This latest book is based around the time of Caesars commentaries, book 6. The offensive and near demise of the Belgic tribes who involved themselves in the previous years revolt, partly blamed on the leadership of Ambiorix. Legate Fronto returns to Caesar campaigns after the loss of several senior Officers during the revolt. Unable to secure command of a Legion, Fronto is sent out with a group chosen men (Singulares or bodyguards) into the vast darkness and oppressive mysteries of the Ardennes forest to hunt for Ambiorox to avenge Caesars vow. As the hunt goes on with its inevitable problems, obstacles and the likelihood that one of his group has been planted there for another greater purpose, the Legions set about putting down those tribes that turned on the alliance with Rome. The brutal way that this is carried out sows seeds discontent in the allied tribes which could become problematic later on in this continuing story. As someone who loves reading about history and especially Caesars campaigns and life, I would advise reading the Marius Mules books from the start in order to get the full history lesson, which is well researched. I never believed I would find a character in the rank of a Legate as totally believable. But, Fronto goes from strength to strength and Simon Turney has made him into well believable hero of fiction. Not some upper class chinless wonder. The books are very character based and the dialogue between them is both witty and to the point. It that well written that you can imagine being in the room and wanting to join in. Especially when the amphora of wine is offered around. Another twist to this story is the subtle introduction to another fascinating character from this period - Vercingetorix. As this story is being told, the largest confederation of tribes are secretly being stoked in the furnace of Gauls greatest uprising. The story will continue in MMVII. I for one can't wait.
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