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The Wolf's Gold: Empire V (Empire series) Hardcover – 25 Oct 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (25 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444711865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444711868
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.6 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This is fast-paced and gripping "read-through-the-night" fiction, with marvellous characters and occasional moments of dark humour. Some authors are better historians than they are storytellers. Anthony Riches is brilliant at both. (Conn Iggulden)

A damn fine read . . . fast-paced, action-packed. (Ben Kane)

Stands head and shoulders above a crowded field . . . . real, live characters act out their battles on the northern borders with an accuracy of detail and depth of raw emotion that is a rare combination. (Manda Scott)

'Muscular in prose and approach, the novel is riveting and direct.' (History Today on THE LEOPARD SWORD)

'This is a fast-paced, action-packed read. Anthony Riches brings alive the harsh reality of the Roman world - the period, people, and culture - in a frenetic and exciting novel which is well researched and tinged with humour. The battle scenes are vivid and expertly told . . . Difficult to put down, this is a welcome addition to the genre . . . Recommended' (Historical Novels Review on THE LEOPARD SWORD)

Book Description

The fifth book in the Empire sequence (following The Leopard Sword) takes centurion Marcus to Dacia, to save the empire's best gold mines from an unexpected enemy. Praised by authors as varied as Conn Igguleden, Ben Kane and Manda Scott, Empire is set in the 180s against the background of the Roman Empire in a time of unrest.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found that this book - volume 5 of the adventures of Marcus Aquila - was just as good as the previous episode. It very much shared the same qualities. There are however a few little twists that make it into something a bit different.

The first quality is that this book can be read on its own, just like The Leopard Sword, because it contains enough elements to inform the reader about most of the important developments that happened in the previous episodes. This is probably worth mentioning because it is not that frequent in series. It is, however, preferable to read the volumes one after the other.

Another "usual" ingredient found in Anthony Riches is the "barrack-speech" style and bantering that he uses (and sometimes perhaps over-uses) for his various Roman auxiliary heroes. In this respect, he is a bit of an "anti-Sidebottom". The latter will "treat" you to your lesson in Latin and Greek culture, with quotations of the classics liberally spread across the book. The former will treat you with the swearing, crude jokes and multiple biological and sexual references (all in modern English) that you can probably find among troopers in army around the world, both now and then. Regardless of your personal preferences, both devices are intended to engage the reader and make the story "feel" real. Both styles work rather well, as far as I am concerned, although, for both authors, there is always the risk of over-doing it and this can sometimes happen.

A related point is that whole story is largely built around dialogues, descriptions of places and battles and fights.
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Format: Hardcover
Review:
When I read Leopard Sword 6 months ago I was shocked at how much further Anthony Riches story telling depth had increased, his books have always been my favourite in terms of pace and sheer fun, but Leopard Sword took it further with twists and turns that had never been there before. Wolf's Gold keeps that improvement going and if possible squeaks past it in terms of great story telling.

I have to admit to several laugh out loud moments reading this book (and I would love to add one of the lines, but I don't want to spoil the fun for you all) my favourite concerns a beard and tickling (I laughed, and choked on my drink). It's this sheer fun and enjoyment that Tony brings to his readers as well as well thought out, well researched plot lines. Once again he is merciless with his characters, no one is safe, I was stunned by the casual death of someone who was a well established character, and how soon he was less than a memory. A chilling but honest way to portray how warriors must have been back then, how they must have been, to be able to cope with all the death around them. It's this kind of subtlety and attention to detail that puts Tony at the forefront of Historical Fiction writing , whilst still retaining his trademark writing ability that drags the reader along at breakneck spread from first page to last.

The back story of Marcus is added to in Wolf's Gold ti a greater degree than many of the other books in the series and in a very tantalising fashion, with hints of what happened, to who and by whom. Leaving many more questions, Will he go to Rome? if he does how can he retain his current position? Who will remain alive long enough to help him? (he is a dangerous man to be friends with). The scope of expansion for this series is mind bogglingly huge.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Tony Riches since Corvus first put in an appearance in Wounds of Honour, and I'm always pleased to pick up an 'Empire' book.

I've done reviews of the others so far, and I would reference them in this review. The first three in the series I always considered very much a single story arc over three books. Moreover, they were staunchly and solidly novels of the Roman military.

Cue Tony's curveball: The Leopard Sword. The fourth book in the series was something of a departure in style, concentrating more on an ingenious plotline of intrigues and banditry than on the military campaigns we'd come to expect. Having read reviews and spoken to people since, I'm not sure how well-received the change was. I personally thought it was a triumph and a real growth in character, style and plot crafting.

Well The Wolf's Gold should be an all-pleaser as far as I can see. In one way, it's very much a return to a military-oriented plotline, with stretches of good solid campaigning in there, which should please the die-hard 'Military Riches' fans, and yet also involves a depth, ingenuity and intricacy of plot that has been born - in my opinion - from the style of Leopard Sword.

The plot to this masterpiece moves us once more. The first three books had us in Northern Britannia, and the fourth shifted the action to the forests of Germany, while in this one, the poor beleaguered Tungrian cohorts are sent to Dacia (modern Romania) into the Carpathian mountains to provide defence for the gold mines that are essential for imperial revenue.
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