Mar 18, The Abibliophobic Guy rated it liked it. This was better than the rest that in the series in some ways, but in others it was much the same and not living up to the quality that I am sure this series and author could produce. I am giving this a Three Stars because while there were some glaring places where this book let itself down, for all of that, it still managed to entertain me in ways that only the best can. The Plot: Three Stars This was somewhat It is almost as if the author has run out of things to do in Britain - a fact back This was better than the rest that in the series in some ways, but in others it was much the same and not living up to the quality that I am sure this series and author could produce.
It is almost as if the author has run out of things to do in Britain - a fact backed up as at the end Riches clearly leads the next plot into the events occuring in Germany at the time. What do I mean by forced?
Historical Adventure Report item - opens in a new window or tab. He believes his disguise as Centurion Corvus of the 2nd Tungrians is still holding. Upload Sign In Join. Protected by an impassable swamp and hidden in a fortress atop a high mountain, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive.
Well, it makes a lot out of the 'horseplay', and not the humour horseplay, but actual cavalry. How he manages to make it It just stinks of trying to force something out of nothing. I am also displeased by the way that Marcus is getting less and less face time. I understand that this is because the events of the time are not convenient for a centurion of have the adventures I am sure that we all want him to have, but there are ways around this: You could move them to an area where history is thin and then have lee-way, you could promote him into a position where action is likely or you could even send him out on a secret 'espionage' mission.
Like kill Calgus in the north with only a select few to back you up. It just reeks of lack of creativity when it comes to this.
But, I don't want to sound too negative. The plot is still fun! It excells at being fun. Everything is fast and non-stop, pulling you along at breakneck speeds.
roggaradee.cf How you can't enjoy this book is beyond me - once you look past many of it's glaring errors it is entertainment personified. I have to say though that he is becoming more and mroe of a real character as the books progress - in this one he even has to deal with some truly emotional garbage! Then there is the revelation about his real father and the capture of his 'missus' [whose name I can't remember], which he seems to fail to react to. Which was just another sign of how far he still has to go.
They are one of the best support cast in the whole genre. A real pleasure to read about and a definite plus to the books. I won't talk about them - I've done that plenty in the previous reviews. The Writing: Three stars This book still lacks that realism that can make hisotrical fiction great. While I am sure that all of this is acurate and is certainly not bad writing, it just lacks that grittiness that is the hallmark of really great historical fiction writers.
If he get's that then he can say good by to relative mediocraty. Because apart from that his writing has certainly improved, and really moves from part to part with exceedingly easy transition. One of those books that you neve really notice the writing, because it just is. You don't notice it because it does it's job - exactly what you want from it. So should you read this series? While there are certainly better historical fiction novels out there, Riches is on his way, steadily, to reaching that level. And if they aren't there yet, then they certainly excell for entertainment.
I will be coming back to this series as he produces them, they have me hooked. Have Fun Reading. May 01, S. Turney rated it it was amazing. I've waited until I finished the third book in this series before posting a review of any of them, and for a particular reason. Most of the historical series I've read consist of a new separate story with each book, often defined by a narrator's pause or some such device.
Most series are different stories with different themes that build a series. Wile clearly part of a series, Tony's first three Empire books are different. To me they follow on so closely and seamlessly that the serie I've waited until I finished the third book in this series before posting a review of any of them, and for a particular reason. To me they follow on so closely and seamlessly that the series so far could easily be seen as one huge story spread over three books with appropriate pauses between releases. The stories are readable independently, for sure, but the best will be got from them by reading them one after the other.
Quite simply, you can't read one book of this series without wanting to go on with the story. In order to get the best from the story, you need to read them all, and for the best possible results, I would suggest back-to-back. A second thing that I would say that concerns each of Tony's works is what I consider his greatest strength as an author: The gritty military reality of his tale-telling.
I have spent some time in my life, in a civilian situation but alongside men of military units, and there is something so authentic about Tony's characterisation that it felt truly familiar and real. You will find it hard to disbelieve anything about Tony's depiction of the legions, auxiliary troopers, the cavalry, their structure, style, attitude and actions. While no one can confirm exactly how soldiers then spoke and acted, it's hard to believe they were any different from the modern military and Tony has made these ancient soldiers understandable and relevant to the modern reader.
I feel that it is better for me to review the series as a whole, which I have given an appropriate 5 stars of 5, and then add a short section on the individual novel. I find it almost impossible to put down Tony's books and eagerly await the Leopard Sword to see what new direction the series might take. Book Three Fortress of spears builds the first three Empire books to a suitably powerful conclusion and ties off a number of important story threads while keeping enough open to allow for great sequel potential.
Essentially, it completes the first arc of a story that clearly goes on. This book is much the Return of the Jedi of this trio; a most entertaining and engaging book. Where the first novel concentrated on life in an auxiliary unit and the second on the Hamian archers of the middle east, this third one has the cavalry at its heart, giving another fresh dimension for the reader.
The third book shows the most character growth and complexity, indicating that the series is just going to keep getting better. The best thing about it though, beyond the always-excellent characterisation of the military, was the introduction of two new villains who were loathesome and impressive to an astounding extent. Well done to Anthony Riches. I now have the newly-released Leopard Sword and cannot wait to see what next awaits Aquila in his new role.
May 21, Ian rated it really liked it. Like the previous books this is an excellent romp, with some interesting scenarios and storylines.
The book is well worth reading and I'm already looking forward to 4 in the series. So, why only 4 stars? The fact that I had the book for 3 weeks before picking it up speaks volumes - a Giles Kristian or Sam Barone book would have been started immediately.
In the enthralling third volume of Empire, Anthony Riches takes the legions deep into north Britannia, where the survivors of the rebellion still hope for revenge.'A master of the genre' The TimesThe. Fortress of Spears book. Read 49 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The Romans have vanquished the rebel alliance, leaving Calgus, L.
I would rate these books slightly below those of Cornwell, Scarrow, Kristian or Barone, but not too far behind. The main problem with the book is that the main character is almost a super-hero and is simply not believable. Added to that the dialogue, although improved from the previous books, still does not ring true as being of the correct era.
Finally the status of Marcus as a fugitive has been played out to the full - I cannot recall the details of how this came to be, and don't particularly care anymore. I hope that the author will concentrate more on the relationship between Marcus and his colleagues moving forwards.
Having said all the above, this is a very good book and I will definitely pre-order the follow-up. Sep 03, Tony rated it really liked it. A satisfying rapup to Marcus's adventures in Britain. Riches continues to bring a personal military knowledge to his dialogue and his characters interactions that is a joy to read.
Definitely would recommend. Jun 07, Ian rated it liked it Shelves: rome. More murder and mayhem in northern Britain, as well there should be. Riff-raff disturbing the empire! The big showdown between the Romans and Picts. Lots of graphic violence, hand to hand, for me, a tad repetitive, but the novel is entertaining.
May 23, Heath Knight rated it really liked it. Roman wonderland A real page turner. Aug 05, Wilfred Goodwin rated it really liked it. Just love these types of historical fictions and Anthony Riches does it right.