I thoroughly enjoyed 'Sword of Empire: Centurion'. Although the pace of the novel began quite steadily it increased dramatically in the middle and kept me hooked throughout. The distinction between the battle and romance scenes also added another dimension to the plot, as when I started reading I thought the book would focus solely on themes of battle and bloodshed. I sometimes struggled to keep up with all the different characters names and roles, though the differing sub plots and change in story line and location between the chapters kept me intrigued and wanting to find out more. I think the characters Maximus and Atticus were fleshed out really well, though I think Claudia was my favourite character as I ended up feeling a bit sorry for her. The ending was unpredictable and shocking as throughout the later chapters you are unsure as to which characters will survive. I have not read 'Sword of Empire: Praetorian' but after reading the sequel I definitely will. Would highly recommend Foreman's novel if you're looking for a fast paced and unpredictable read.
Thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to Praetorian. Characters and plot are developed, but theoretically book can be read without having read first novella in series. There's probably less action in Centurion but at the same time there are a few more twists and turns towards the end. I don't want to spoil ending, but suffice to say readers won't see everything coming. As usual there are plenty of good jokes and, as well as spotlighting Marcus Aurelius and Ancient Rome, author is as much writing about the politics of now as then.
Book has short action scene at the beginning but then builds quite slowly, until long, involving battle at end of story. Soldiers and fans of ancient history and Conn Iggulden etc will especially enjoy Centurion but author includes a couple of engaging female characters and the middle of the book is concerned with a touching love story. Centurion has a lot going on and would recommend readers start with Praetorian, although it's not essential. A criticism would be that Foreman should turn his long novellas into novels too. Also the villains of the piece are not nearly as well drawn as heroes, Maximus and Atticus. Ending is bloody and for me it was unpredictable, but I don't want to say any more than that. Author created memorable portrait of Caesar in his Sword of Rome Caesar but was Marcus Aurelius an even greater man/emperor?
Having thoroughly enjoyed Richard Foreman’s Warsaw, I was looking forward to downloading his latest novella, Sword of Empire: Centurion, to read over the bank holiday weekend.
The reader is re-introduced to characters from the previous novella in the series, Sword of Empire: Praetorian.
The story follows the journey of centurion Gaius Maximus and his quest for a happy ever after when he returns to Rome. It is an action packed adventure with blood and gore, yet still has a captivating love story at the heart of the narrative.
Without giving too much away, there are a couple of unexpected twists towards the end of the narrative. Although I did not get the happy ending I was hoping for I was left a satisfied reader and will read more titles by the author.
After reading the first book In the series I was looking forwathetis the sequel in anticipation. I was not disappointed although at first I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as it was a bit slow in getting into the plot. However we soon got back to the intrigues which make this writer so enjoyable to me, a great mixture of both blood &substerfuge. Exciting right to the end although even though the hero has disappeared I do hope the author will be inspired to bring him back to entertain & excite us fans again.
Book was recommended to me by a friend. Target market for book includes soldiers and fans of Ancient History but general readers should get something from Centurion too. I was surprised by the love story in the plot and also the black, satirical humour in places. Would read other books by same author, though am tempted to read biography of Marcus Aurelius first. Not necessarily something I'd normally read, but I'm glad I did.