The Roman Empire is crumbling, and a shadow looms in the east....
376 AD: The Eastern Roman Empire is alone against the tide of barbarians swelling on her borders. Emperor Valens juggles the paltry border defenses to stave off invasion from the Goths north of the Danube. Meanwhile, in Constantinople, a pact between faith and politics spawns a lethal plot that will bring the dark and massive hordes from the east crashing down on these struggling borders. The fates conspire to see Numerius Vitellius Pavo, enslaved as a boy after the death of his legionary father, thrust into the limitanei, the border legions, just before they are sent to recapture the long-lost eastern Kingdom of Bosporus. He is cast into the jaws of this plot, so twisted that the survival of the entire Roman world hangs in the balance....
©2013 Gordon Doherty (P)2014 Gordon Doherty
I don't really like the style of the narrator. He made every sentence sounds as if it is a surprise and that really gives me a headache.
Spoiled by the peculiar pronounciation.of grimacing, grimaced and ethereal. The author employs the first two of those words at least six times every chapter and sometimes many many more. A small thing, you may say, but by half way through, it was grating.
Very good book. l liked the author, Gordon Doherty 's style and went onto listen to his book Strategos, which is excellent and difficult to "put down "
I'd read the Kindle version a year or so before – it was, in fact, my first ever ebook purchase if I remember correctly – and I knew it was a good read, so I wondered how this Roman historical fiction would translate to the audio format.
I'm happy to say it works a treat.
Pavo. He's pretty inept but grows as the book goes along.
Overall, this audiobook is a great listen. I do a lot of driving at work and sometimes I get sick of hearing Radio 5 Live or Slayer or Jethro Tull CDs, so it was a very welcome change of pace to have this on as I drove around the west of Scotland every day. It's also good value, lasting for quite a few hours, so don't let the price tag of these things put you off – a lot of work goes into this!
Whether you've read this book before or not, you won't be disappointed when you download the audio version. Give it a try. Doherty's writing has improved since this, his debut novel, so future audio versions of his books will be even better. I've just completed Legionary 3 – Land of the Sacred Fire and I'm looking forward to hearing it read by Simon Whistler, so...bring it on Gordon, we're waiting!
the story is interesting but like many roman stories can be similar to others
story moved along at a good pace and did not get stuck in one place for to long
i felt that simon whistler put in a lot of effort coming up with very odd pronunciations of roman names took a while to translate some of these
i had no emotional reaction to the book it was a good storey
i wish the readers would try and find out the normal or commonly used pronunciation rather alway come up with their own unique versions
"Decent book, stellar performance"
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who loves a good adventure yarn and would enjoy following the travels of a boy battling for his life across the tapestry of a lush but brutal history.
Hard for me to say, as I'm not much of a historical fiction reader. If anything, though, I would say this reminded me of Louis L'Amour's "The Walking Drum." Lots of action, shallow characters, plenty of fun.
I enjoyed the bar scene in who Pavo drunkenly escapes a thrashing by kicking his far superior opponent in the privates -- not because of the cheap comedy, which wasn't bad, but because it encapsulates the sense of rowdy, slapdash, seat-of-your-pants action that typifies the story.
Simon Whistler's narration of this tale is a joy. His English accent gives it a sense of Old World majesty while his enthusiasm is infectious. He clearly enjoys the material (or he's very gifted at faking it). I would love to listen to more books read by him.
"A visceral historic cross-section"
Obvious care and painstaking work went into the military history of the piece. Armed units, organization and procedure rolled out with a feel of authenticity, and you could feel the author's enthusiasm for his work.
The ending provided a sequel hook by hinting a previously mentioned character would soon come into the story. This came out of the blue, however. The lack of context kept me from feeling the intrigue.
Simon's vocals are smooth and ambient. He makes the bone, blood and guts story pleasant to the ear, and oddly relaxing to listen to.
"Live by the Sword."
"I enjoyed this novel"
I was never a big fan of the historical type fiction, but since i listened to this i think my tastes may have changed. I found the story-line intriguing and it all flowed very well. I think the narrator did the book justice and i will definitely look for more from both the author and narrator.
Very good audiobook...Well paced, action book. The characters were well developed and make me care about them but not so much that dragged down the book. I recommend this book.
enjoyd it wery mutch
the start was a bit hard with the roman name soundint weary simular for one with the germanic laungitsh (norway ) but maby tht is just me. in the end an all around a werry good book.
OK I just am not a big fan of drawn out battle scenes - and towards the end it got way hard to believe
"Good listen, enjoyed Strategos more"
It was similar to Strategos, another title written by this author
He did an excellent job and I enjoyed his voice and reflections, very pleasant to listen to.
I was provided a copy for an honest review
"Slow start, but gripping by the end"
For story, somewhere in the middle. For production, kind of low. It is possible to hear some of the edits and "punch ins" and certain words are pronounced differently at different times.
The drama built well, the author handled suspense well. Good pacing after a somewhat clunky beginning.
Simon's voice and dramatic reading ability are both quite nice. Again I found the production quality somewhat lacking and that distracted me from the story at times.
Blood, Guts, and dust
Some back story is delivered too quickly at the beginning. The protagonist goes from young child to young adult quickly, and later allusions to his past that weren't really brought up earlier. But I found that the story became much more coherent and enjoyable as it went on.
I think the author handled two juxtaposed narratives well: the main protagonist is a grunt soldier caught up in the intrique of generals and emperors. The stories of both "higher" and "lower" rank characters are well told and well mixed.
"Excellent Performance; One Facial Expression"
Adventure, Blood, Grimacing
I enjoyed the adventurous nature of the story, and how it painted the times in a way that made it come alive. I didn't care how everybody only had one facial expression.
Simon did a great job reading this story; his polished voice brought forth the excitement in the action.
Thr dclinrr of the legio after contstinr,'s troops in to yl yhi lmiitani and comitatrnsrrs difdf not work work well for the legions set up zone
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