Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 11 July 2017
No reflection o the book
I'm working my way through the series
I get damned annoyed though at having to spend my time on a phone keypad with wrecked hands.
77 Comments| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 14 September 2013
My husband has read five Marius' Mules and he says they are all of a certain calibre, not very light reading, rather deep and heavy. This is a story of a legate, Frontus, who is getting older and suffering from various ailments, which he overcomes. Caesars fighting tribes in Britannia with only two legions, and who held Gaul with only six legions against 200,000 Gauls and Germanic tribes, which he believes is hardly credible. My husband thinks Roman legions were good but not that good.
55 Comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 May 2013
Once again I found myself enthralled by a book by S.J.A. Turney. That shouldn't be so easy as this series takes place in one of my favorite periods of ancient history and involves some of the more colorful/powerful men in Rome's history and as such I expect a lot from writers who tackle those subject matters. I have yet to be disappointed by Mr. Turney's efforts. At the end of MM IV the main character in the series, Marcus Falerius Fronto had a seemingly irreparable falling out with Caesar which means he will be spending this campaigning season in Rome and Puteoli instead of Britain and Gaul. Trouble and more finds him anyway in many guises, from the maddened Pompey to a revenge seeking German, no place is safe for Fronto or his family and friends.

Meanwhile, Caesar has his own difficulties in Britain and then with the threat of a somewhat united Gaul rising up against him. With his officer corps somewhat depleted, Caesar finds it necessary to bring in experienced men from other legions. Thus the author introduces, who because of the HBO series, Rome, are probably known to most of us already; Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus have important roles to play as senior centurions in the 14th Legion. There are differences between the Rome versions and the two crafted by the author one of them being the fact that they are both centurions and Pullo is the more senior of the two. I think that it is interesting to note that Pullo and Vorenus , I believe, are the only two legionaries mentioned by name in Caesar's War Commentaries so it is only fitting that they play their part in Marius Mules, although I do conjure up the faces of Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson when reading their parts in the book.

The dual plots are handled in such a way that it seems each scene ends in a cliff hanging scenario which only spurs the reader to keep going in spite of the lateness of the hour. With each volume in this series the main characters keep progressing in their development, those that survive anyway as the author has a knack for surprises when it comes to not only the intrigue of the story lines but with who gets rubbed out. Not that that is a bad thing, war and other nefarious characters are always ready to claim a victim or two, though I have found myself shouting at the ceiling, 'oh my God, he killed so and so.'

Like a devious-devising Kronos, S.J.A. Turney weaves a tale of intrigue and action in Marius Mules V - Hades Gate. Like the previous volumes in this series Hades Gate is historical fiction at it's best. Great time of history, wonderful characters and the raw power of a Roman Legion shield wall have me looking longingly forward to Marius Mules VI...they just keep getting better.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 June 2013
Well where do I begin? I was a little bit sceptical about this book in the series largely due to the fact that it was based heavily in Rome. I find myself to enjoy more of a military side of Rome. Despite my reservations Simon has done absolutely fantastically to make it an utter page turner! There is a fair few new introductions in this book and also a fair few deaths, naming no names! The way he has managed to bring Rome to life is nothing short of brilliant, I have found some of the historical fiction I read that are based in Rome are a little bit of the same, but he has gone for the more darker side of it (especially so the scene in the Carcer!), which is the way Fronto would want it! Which brings me onto Fronto, he is the same old pessimistic, whiney guy we all love! Some of the things he says in not the most appropriate of situations had me laughing out loud to myself despite some odd looks from family members! The book is also set in Gaul and Britannia with Priscus who is as ever run completely of his feet. In this addition to the series with Fronto in Rome, Priscus has taken over as Caesars councillor, not quite as forward with him but not far off!

All in all a brilliant addition to the series, which you will love if you have read the others and also have you sitting on the edge of your seat! I am glad we are getting back to the military side of things in the upcoming books; the politics of Rome just doesn't suit Fronto!

Oh and by the way Simon you have hit the top of my favourite authors list, thank you!

