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Legionary: Viper of the North (Legionary 2) by [Doherty, Gordon]
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Legionary: Viper of the North (Legionary 2) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Length: 411 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1180 KB
  • Print Length: 411 pages
  • Publisher: www.gordondoherty.co.uk; 2 edition (14 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008Y1L3LM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,159 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Following on from the quite wonderful "Legionary", the question was whether the second book in this series could continue in the same tightly paced, character rich vein. The answer is a resounding yes.

"Legionary 2" is a superb book. The characters - Pavo, Gallus etc - all progress nicely and you can see the effect that events have on them as the story continues. Combine great characters with an excellent plot and you have a recipe for success. There are twists along the way - but they don't come completely out of left field. They are not twists for the sake of twists - they are necessary plot points that you can work out - the clues are there for you (nice and subtle though - you're not beaten about the head with them). "Legionary 2" is also a pretty perfect set up for book 3 (and honestly, you'll go back and read book 1 again just to make sure you haven't missed anything).

One of Gordon Doherty's many strengths is his description of battle scenes - they really do come to life behind your eyes. That's one of the joys of his books - his descriptions can create the scenes in your mind - not just the layout of the battlefield, but the sights, smells and experiences of the characters.

"Legionary 2" - like "Legionary" - is an absolute joy and delight to read. I'm currently reading this for the third time - and I will never tire of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the follow-up to Pavo's first adventures and follows those momentous events which saw the assembled Goths cross the Danube and break deep into the Roman Empire. As with Gordon Doherty's first 'Legionary' novel, the pace is expertly crafted and the events gripping and bloody. This second novel takes the reader into a larger canvas and ties together some of the plot lines laid down in the first excellent novel - while introducing new characters and fates. Again, as with the first novel, I can only commend Doherty's command of pace and plotting as he whisks a reader up and down the Danube lands either side of the river and deep into the heart of barbarian and Roman decisions. There is a bloody and epic quality to this story which gives the novel a poignant feel where both the Romans and the Goths become pawns in one man's hands. This makes that awful crossing of the Danube and the tragedy which follows painful to read and it is great to find a writer who is exploring that period rather than the usual late Republican or early Empire periods.

I can only commend Doherty's writing and thank him for writing in a period I love but which finds few writers willing to set their pen.
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By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is episode 2 of Legionary Pavo, an ex-slave who joined Legio XI Claudia stationed on the Danube frontier in AD 376, just when the Goths are increasingly being driven against it by the unrelenting pressure of the all-conquering, terrifying and seemingly invincible Huns.

This story essentially picks up where episode 1 (Legionary) left it, with the very much depleted border legion, and its officers in particular, straining to train a bunch of new recruits which are too few to make up for the heavy losses which they sustained in the previous instalment. I should perhaps have started with the book’s prologue, which takes place some twenty four years ago and where the Viper of the North, a mysterious, powerful and cruel Gothic warlord risks it all and loses his life by coming to Constantinople to free his ten year old son held hostage by the Romans. This scene although pure fiction was particularly good and rather plausible since the Romans did – and had for centuries - as part of their foreign policy takes the sons of barbarian kings, princes and leading nobles as hostages and would bring them up as privileged Romans. They did it with Goths, as with other Germanic tribes, and the future Alaric would himself be such a hostage brought up in Constantinople at the Imperial Court for a time.

One of the core pieces of the story is the crossing of the Danube by Fritigern and his followers, and the increasing problems that resulted from it as his people became more and more restless, hungry and faced abuse and exploitation by a remarkably arrogant, stupid and short-sighted Comes Lupicianus, a historical character which also features prominently in this volume.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the prequel to Legionary, the first in the series, a couple years ago after it was recommended to me by Simon Turney (author) and decided to give it a go as he highly recommended it. The late Roman period usually isn't my cup of tea but it is a history novel and it contains Roman soldiers so that was good enough for me.

The Legionary in question in book one and Viper of the North is a young man called Vitellius Pavo who through misfortune was born into slavery but eventually joined the legions where to all intents and purposes he grows and develops into a man. In book two the Gothic hordes are gathering on the border and threatening to invade badly depleted forts and garrisons of the empire.

In Viper of the North as a reader you get a real sense of the cold, snow and general awful sense of winter combined with ancient battles and war as the Viper appears and attempts to destroy the very people who tried to destroy him or should I say the very thought of him? I don't want to spoil it so won't say too much and give it away.

The story contains strong characters that you will be able to relate with and there are those that you would enjoy being in the company of, Pavo for example who is honest, hard working yet humble and a warrior. Then there are others such as Senator Tarquitius who cares nothing for anyone else and is only out to get what he can for himself.

There is also an incompetent, arrogant and quite despicable Roman officer, who you are just willing throughout to have the most awful and hideous death in the form of Lupicinius who tries his best to destroy the Claudia XI Legion whilst Tribune Gullus is elsewhere fighting for the cause as well as a whole host of other excellent characters.
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