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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Footsteps of Hornblower and Sharpe?
A previous review noted that the book might appeal more to younger readers. I admit it: I've been addicted to historical military fiction/series since becoming hooked on C.S. Forester as a youngster in the late '50's and I can see how that comment makes sense. I don't yet know what Mr. Riches plans for his books and, even assuming he hopes to create a long series, it...
Published on March 1, 2010 by Charles F. Kartman

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad story.
I enjoyed this story well enough, but will probably not buy another in the series. The story line is fresh, but the style of writing feels rather juvenile as if the author is aiming at a very young audience. I enjoyed the setting of the story, however I felt the story line to be rather predictable. Many of the scenes in the story felt unbelievable such as the young Marcus...
Published on February 23, 2010 by A. J. Vivolo


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Footsteps of Hornblower and Sharpe?, March 1, 2010
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A previous review noted that the book might appeal more to younger readers. I admit it: I've been addicted to historical military fiction/series since becoming hooked on C.S. Forester as a youngster in the late '50's and I can see how that comment makes sense. I don't yet know what Mr. Riches plans for his books and, even assuming he hopes to create a long series, it is obviously far too soon to mention him alongside Cornwell, et. al. But that was what I was thinking as I was reading and enjoying Wounds of Honour. Mr. Riches has chosen to plow in the same fields as Simon Scarrow and, to my mind, he is already a bit better in some ways and can be expected to improve as his writing career proceeds. Anyway, the distinguishing features of the genre are: some effort at an accurate feel for the historical period; a central figure who starts at or near the bottom of his service and rises with age and experience; and stories that are often set around real events. The drama of combat is a universally central element of this genre, but there is also often an emphasis on the exemplary behavior and code of personal honor that earns the respect of a ship's crew or, in this case, a century of Roman auxiliaries. For some reason, British authors have a virtual lock on this latter feature of military series.

Mr. Riches seems to have a nice feel for the period and is especially good at describing the tools of war, their use and their effects. He charts military strategies that are convincing in their detail and seem to make sense. In these areas, I would say that he already surpasses most of the rest of the field, which is not meant to criticize any other author but only to praise Mr. Riches' strengths.

In terms of plot, admittedly a lesser part of writing in the genre, I found Mr. Riches' story to depend overly on certain complications that I won't describe lest I spoil it for others, but they were the author's choices and were entertaining and credible enough to serve. The romantic element was negligible and presumably will be developed in later books. This volume was all about male bonding.

The setting of Hadrian's Wall is not all that common, but it does evoke the film King Arthur (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] and the fine single volume by Gillian Bradshaw, Island of Ghosts: A Novel of Roman Britain.

In conclusion, I very much enjoyed this first volume and look forward to reading the next when it becomes available.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SET SOME TIME ASIDE, March 8, 2010
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Set some time aside because you won't want to put it down. I don't usually read a book over the weekend but it was hard to stop. I do have a bias as to historical fiction but I think anyone who loves action and an author who is not in love with his own verbose prose will love this story. I'm over 50 and I don't agree with the previous reviewers who feel it has a juvenile read. I suggested to my son to read it (teenager) and he loved it also. I think the book simply has a wide audience appeal. Don't hesitate to enjoy it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad story., February 23, 2010
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I enjoyed this story well enough, but will probably not buy another in the series. The story line is fresh, but the style of writing feels rather juvenile as if the author is aiming at a very young audience. I enjoyed the setting of the story, however I felt the story line to be rather predictable. Many of the scenes in the story felt unbelievable such as the young Marcus so easily winning over the respect of the First Spear centurion, etc. Much of the history is good, but some details are inaccurate. For me this story is simply fair...not bad, but not good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romans and Britons on Hadrians Wall, a nice start, February 2, 2012
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N. Trachta (Colorado Springs, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wounds of Honour (Empire) (Paperback)
A friend got me hooked into Mr. Scarrow's Cato and Macro series awhile back. Since I caught up with the current publication Nick suggest that I try Mr. Riches Empire: Wounds of Honor.

