans take her land and a Roman Centurion, Crespo and enemy of Valerus, publicly flogs her and rapes her two young daugters, thereby starting the revolt.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't intend to reiterate the story lines and characters which have been fairly comprehensively covered by previous reviewers. Suffice to say, not being a historian or literary expert, I found the book very hard to put down and was whisked away into Valerius roman Britain wonderfully every time I opened the book and enjoyed the story from cover to cover. I have read both of Douglas Jacksons previous novels and feel he has now mastered his art. I'm thrilled to see that "Hero" is the first of a trilogy and am already anticipating Valerius further adventures. If you, like me, enjoy a good story, well told, this is a book for you..!
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Format: Hardcover
Douglas Jackson proved with his first two books, "Caligula" and Claudius", which followed the adventures of the emperor's elephant keeper, both in Rome and in Ancient Britain, that he is a real master of the story-telling art. Now, with "Hero of Rome", he has done it again. He has a new hero, Valerius, a young tribune serving in a Britain about to be bled dry before being abandoned by the emperor Nero. After a full scale uprising of the Celtic tribes is sparked by Crespo, a brutish centurion who has Queen Boudicca scourged before raping her daughters, it falls to Valerius to make a last stand against the massed hordes of her army with only a handful of troops and a garrison of ageing veterans.
This is a tale huge in its scope and Jackson's attention to detail is meticulous. I read this book in three sessions, finding it harder each time to put down. The climax is magnificent - bloody, brutal and totally gripping. I can hardly wait for the next episode of Valerius's adventures, when he returns to the court of Nero, hopefully, though by no means certainly, with the woman with whom he fell in love.
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Format: Hardcover
A enjoy all types of historical fiction, but have a soft spot for stories covering the Roman Empire. I am not a literary expert but I do know a bit about this period and a book has to be fast paced to keep my interest. This book has it all! It flows seemlessly across the chapters and the imagery and discriptive prose is believable and historically accurate. You can even smell the earthly aromas of the romo-british settlements and the rustic settings, thanks to the superlative prose. But what makes this better than it's other counterparts is the fact that it is a really good story and without spoiling the end -you will have to read the next book as it ends on one monumental cliff-hanger. Too many of these types of books harp on about how one man saves the legion or the war and then repeats itself every other chapter like an american sitcom (yes, you do need to keep bow-strings dry - we geddit Harry Sidebottom), but this author treats his reader like an adult and takes you with him on a very credible and believable journey. There is even a decent love story intertwinned between the main plot. A well researched and refreshingly well written book and a great summer read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read Douglas Jackson's Claudius & Caligula and found them both enjoyable and absorbing I decided to try this. I found that as a writer he is consistent and knows his subject. This deals with the aftermath of the Romans conquest of Brittan. The story is told through the eponymous hero Gaius. It tells of the fractured nature of the remaining British tribes and there seething resentment at having lost their land and being classed as second class citizens. All it takes is a catalyst to fan the flames of resentment and create an uprising; this is done through a druid priest who travels between communities. When Boudicca and her two daughters are subject to a horrific attack by Crespo, a centurion without any morals the queen vows to sweep the roman’s from her land.
The story moves along at a good pace and I would recommend this book and others by this author without
reservation.
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