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Marius' Mules V: Hades' Gate

Marius' Mules, Book 5
Narrated by: Malk Williams
Series: Marius' Mules, Book 5
Length: 18 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

4 BC. 

As tensions build in Gaul and the druids manoeuvre the tribes towards general rebellion, Priscus and the diminishing senior staff of Caesar's army prepare to return to Britannia, this time with a vast army and a will to crush the tribes of that mysterious island. Meanwhile, Fronto contemplates a non-military future as he settles into the life of a married nobleman, socialising with Rome's elite and coming to terms with the decline in his fitness. 

In this year of rising troubles, Priscus will miss his former commander's presence more than ever. With rebellious Gauls, defiant Britons, vengeful giants, veteran gladiators and dangerous criminals, Fronto is pushed to the limits, driving him to a decision he dreads and a battle for his very life at the steaming, hellish land of Hades' Gate.

©2013 S. J. A. Turney (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd
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If you like legions then you will like this and more...

This is book 5 and without any hesitation these books have been and will be listened too again and again. Firstly, by reading this review you must be aware of 2 essential requirements for audio books. The first is naturally a great story. The second is a great narrator. Each one of these books are truly marvellous. The author is in a league of their own. Please note there are some key authors in the historical fiction genre. Specifically within the era of the Roman Empire. If you read this type of genre then you will undoubtedly know of whom I speak. I have many series by these well known artists. Like with this specific book I have read many stories around Julius Caesar but this book and those that make it a series thus far cover all the intrigue, plotting, battle, betrayals, romance, love, blood guts and gore and so much more. S J A Turney has given us characters and personalities which simply makes you want to gorge in one sitting each book. Sadly, it appears the print of this book was in 2013 and yet the recording of this book is 2020. Hopefully, Mork Williams who has narrated each one of these 5 books commits to reading the remainder of which I do not want to google but wait in delicious anticipation for the next. At the time of writing this book six seemingly is being produced and is already waiting in my wish list.

So, what about the book itself? If you haven’t read book one then, I strongly suggest you start there. Whilst this book will stand alone if you read the previous 4 books then it will be akin to you relaxing after a very long and hard day and slipping into your oldest but most comfortable glad rags with a sigh. I will not talk about any of the key characters but I will say Mr Turney is superb with each of their strengths and weaknesses notwithstanding their fears and hopes. The historical content whilst being far from an expert open one’s eyes to how Rome conquered Gaul and an understanding of the many different tribes that made up that part of the Roman world.

Remember this is about Julius Caesar but how it gives you insight to the possibilities that made up the man. Moreover, let us not forget that he did indeed conquer and essentially put to death tens of thousands men, women and children. So, if mass pillage is not your cup of tea then you have choices. That said, S J A Turney whilst touching upon the darker side of Roman invasion akin to his peers in writing about this period avoids the more grizzly aspects of the Roman legionary. I have yet to find even with those internationally afore mentioned authors of this period that they too touch upon but avoid the greater detail of man and his lack of humanity.

Please don’t think that any of these 5 books don’t touh upon such aspects because they all do but it has been managed tastefully. One final point that author and narrator have both created not a ingle master piece but five. Five master pieces which in its own right is phenomenal. Mr williams has many characters to invoke and in this I celebrate the partnership of author and narrater.

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Marius Mules V

Such a great story. Book five took time to release !! Book six out on the 16th can't wait :)

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  • Todd
  • 29-06-20

Still Strong

As usual....the series doesn't disappoint. I literally stayed up till 3 am just to finish the book