Emperor Nero S Grip On Power Is Weakening In Every Shadow He Sees An Enemy And Like A Cornered Animal He Lashes Out At Every Perceived Threat His Paranoia Settles On The Figure Of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, Rome S Greatest General Who Leads The Imperial Legions In The EastSo Popular Is Corbulo With His Men That He Effective Presides Over An Empire Within An Empire Is Corbulo Preparing To March Against Rome And Take The Purple Gaius Valerius Verrens, Hero Of Rome, Is Ordered To Antioch With The Power Of Life And Death Over Corbulo, A Soldier He Worships There He Finds Word Of His Mission Has Preceded Him And Every Man S Hand Is Turned Against Him But Corbulo S Eyes Are Not On Rome, But On A New Threat To The Empire S Border The Parthian King Of Kings, Vologases, Is Marching To War And With Such An Army That If Not Stopped He Might Overwhelm The Entire Roman EastValerius Marches At Corbulo S Side Outnumbered They Make A Stand In The Barren Wastes Beyond The Tigris To Meet Vologases In An Epic Contest Of Military Might And Ingenuity That Will Decide The Fate Of The Empire And While He Fights For The Empire, And For His Own Survival On The Battlefield, Valerius Must Decide Whether To Complete His Mission, Or Risk Incurring His Emperor S Dangerous Wrath Avenger of Rome is the third book in Doug Jackson s series to feature the hero Gaius Valerius Verrens.The Eastern Empire is in flames, Judea as risen up in rebellion and slaughtered its Roman garrison and the Parthian Empire, sensing Roman weakness has set it sights on placing its own puppet ruler on the buffer state of Armenia Only one man can stop the Parthians, General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo Adored by his legions he has a plan to smash the power of Parthia once and for all If he fails then the whole of the Eastern Empire could be lost.In Rome, Corbulo is viewed with suspicion by the Nero and his court He is too popular with the people and too powerful with the legions at his back, will he make an attempt for the throne With Nero descending into madness and paranoia the Emperor needs someone to spy on and report back any treacherous actions or thoughts by Corbulo and his officers, that man is Gaius Valerius Verrens the Hero of Rome.Valerius, our reluctant spy is sent out to the east as Corbulo s second in command With his mission compromised before he even leaves Rome, Valerius must contend with Pirate attacks, shipwreaks, Mutiny, hostile officers and the beautiful Domitia, Corbulo s headstrong daughter If he survives all that is thrown at him then he still has to survive Corbulo s plan to defeat Parthia and the paranoia of Nero and his cronies.I have to say right off that I am a huge fan of Doug Jackson s Valerius series and this is the best of the series so far After the political settings of Defender of Rome it is good to see Valerius back where he belongs, leading troops and fighting Rome s enemies This isn t to say that Jackson has completely jettisoned the political story Between battles and fights we follow Nero and his court as fear and suspicion leads Nero to ever brutal methods to maintain his tenuous grip on power and as madness grips him even his closest advisers start looking over their shoulders.The main strength of this book are the battles scenes, Jackson writes them on an epic scale and the battle between Rome and Parthia is no exception Throughout the book, the battles scenes are written with a pace and a realism and makes them very enjoyable to read Valerius is a great character and he has a great supporting cast and I m hoping Domitia is a character that sticks around.This is a seriously good book and I m looking forward to the rest of the series and as we edge ever closer to 69AD and the year of the 4 Emperors It will be interesting to see where the author takes Valerius in this troubling time. I recently finished Avenger of Rome the 3rd book in the Gaius Valerius series by Douglas JacksonThis is a very exciting series that is both informative and exciting the action packed pace does not stopDouglas Jackson really is a top notch historical fiction author action packed adventure featuring his on time gladiator hero, Gaius Valerius Verrens I really can not wait to continue on with the series that is a total of 9 booksThe detail and research on the history, background and visuals are amazing. Review Douglas Jackson and his hero Gaius Valerius Verrens returns in book three of the same named series.As pointed out by the Splendid reviewer Kate this is two books in one tome, We follow our hero on a journey to Antioch escorting the lady Domita to visit her father Its not an easy journey, full of intrigue danger and coming together of characters The other part of the book puts us on Valerius home turf, the battlefeld, if