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Reviews Written by
Mcdowall "jmaccyd" (hertford, uk)
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The Death of Robin Hood (Outlaw Chronicles Book 8)
The Death of Robin Hood (Outlaw Chronicles Book 8)
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic...just epic. EPIC., 26 Aug. 2016
The icing on a glorious Robin Hood shaped cake. A truly magnificent series of historical novels is bought to an end. One day in my retirement I will re read these historical novels over-and-over again along with the Patrick O'Brian Master and Commander books. That is the hallowed company these books belong alongside. Oh, sod it, I'm not going to wait, I am going to re read the lot now!


The Earthly Gods: Agent of Rome 6
The Earthly Gods: Agent of Rome 6
Price: £13.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 29 Jun. 2016
A real disappointment from an author who has written some first class novels. A linear, shallow plot that just seems to be a long collection of 'events' rather than anything of depth. A big fan of the series and the three main characters (plus Patch!) but this just feels liked a rushed book. I will still read the next in the series as I am that this is the dud that each author produces here-and-there. Sorry Nick!


The Emperor's Knives: Empire VII (Empire series)
The Emperor's Knives: Empire VII (Empire series)
by Anthony Riches
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid piece of work, 11 Mar. 2014
Almost all the authors of this type of genre wander off into an obligatory espionage book within the series that they are writing. This is Anthony's, and it is rather well done, although I generally groan a little when authors do this variant of the sand-and-sandal novel as I miss the prospect of some meaty legion vs massed ranks of barbarian battle action. Lots of plot threads to keep track of, and some gladiator action thrown in as well makes for an enjoyable read, Keeps things ticking over nicely and means the next book in the series is on my wanted list.


The Maharajah's General (Jack Lark)
The Maharajah's General (Jack Lark)
by Paul Fraser Collard
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leave your brain behind, 6 Jan. 2014
Well it rips along in a real Boy's Own style. Perfectably enjoyable yarn that should not be considered as front rank historical fiction as there is just too much that just seems unplausable. Still, it's jolly readable and I will certainly be reading the next one.


Sword of Rome: Gaius Valerius Verrens 4
Sword of Rome: Gaius Valerius Verrens 4
by Douglas Jackson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive continuation of the series, 6 Sept. 2013
The strongest outing in this series of very enjoyable novels. Well written with action that skips along at a healthy pace. Literally is a 'page turner' as you hate having to put the book down. Any faults? Perhaps too many escapes that stretch credibility just a touch.


The Far Shore (Agent of Rome, No. 3)
The Far Shore (Agent of Rome, No. 3)
by Nick Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes - he's good, 7 Aug. 2013
The first novel in the series was a real Roman corker. BUT, it left me worried could the author develop and maintain such a demanding standard. Well the second novel was mighty fine too, if not quite up to the dazzling standard of the first. Well, the good news is this one keeps the bar set very high. The same strengths as before, really good characterisation so that you care and are interested in the lives of the people. A plot that twist-and-turns keeping you on your toes. This is all combined within an easy narrative style that keeps you reading and wanting for me. Up there now as one of the must read authors for this type of historical fiction.


The Imperial Banner: Agent of Rome 2
The Imperial Banner: Agent of Rome 2
by Nick Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Down a notch, but still locking spartha with the best., 15 Sept. 2012
A worthy follow up to the excellent first novel from this author. Maybe not as polished a work as 'The Siege,' but that was five years in the writing so perhaps no great surprise there. The same strengths as the first book, but just down a fraction of a notch. So good characterisation, narrative, and a plot that twists and turns. I really enjoyed the in depth of character development in the first book. However, that was more 'circular' being set in a fort(!), so they couldn't really go anywhere so their personalities developed and grew on you as you read the book. This is a more 'linear' storyline so characters come-and-go, with maybe not the same level of attachment for the reader that was such a strength in the first book of the series. An interesting storyline with twists and turns and an exciting finish. Well worth a read, and an interesting different take on this sort of historical genre.


Racing Weight
Racing Weight
by Matt Fitzgerald
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin., 12 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Racing Weight (Paperback)
This is most definately not a diet book. It's a book about loosing that final bit of weight, whilst maintaining lean body mass, that can help substantial improvements in endurance sport. It does contain useful new information for thinking about what your 'ideal' weight would be, the lean body mass percentage, and strategies on how to achieve the result you desire. For me as a club level amateur cyclist, the book showed that I was being far too gung-ho in the amount of weight I was thinking of trying to loose and that a more modest target would be better. I have also started a three time a week weights program on the advice in this book aiming to increase my lean mass. Even if you think you know all there is to know on nutrition, I certainly did, this book will provide something extra to think about.


The Leopard Sword: Empire IV (Empire series)
The Leopard Sword: Empire IV (Empire series)
by Anthony Riches
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and reliable second row legionnaire., 1 Jun. 2012
I have read the previous instalments of Marcus Valerius Aquila story and I have found them to be solid contributions to the sword and sandal genre. However, I have never completely managed to fully buy into the lead character in the series. Its just that he is bit too 'unbelievable' for what I know and understand about the Roman military. A double sword wielding centurion fugitive from Imperial justice carving his way across the Roman Empire. A kind of super-centurion minus the bright red underwear. The battle sequences in the first books of the series where the key strength of the early books, and that takes more of a back seat in the Leopard Sword and other characters are given more chance to come through. Without the meaty battle sequences that helped drive the narrative and plot of the early books this one meanders to a damp squib of a middle and an end, although there are some twist-and-turns along the way. Its still worth a read, as are Anthony's earlier books, its just that I read a lot of this sort of stuff and he just hasn't quite hit the spot for me yet that are reserved for Scarrow and Sidebottom at the moment. it's more of a sturdy and reliable second rank legionnaire than an elite first rower.


Armada
Armada
by John Stack
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patrick O'Brian it is not., 18 May 2012
This review is from: Armada (Hardcover)
I too refused to buy the book with the publishers pricing policy and instead loaned it from the library. I have read the previous works by John Stack, set onboard a Roman Galley, and found them soundly written and very enjoyable. It was for that reason that I strayed onto slightly more unfamiliar coastal waters for his new work. I have to say there is a huge problem for anyone writing historical fiction set upon the sea; the towering standards set by Patrick O'Brian that make him the 'boss man' of the aquatic genre. John Stack's work does not compare, although to be fair nobody does. It is lighter on the historical knowledge, I failed to connect and really care about any of the characters, and I for one find the religious nitty-gritty of the time fascinating and am not really sure it is covered in sufficient depth in this novel. Would I buy the next one in this series, well no because of the publishers pricing policy, would I borrow the next one from the library I would have to still say no. Certainly take a peek if you like this author or this is your period, it just didn't do it for me.


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