0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 March 2016
I fail to see how anyone can give this novel less than 5 stars. It's the best yet in the superb Marius' Mules series. The author bases his stories on historical events and writings of the period, but with characters of flesh, blood (lots of it) and emotion. We follow Fronto through his army career from book 1, although in this book, he has resigned from Caesar's army, married, and is fighting battles (still bloody) of a more personal nature. Who knew that ancient Rome was so lawless? At the same time, the army in Gaul experiences major challenges and losses. Nobody, imo, writes a battle scene as well as SJA Turney. However, this book should come with a word of warning. If, like me, you are dining alone and take your Kindle along to the restaurant, Chapter 4 should not be read whilst eating - especially if you chose meatballs! The scenes of torture in the latrines do not make for comfortable reading. Neither do the descriptions of the gladiator games in Rome that Fronto attends. The author pulls no punches with his very graphic descriptions. If you haven't tried reading Turney yet, you should.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 8 July 2013
SJA Turney writes with the skill, fluency and detail a reader would expect from a successful novelist on their fifth instalment in a series and in MMV he has created a wonderful multi-layered story following the stories of two main characters, Fronto in Rome and Priscus in Gaul. The supporting cast is large and although that can be a little overwhelming they are all well drawn, interesting characters who all add to the richness of the story. His description of battle is riveting and he manages to capture the sheer horror and the gory brutality of war as it must have been for the men of the period. There is an earthy realism to Mr Turney’s writing and although it can be grim, it certainly makes for a gripping read.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of the twin storylines but I was occasionally aware that MMV is just one part of a series. Of course that means I will now seek out and buy the four books that preceded MMV so perhaps Mr Turney is one step ahead of me there!

As an e-book MMV is available for around half the price of a mocha-chocha-frapaccino. If that isn’t seriously good value then I do not know what is. I for one will happily buy all the books Mr Turney feels able to write and I am already looking forward to the next instalment in the Marius’s Mules series
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 September 2013
I took a bit of a punt on the first Marius Mules novel and enjoyed it enough to keep going. The focus on the daily functioning of a legion on campaign and the inter-action of soldiers was an interesting viewpoint for me, as was Mr Turney's portrayal of Caesar. The battle scenes were also extremely well described - as good as anything I have read. There were some factual errors here and there but nothing too annoying, however my main criticism was that I found the dialogue a bit stilted and forced at times. I believe Mr Turney self-publishes, or at least did for the earlier books, which unfortunately meant a lot of typos in the kindle version.

However, the books have improved with each new installment and the dialogue has become much more "natural" with a good dose of humour thrown in. The fifth book in the series had me gripped from start to finish and there were very few typos for a kindle book. It seems to me that the author has grown and developed along with his main characters and has now hit his stride, with the result being a well paced, well written book with interesting characters and plot. I hope this carries on in the 6th book - due out next year I believe.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 September 2013
.... of Fronto and the myriad of amazing characters that Mr Turney has developed, blending fact and fiction into the most believable tales of battles, friendships, life, death, drinking, fighting, love and laughter - I could go on - around Rome and Julia's Caesar's campaigns across Europe

I started reading MM1 late last year after visiting Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius. I then read MM2, 3 and 4 in quick succession, and, as this one wasn't out, I then went back and read the first 4 all over again because I enjoyed them so much - and that does NOT happen very often!! We were even inspired to visit Brittany (Armorica) this year and the sites of some of Caesar and Crassus' battles! So all I can say is if you have an interest in this genre of book, or perhaps just wondered what it would be like to live in these times, then I am sure these books will not disappoint.

Anyway, all that is left to say is thank you Mr Turney for another enjoyable read and, how could I forget, for letting one of the ladies pitch into a fight this time too!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 June 2013
After reading Iggulden, Scarrow & Scott et al; I was searching for some more Roman Fiction and discovered this series by SJA Turney. The main character (Fronto) and his relationship with Caesar is an excellent place to journey through the wars of Julius Caesar.
This book moves Fronto from the army he loves to the dangers of Rome. The story moves at a great pace and switches from Rome to Gaul to Britannia at exactly the right times. Some interesting new characters and further development of the existing 'cast'. The first books had a few typos, but they don't detract from the quality of Mr Turney's storytelling just his 'spool-chucker'.
There is more to come from Fronto and Mr Turney, and I can't wait. Fronto is taking his rightful place alongside Macro, Cato, Pantera as a great character to experience the Roman World with. And SJA Turney looks like he is taking his place alongside Scarrow, Iggulden and Scott. Thank you SJA - more please, more!! (And in Hardback please - including Books 1 - 5!!)
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 July 2013
After the previous novel I thought that that was it for Fronto but the author has managed to weaved the plot magnificently in order to keep him in the story line but away from the battle front.
I look forward to the next book with Fronto back at the sharp end.
11 Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse