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The Siege: Agent of Rome 1 Paperback – 19 Jan 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; Reprint edition (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444714864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444714869
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Agent of Rome is a masterful debut from a new author completely at home in this era; the writing is deft, the action swift and bloody and the characters believable and engaging. I look forward greatly to the next one. (Manda Scott)

Once the action kicks off you won't be able to put it down. (Anthony Riches, author of the Empire series)

'Brown's intelligent and exhilarating story excels in its perfect pace, vivid combat sequences and superb characterisation. The Siege delivers a thrilling coming-of-age adventure with an unlikely but likeable hero whose exploits are set to win an army of fans' (Lancashire Evening Post)

'Brown promises to be one of the most exciting sword-wielding writers in an ever-popular arena. In this, his debut, his principal is a 19-year-old fresh-faced officer commanding 100 men in defence of a Syrian stronghold against a vastly superior force. There are echoes of Beau Geste in this death-or-glory stand.' (The Oxford Times)

'The Siege is an excellent debut novel and delivers a thrilling and fascinating coming-of-age adventure' (Book Gazette)

Nick Brown has the craft of storytelling at his fingertips ... The Siege is a fast-paced and satisfying read (Russell Whitfield, author of Gladiatrix)

Book Description

One Hundred Men Stand Between Empire and Annihilation.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A thoroughly engrossing read. A young inexperienced "centurian" is tasked with defending a fort, with its vital food and water supplies. When he arrives the remaining legionaries are dishevelled, indisciplined, and few in number. With the aid of a few senior ranks he begins to restore military order and prepares for the impending enemy onslaught. They are heavily outnumbered and eventually battle commences - I won't spoil the story by describing the battle.
However, the writing style is engaging, character build is thorough, and the majority of the book covers only a few days. I found the storyline compelling, with a few sub-plots that enhanced the whole.
Not usually drawn to historical novels I am really pleased that I decided to read Agent of Rome The Siege, and recommend it to all,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was wary of beginning Nick Brown's 'Agent of Rome: The Siege' and put it off for a long time. Having read the blurb, it looked to me to be ridiculously close in plot to Harry Sidebottom's first Warrior of Rome, in that both involve a Roman site under siege from an eastern power at almost the same point in history. The locations are close, both in Syria. The times are roughly a decade apart.

I needn't have worried. There are similarities, yes, but... well let me put it this way: I could give two artists the brief to paint a picture of a tree on a hill in September, and one might look like a Monet while the other might be a Braque. So that's that dealt with. The two stories are dissimilar enough to make comparisons pointless.

Brown has taken on an interesting premise for the main character, selecting a member of the Imperial Secret Service; one of the (in)famous Frumentarii or grain officers. What he has done is to tackle the service in the style of a sensible, sensitive young nobleman with only the best intent at heart. This is not the sly, devious, murderous, dangerous view of that organisation we are used to. There is very little reference in detail to the service in this book as, despite being an officer of it, Corbulo is thrown into a situation where he is more active as a military officer.

As usual, I won't push the plot other than to say that it involves a tiny Roman garrison at the far eastern edge of Syria, full of misfits and laxity, which faces a siege by the forces of the newly expansionist Palmyrene empire. More need not be said and indeed should not, lest the plot be ruined.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another great debut novel and one of the reasons why I enjoy this 'topic' so much, its vast and covers literally hundreds and in this case thousands of years. I won't go into the story too much just in case you want to read it or are reading it at the moment. However, long story short, its about a siege!

What Nick Brown accomplishes so well is that he gave himself very few options or parameters to expand the story because not long after the first page, the siege actually begins and the characters except those carrying out the siege of the fort itself, are obviously confined within its walls.

That said at no time did I think 'he's ran out of steam, ideas or this is getting tedious'. The 'Agent' is a young Corn officer, Cassius aged 19 who is posted to the fort in order to defend it and its precious water supply with the present occupants who are a rag tag motley crew of veterans and auxiliaries.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Siege and its always great to have another Roman author's books to look forward too. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next part of the story that follows on from this and how Nick Brown develops the characters that survived the battle.
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Format: Paperback
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Imperial Banner (Agent of Rome), I thought I'd better read the novel that preceded it. In The Siege we see Cassius Corbulo's first mission as a 19-year-old cornman or agent of Rome. Cast out from his family after an indiscretion, Cassius is sent off to `man up'. He arrives in the Syrian desert in 270 AD. Zenobia is still claiming victories, fought for by warriors obsessed by her beauty and charisma. Cassius is ordered to the small, pitifully neglected desert fort of Alauran and is charged with holding it until reinforcements arrive. Palmyran attack is inevitable; the fort is built around a well that the enemy must control to advance. Unfortunately, the fort is manned by the dregs of Caesar's own legion, the Third, as well as remnants from other legions and Syrian sling shooters. Leaderless, soaked in wine, divided by racism, the fifty legionaries and Syrian auxiliaries are all that stand between the frightened and inexperienced Cassius and certain death. It wouldn't be a quick death either.

Siege stories, if done well, are almost impossible to put down (I think of Warrior of Rome I: Fire in the East by Harry Sidebottom and The Wolf's Gold (Empire) by Anthony Riches) and Nick Brown has done an excellent job. But what makes The Siege such a successful novel is the fact that events are allowed to build up at a pace that takes us closer and closer to the edge of our comfy seat.
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