This is an interesting tale that cut similar to Mr. Scarrow's (Romans and barbarians in Britain) with a focus on one hero, Marcus Valerius Aquila. As with Mr. Scarrow's Under the Eagle: A Tale of Military Adventure and Reckless Heroism with the Roman Legions, Marcus is befriended by an old legionary centurion and taken to an auxilia cohort to hide from Imperial assassins who are trying to kill Marcus to end his family line, accused traitors to Emperor Commodus. Inevitably I'm forced compare Mr. Riches' work to Mr. Scarrow's. Both writers are telling tales about Romans and Britons and while Britain is settled in Mr. Riches' work, there's still upheaval and both men are using Mr. Cornwell's formula for telling their tales. In this case our main character Marcus Valerius Aquila isn't as loveable as Cato or stout but simple as Macro. Instead Marcus possesses the traditional Horatio Hornblower tendencies of being the best and always at the right spot at the right time. This is borne out by Mr. Riches having Marcus "saving" the day many times, first by gaining the trust of a century of slackers, then destroying the barbarians supplies, and finally saving the finally; a strong character with a rich future if he can stay alive. However I found myself more drawn to the secondary characters in his century, Dubnus, Scarface, and Antenoch, they were more human. Merging this with Mr. Riches tendency to show us other people viewpoint (Calgus is the main culprit who provides the barbarians viewpoint). Because of this I felt a certain amount of clunkiness in the plot making it so things had to be "contrived" a bit more than they were in Under the Eagle. However I am calling this one a 4 star book due to the potential I see and the fact that I want to know what happens to the 1st Tungrians.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story on Roman Britain, November 7, 2010
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It appears that there is a lot of interest in Roman Britain today what with two movies out (Centurion and The Eagle coming up) and a number of books written on the subject.

This is a good one although the basis of this story is probably questionable. There is no history of Roman Britain that reflects the battle that occurs at the end (of which I won't provide any details since I don't want to ruin the story for you). So, this is really more a novel in my opinion than a historical novel, although it is set in the time of Commodus (181/182 AD) and the problems that his reign was causing on the empire are clearly laid out in this book.

However, it is an excellent story - well told and difficult to put down. It tells about a young Roman Praetorian centurion who is on a special mission to Britain but who was sent on that mission to get away from Commodus and his henchman who were about to execute his father and who were out to do the same to him.

From there, the story has some interesting twists and turns in the plot as you learn more about why he was saved by the legate of the 6th Legion. He was saved by burying him in an auxiliary Roman unit (Tungrians) who are stationed on Hadrian's wall. Half way through the book, the barbarians north of the wall attack leading to a series of battles with the barbarians helped along by the treachery of a Roman Tribune.

All in all, the book is very exciting and as I mentioned, hard to put down. Well worth the read for anyone interested in Roman history and novels related to Roman history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Start to New Series, August 8, 2010
I just finished Wounds of Honour and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well-written, possesses excellent character development, good plotting and has a very authentic historical feel. It was engrossing and hard to put down, and I am looking forward to the next book in this promising series. I don't understand the comments about it appealing to younger audiences; I was fascinated with authors such as H.G. Wells and Edgar Allen Poe as a teen, and do not consider that as a criticism of the authors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read, easy to digest, May 23, 2014
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nice to find another author that writes easy to read and great stories around roman history.
enjoyable read and easy to sit down and have a quite day reading his stories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, May 9, 2014
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A well-written, exciting, and meticulously researched entry into the Roman military genre. Mr. Riches outdoes his competition in every way. I highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Follow-up, April 18, 2014
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Solid story line. Equally excellent characters and vivid battles. Riches most certainly develops his stories quite nicely. I hope he sustains this series over the years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, April 6, 2014
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This review is from: Wounds of Honour (Empire) (Paperback)
the author anthony riches is an excellent author and the series is awesome. Very creditable in his knowledge about the roman empire. i would highly recommend this
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Wounds of Honour (Empire)
Wounds of Honour (Empire) by Anthony Riches (Paperback - September 1, 2011)
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