you have read the other two books you know how good the author is at writing battles Whilst part one is battle for survival on a small scale, it is mainly about bringing some of the main character together on a personal respectful level forming bonds I love the way that Douglas Jackson can very quickly build a character and invest you in their life and survival Part two is fighting the might of the Parthians, never easy and always full of action.My favourite scene in all Douglas Jacksons book will so far remain the battle for the temple of Claudius in book one, I have never felt such raw emotion in a book.This latest book though has many emotive, triumphant and heroic scenes it just enthrals from page 1 to 352, putting this writer as one of the best in the genre There is no let up in this story, there are no weak sections, there is no respite from the story You will not want to put this down it kept me up until 3am Very highly recommended Parm DescriptionEmperor Nero s grip on power is weakening In every shadow he sees an enemy and like a cornered animal he lashes out at every perceived threat His paranoia settles on the figure of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, Rome s greatest General who leads the imperial legions in the East.So popular is Corbulo with his men that he effective presides over an Empire within an Empire Is Corbulo preparing to march against Rome and take the purple Gaius Valerius Verrens, Hero of Rome, is ordered to Antioch with the power of life and death over Corbulo, a soldier he worships There he finds word of his mission has preceded him and every man s hand is turned against him But Corbulo s eyes are not on Rome, but on a new threat to the Empire s border The Parthian King of Kings, Vologases, is marching to war and with such an army that if not stopped he might overwhelm the entire Roman east.Valerius marches at Corbulo s side Outnumbered they make a stand in the barren wastes beyond the Tigris to meet Vologases in an epic contest of military might and ingenuity that will decide the fate of the Empire And while he fights for the Empire, and for his own survival on the battlefield, Valerius must decide whether to complete his mission, or risk incurring his Emperor s dangerous wrath. The Hero of Rome is back In this third novel, Valerius is sent east by an emperor with only the slightest of grips on reality Nero His mission is to spy on the immensely successful general Corbulo who may have been a little too victorious with the Parthians for his own good But nothing is as straightforward as it seems and it s not long before Valerius is tested again to prove his loyalty, courage and honour This is a book of two halves the first follows Valerius most arduous journey to Antioch escorting the lady Domitia to her father Corbulo, both strong and fascinating characters The second half places Valerius in his familiar surroundings the bloody battlefield.While the astonishing Temple of Claudius scenes of the first novel of the three, Hero of Rome, make that a difficult novel to beat, Avenger of Rome at least equals it Another great read from Douglas Jackson that not only thrills but also moves It s not often a novel about a Roman soldier moves me to tears, but this one managed it. I rather like the fact that Gaius Valerius Verrens has grown as a person and a character through the three books The first book had slight flaws a slightly rushed relationship and left Verrens a hero, but very much a broken hero So in the second book we had a man coming to terms with his fame and his injury and being thrown into the dark pit of Roman politics and at the whim of the very dangerous Nero.So Avenger of Rome finds him trying to keep out of the limelight but Nero has another poisoned chalice of a mission for him General Corbulo is getting far too popular for Nero s liking and Nero fears he will turn his attention and troops towards Rome On the other hand, Verrens greatly admires Corbulo and is not pleased to be thrown into his legion as Second in Command and with the news that he is Nero s spy arriving before he does.And with a journey involving pirates, shipwreck and the general s daughter, our hero arrives to find distrust and treachery and the small matter of conflict with the Parthians.So, with his options limited he has to watch his back as he turns towards a ferocious enemy..I very much enjoyed this, the author grows confident with his character and the stories are well plotted, fast moving and great historical adventures You can read this in isolation but you would be missing a treat if you don t read the first two Very much in the vein of Simon Scarrow, Anthony Riches and Ben Kane and equally recommended. I finished Avenger of Rome, or it finished me Hard to decide One hell of a thrilling ride Four books