Sword of Rome: Gaius Valerius Verrens 4 Hardcover – 15 Aug 2013
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"One of the best historical novelists writing today." (DAILY EXPRESS)
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...See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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?Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm 65% of the way through and like all the books by Douglas Jackson I've read if you like true to life fiction murder mystery and mayhem and political intrigue and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andrew Burns