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The Eagle's Vengeance Hardcover – 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Empire (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444711903
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444711905
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,137,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is volume six of Anthony Riches' "Empire" series which take place at the end of the second century AD and will ultimately also cover the first decades of the third century as well. In this volume, the action takes place in AD 184.

The book has the same ingredients as the other previous episodes. It is essentially one of these "swords and sandals" (well, Roman boots anyway!) adventure stories books, but it is one of the better ones, or, perhaps more accurately, one of the ones that I prefer. The main reason for this is because Tony Riches is one of these authors who happens to be just as good as a story teller and as a historian. His historical note on the Antonin Wall (much less well-known than Hadrian's Wall) is rather excellent. His description of the Roman army, the relationships between legions and auxiliaries, between tribunes, centurions and troopers and between senators and equestrians are also well grounded and thoroughly researched.

Some readers might dislike the rather abundant "profanity" in the dialogues, with lots of swearing, slang and biological and sexual terms. One other reviewer took exception to what was seen as a transposition of the behaviour and vocabulary of modern British soldiers. The author certainly has made this assumption, and quite deliberately. However, it does "rings true" and seems rather plausible, to say the least. We do know that Roman soldiers were made to be though, rough and coarse. Assuming they weren't already so when they enlisted, they certainly became so, or else they did not last very long. In modern parlance, you could say that this was part of the "job requirements". Anyway, who expects Roman soldiers, whether legionaries or auxiliaries, to be gentile, nice and sweet, polite and well brought up?
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Anthony Riches is one of a handful of writers in the Roman Military Genre that is at the top of the pyramid. Great plotting, characters, research and story are combined to offer the reader a wonderful experience. His latest book is of the highest quality.

Here we find the Tungrians back in Britannia where a few important loose ends are cleared up. Some old baddies get their deserts. We met some new ones and some new good people too. We also learn a lot about the Antonine Wall. Each book offers the reader a glimpse of part of Rome that was not well known. This part of Rome is almost never written about and we learn a lot as Riches uses it as a back drop.

But as always, it is the people that shine. One of the aspects of Riches books that I enjoy is the sense of "Mateship" between his characters. Many long for the kind of relationship that comes from spending you life and risking it over years in close contact with others. We live such shadowy lives by comparison today. The Tungrians are such a body of men. Being auxiliaries, their separateness bonds them even more strongly together. Fortunately in this volume, Riches does not kill off too many of our favourites but does end the life of one of the regulars with the kind of results that we can expect.

We find ourselves at the end of the book back in Rome for the first time. The next book is well set up by the end of this one.

Riches has chosen a very useful period in history with masses of choices for future books. I look forward to reading them all as fast as he can write them
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Though we seem to be in a rut for basic plot, there is an enemy who we will fight, here we see it twist and turn in the 6th outing to be a little different. Perhaps a too at device is used to give enough evidence (though without confessions signed and witnessed much seems supposition) to put an end to the plotter who targeted our hero from the first book. We do see that the usual subplot that the villain always has a man or team hunting our hero, or someone who can see through Marcus' attempt at disguise is not fully present. Though once again the villain at hand seems to know too much.

If Riches could tighten up that subplot and eradicate it, which slicing off the head might do, then this book can rise. The fight scenes are excellent. The tactical combat wonderful, and some of the dialogue makes you chortle outloud.

Yet the suspension of disbelief on whether our hero Marcus is known to live by the Preatorian Prefect, and is known to live by so many tasked with finding him that he as a declared traitor remains alive, always detracts. Conflict makes for good storytelling but this was too abused in prior books and still in this, causing a full 20% of the book to be the resolution, a disjunct part of the main story, but part of the 6 book sequence that should have had its own novel to finalize in Rome.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent episode in the Empire series. Sorry that I have come to the end of the series. Waiting to see if anything else is forthcoming.
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Just could not put the book down, ended up finishing the book faster than I had planned. Would recommend to everyone.
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Well, I started reading this series in August 2014. In the interim I have managed to catch up to the latest book past this one, "The Emperor's Knives" (Number 8 in the series) and must say I have enjoyed every one of the series. These are better than Simon Scarrow's Eagle series by far. The characters are more realistic, even if they get up to some less than believable exploits, albeit in keeping with the actual historical events of the time. Cannot wait for number 8 when they leave Rome after The Knives. The Vengeance period in Britannia is well told and full of delightful Grunt wit and bonhomie, as well as some hard action. Well done - keep it up.
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