into what was originally described as a trilogy and no sign of slacking, just getting better and better There is no doubt for me that, at the moment, when we re talking Roman period Historical Fiction, it s Douglas Jackson, Robert Fabbri and then the rest.The story has now moved into quite a recognisable and well trodden period of Roman history We re in AD66 and Nero is persuaded to rid himself of the leading Roman General of the time, Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo Not because Corbulo is incompetent, disloyal or even a threat to Nero, but because he is too good and as such, seen as a threat An increasingly mentally fragile Nero sends his Hero of Rome, Gaius Valerius Verrens to the east, to Antioch, to spy on Corbulo Problem is, Corbulo knows Valerius is a spy and Valerius knows he knows and so do the soldiers loyal to Corbulo and well, it gets complicated from there The Roman forces in what is now the Middle East, are trying to hold off the expansionist ambitions of the Parthian King probably of Kings Vologases Though, Rome s definition of expansionist would probably also cover sitting there, minding your own business, doing none any harm, of course But Vologases has dared to raise an army of simply stupendous size and has decided to take on Rome in what Rome obviously considers, their backyard The Roman forces are surrounded and not just death, but annihilation seems inevitable Amongst all this, Valerius he falls both for Corbulo s daughter and her father s brilliance as a leader Corbulo s mistake, is then two fold to remain loyal to Nero and to think for himself as to what the best solution to the Parthian problem might be He is old fashioned enough to still believe in honour and duty and Rome.Can they rescue the situation There s the problem with writing a series and people reading the series knowing it is a series and that there are to come how to build up sufficient tension and doubt, when readers know there is another book after this one I have no idea how he does it, but Douglas Jackson does it wonderfully well Valerius seems to have become harsher He s certainly on edge and there is also an edge to his personality that has developed from the previous book, Defender of Rome He seems less at peace with himself and his situation and though he still enjoys his soldiering he may well be beginning to see he can t hide behind the simple soldier epithet much longer What it is, I think, is that Valerius is realising his devotion to Rome is devotion to an ideal of Rome, that isn t quite reflected in the reality I wouldn t say he s become or becoming, cynical, as he still believes it can be changed Maybe he is realistic enough to realise it can t be changed back, as it has never quite lived up to the ideals that were perhaps originally set But, that it could be changed to something that is better able to strive after those ideals, if never quite achieve them Soldiers like Valerius and Corbulo realise they need to be loyal to Rome and therefore their Emperor, but, in this case, not necessarily to Nero And where does that leave their different ideas of honour Valerius has had to struggle with this before, but during Avenger , he seems to be beginning to break free of his mental chains The question is, would a change of Emperor help him, or weaken his loyalty to Rome further Douglas Jackson must be our leading writer of this type of Roman Historical Fiction, the real sort, the exciting, stirring, solidly rooted in the facts and actual events sort It is superbly well put together, deftly paced and rewarding on a variety of levels Powerful at times, harsh at others, soft, reflective and thoughtful at others There is all the stomach clenching tension, heart breaking sadness you need to put yourself through the mangle, get your pulse pounding and give your brain some useful exercise As previously, he scatters interesting tidbits of Roman information throughout the book Not IN YOUR FACE, like I find Harry Sidebottom, not getting in the way of the story as his most often are, but complimentary, whilst always retaining the flow There are of course the requisite signs of the Roman Writer s Club, with some eyebrow raising, though they are mercifully few and, interestingly, on one occasion even without eyebrows That s never easy.If your fingers aren t pounding out S.W.O.R.D O.F R.O.M.E on your keyboard on whatever on line shop you get your books from, or banging on the door of your local bookshop, check your pulse you may have died.PS If you re wondering where this fits with the other Roman Epic series there are around at the moment it s the same period as Robert Fabbri s Vespasian and Henry Ven Rowland s two books Anthony Riches has his Legions and their eyebrows in Rome at about the same time just now as well.More world class