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Sword of Rome: Gaius Valerius Verrens 4 Hardcover – 15 Aug 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (15 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593070542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593070543
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Cracking...one of our finest writers." (Saturday (Supp to the Scottish Daily Record))

"One of the best historical novelists writing today." (DAILY EXPRESS)

Book Description

Nero's turbulent reign draws to a close and Gaius Valerius Varens returns in his fourth brutal and bloody adventure. He's been Rome's hero, its defender and its avenger, and now he is the Empire's sword...

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is criminal that it’s taken me so long to read ‘Sword of Rome’. Particularly given that Doug Jackson’s books are some of the literary highlights of my year. However, events conspired to keep it from me. What that meant was that during that dark and miserable time following New Year, at least I had a book to read which I was confident would be a belter!

I was so right. The Valerius Verrens series is one of the strongest historical series on sale at the moment of ANY era, let alone just the Roman. The first book (Hero of Rome) was one of the best I have ever read, and certainly concerned one of the most tense and memorable scenes of any novel. The sequel (Defender) was a strong contender and surprisingly successful, given the dark content and the controversial subject matter. Then along came book 3 (Avenger) and it was clear at that point that Doug’s series had hit the top of the genre. Avenger was one of my favourite books, perhaps better than Hero, though nothing will ever match the ‘siege of Colonia’ scenes. And with a lot to live up to, book 4 looked like it was fighting uphill, given that its subject matter is already strongly represented in Historical Fiction. Against the odds, Jackson has managed to turn that subject into a novel that vies with the best, and at least matches the quality of his previous epics if not surpassing them.

The reason?

It was the way the story was told, for me. The year of the four emperors (the civil war of 69AD) is a famous time about which I have read a great deal, and it is hard to find a new angle to examine such a thing. Henry Venmore-Rowland produced a nicely detailed account from a traditional viewpoint. Manda Scott showed us the same events from a most unusual and fascinating perspective. So what was left?
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By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, this is powerful stuff. The hero of this series, Gaius Valerius Verrens, has had a tough time of it to date (including losing his hand) but as a man of honour it will prove difficult to survive in a time of civil war. This is the time of the "four emperors" where politics, ambition and treachery saw conflicting claims to the Roman Empire. It ended with Roman against Roman on the battlefield and that is where this story leads us.
Gaius Valerius Verrens is an honest man who holds true to the oaths he makes, but in a time of changing loyalties he is caught between things and trying to make sense of it. With his loyal Spanish Freedman with him, they carry messages while around them everything is in turmoil. This is a very different Roman actioner, no stoic legions against hairy barbarians here, this is Roman V Roman which gives a new perspective and a sense of menace to the whole book. Author Douglas Jackson captures the period and that sense of menace very well, and with Verrens as our viewpoint a turbulent and violent piece of history is presented in an exciting and enthralling way.
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