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Tribune of Rome (VESPASIAN) Paperback – April 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: VESPASIAN (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848879113
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848879119
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Fabbri has worked in film and TV for 25 years. He is an assistant director and has worked on productions such as Billy Elliot, Hellraiser, Hornblower, and Patriot Games. His life-long passion for ancient history inspired him to write the Vespasian series.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Felipe Wirth on May 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's hard to be surprised in the world of historical fiction. I remember with joy the time I picked up Iggulden's 'Gates of Rome' only because it had Bernard Cornwell's recommendation at the cover, only to devour the book in two sittings. I was sixteen, I think, and since it was before I took the chance of reading in English (not my native-spoken Portuguese), historical fiction, in my book, could be narrowed down to Cornwell's Grail and Arthur trilogies. To be clear, I wasn't as familiar with the genre as I am now. This familiarity means I have very few surprises when picking up new books. I have a fair notion of what it is that I'm buying.

When I bought Robert Fabbri's 'Vespasian: Tribune of Rome' for my Kindle, I had no clue what to expect. There were no reviews on Amazon, it is Fabbri's debut novel, I had heard of it from some of the guys on Iggulden's site forum, but none had started reading it yet. It was a leap of faith, and I'm damn glad I took it.

If you're a big fan of historical fiction: Remember your first Cornwell book? Your first Steven Pressfield book? Remember the feeling of 'Wow' as for perhaps the first time your love for history was mixed with solid story led by a relatable main character surrounded by supporting characters that you either hated or loved? That's exactly how I felt with this book, regardless of my familiarity in the genre. I didn't pay particular attention to the writting, or if the tone was epic enough, I was just driven forward by the story. I wanted to know what happened! Now, having finished the book and it being 1:30 AM here in Rio, I want to know what happens next. It's the same feeling I get after finishing each Sharpe novel.

Am I being vague in this review? Yes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Aristotle S. Spencer on May 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Robert Fabbri has made a great start with his first novel based on Ancient Rome.

The storyline flows well and his writing style allows the reader to relax and readily engage with events, characters and historical information.

The author does not clutter his work with excessive historical details or names and military insignias that can at times distract from the sheer pleasure derived from reading a novel. For diehards, well versed in Roman military history, this novel may appear shallow at times. But, for first time readers of novels based on Rome this book is a good start.

In the author's note Fabbri clearly states `this is a work of fiction' and as a result he has `taken some liberties with a few of the characters' and some events. By reading this first, I knew what to expect and as a result, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole novel.

I will certainly purchase the second book, `Rome's Executioner', in this proposed series, when it becomes available.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By NoseInBook on October 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although it started a bit slowly, the story soon picked up and before long I was thoroughly engrossed. The characters are well developed, the plot is believable and the battle scenes are realistic. The book is nicely edited, which is a bonus. I am looking forward to the next novel in the series; Vespasian is finally getting some long-overdue attention!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
First posted on Amazon.co.uk on 29 May 2011

This one is an excellent start to a new serie from a new author. The topic is the life of the first Flavian Emperor - Vespasian. Although very little is known of his younger years, Fabbri manages to tell the story in a convincing and realistic way. The cut-throat (quite literally!) and ultra competitive political climate in Rome at the time of Emperor Tiberius is particularly well described.

There is of course nothing in the historical sources about Vespasian being hunted by Sejanus' Pretorians, if only because if they had been, his promising career would have ended kin some ditch somewhere. Inspiration obviously comes from A. Riches (for the hunted young officer) and perhaps also from Scarrow. However, there is no obvious copying.

The author has clearly done his research work. For instance, Julias's slave girl that Vespasian is in love with was a historical person. She remained his mistress for her whole life. Also, Vespasian did have an elder brother with a military background who helped him but died before he became emperor. A great read: you won't be able to let it down...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By msculati on January 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I starting reading this book, my heart sank and I began skimming at times. It was obvious this was a first time novelist--wordy, run-on sentances trying to explain everything, obvious/overwrought/improbable situations. Just a bummer--but then, slowly it got better. Getting into Thrace seemed to do the trick. There, the language tightened up and the plot took some very interesting, well done turns. In the end I enjoyed reading it and will give the second book a shot (hopefully for this book, the author will have an editor who will prevent him from having a provincial Legionary consider the "sang froid" of his commander).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judith A. Weller on July 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is basically a fictional account of the life of the future Emperor Vespasian. The story begins when he is still 16 at home with his parents. It moves quickly to Rome where he meets the love of his life Caenis, who will be his mistress until her death.

Once in Rome he is quickly drawn into the intrigues of the palace where he beomes an ally of Antonia and the anti-Sejanus forces. The highpoint of his brief stay in Rome is his rescue of Caenis, Antonia's body slave and secretary, from Sejanus' mistress Livilla. During the rescue he meets the future Emperor, Caligula. Vespasian's assistance to Antonia paves the way for him to be given the post of a Military Tribune in Thrace.

The story move quickly to Thrace where the Vespasion undergoes his baptism of fire in the Legions and capture and release by a Thracian warband. Ultimately he learns that his relief Cohort was betrayed by the allies of Sejanus. The books ends with an exciting battle against the Thracians.

My descrptions of the battle are outstanding. Some of the best I have read including those of Simon Scarrow. The descriptions of the Roman battle techiniques and use of Cornicen to signal commands are someting I have only seen detailed in history books - never in fiction. All in all some of the best description of the Roman legions in combat.

My biggest complaint is with the precosity of Vespasian. Even as a newcomer in the legion he is giving tactical advice to commanders and a Primus Pilus. While Vespasian in latter life was a great military tactician I doubt that he was so gifted at 16 nor would he have dared offer advice to senior commanders and a Primus Pilus.
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