reviews on Speesh Reads This series just gets better with each book and is becoming one of my favourite historical series This one sees our hero sent east to spy on one of nero s generals, the journey east covers the bulk of the book and involves pirates, shipwreck and rescue The action comes thick and fast and the four hundred and ninty plus pages flew by Highly Recommended. Whew I finished it Not a phew as in that was tough going but a phew as in wow what a powerful conclusion I ve been reading Doug Jackson s books since Caligula first appeared in hardback, while I was still writing my first, and I love his work But when he started the Valerius Verrens series, something changed and his work stepped up several notches.Hero of Rome the novel that introduces the character is one of the best Roman novels I ve read and the scenes of the evacuation of Colonia in advance of Boudicca s attack were among the most powerful I ve seen The second Valerius novel, Defender of Rome, had a different feel and a different tack It was a brave novel and a powerful one, if a little bleak and soul withering at times.Avenger of Rome is a book I ve been waiting to read for some time I found it difficult to see how the story could progress after the second book.Well Doug did good Avenger is a triumph of a novel It has the tension of the first book in the series and the depth of the second combined, but it also has much It is far and away the best of the series so far and left me wanting.After the horrifying events in Rome in Defender , in this great tale, Valerius is sent east with the remit of investigating General Corbulo for signs of treason But nothing is as it seems and, as Valerius becomes and involved in matters, he finds himself becoming a valuable and trusted member of the great general s staff as Corbulo defies imperial edict in order to safeguard the empire, whatever the cost to himself.Certain things stand out about this book, to me Firstly, the journey which occupies a quarter of the book is a magnificent tale in itself and could quite easily have made the basis for a novel on its own.Secondly, the book features some of my favourite characters from Roman history Vespasian, Titus and Corbulo and does each of them proud, the depiction of Corbulo particularly striking a chord with me as it is very much how I have always imagined him While I would hardly describe Nero as one of my favourites, I also have to admire the way Doug handles the complex character of the youthful emperor Nero is an enigma and the character is built upon from the second book to a strangely almost understandable and certainly pitiable combination of paranoia, pride, neediness and hubris He is too complex to pigeonhole, which is, I suspect, as close to the truth as any writer will get Indeed, hubris is a strong theme among the powerful characters in the novel.Thirdly, the battle Wow, the battle Well, come on, it s hardly a spoiler, is it You knew there was going to be a battle, right I know from personal experience how hard it is to write a good battle Not an ok battle, but a good one I ve tried And in the end, I come down to showing any battle from a point of view of individual encounters, as I simply cannot adequately convey the scale of the whole thing Doug just did The scale was immense, the time it took, the numbers, the sheer organisation, and yet not a single detail is lost Not even the noise The smell The tension The fear It is a work of sickening beauty.The upshot Valerius is one of the most interesting characters in Historical fiction at the moment and each book Doug writes adds to the depth and power of the character This book has, however, stepped another notch upwards and, where the first left me feeling a little drained with the heart wrenching conclusion and the second left me feeling weary and saddened, this one left me feeling awed and astounded and waiting to see what comes next the conclusion almost pushes you straight into the next tale Valerius, I will watch you put things right My sword arm is with you.Well done, Doug A fab read When s the next due out This was a solid historical fiction book Characters were well developed, the plot had quite a bit of turns and twists The only thing that was not to my liking were the author s descriptions of battles Ever since the beginning of the first book, the battles were a bit rushed, and I think author himself has a great difficulty describing what is happening Therefore he usually starts the description, which is for some reason terminated in the middle The rest is then summarized in the aftermath of the battle While I think this is a useful narration tool, it shouldn t be overused.
Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.Aka
- 341 pages
- Avenger of Rome
- Douglas Jackson
- 22 March 2019 Douglas Jackson