This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.
A splendid piece of story-telling and a vivid recreation of a long-dead world, Allan Massie
Light and dark in equal measure, colourful, thoughtful and bracing, Manda Scott
Superb battle scenes . . . I was gripped from start to finish, Ben Kane
Douglas Jackson confirms his reputation as 'one of the best historical novelists writing today' (Daily Express) with the third action-packed adventure feauring his on-time gladiator hero, Gaius Valerius Verrens...
About the Author
A newspaper journalist by profession, Douglas Jackson's lifelong fascination for Rome and the Romans inspired him to pick up the pen and write his first novel, Caligula, and a sequel Claudius. He has gone on to become one of the best writers of Roman historical fiction at work today. Avenger of Rome is the third title in his series featuring Gaius Valerius Verrens; the first two, Hero of Rome and Defender of Rome, are available in paperback and ebook editions.
Amazon calculates a product’s star ratings using a machine learned model instead of a raw data average. The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases.
I must say I liked this book and have no problem recommending it. It has plenty of action as well as intrigue and subterfuge. Our hero is asked to head east to spy on a General who is said to be planning to overthrow the Emperor. But all is not what it seems and as the story unfolds Verrens finds out there is another game afoot. It is another great read from Douglas Jackson and anyone who enjoys the likes of authors Scarrow and Riches will surely like this one.
Fortunately I read the 8th book in this series first, which was a terrific read , so good that I decided to try out the earlier books. In this, the third in the series, I thought that it was a work in progress and had I picked this up first, I probably would have just thought, " it's ok but not a stand out from the competition in this crowded field" and I would not have bothered with the rest of the series. In this outing Verrens is sent to the empires eastern provinces and a meeting with one of Romes greatest, real life soldiers, Gnaeus Corbulo. The action is well described and the battle scenes are as good as in any book I have read. Well worth the read, but the best is yet to come.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 September 2012
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 more. It is far and away the best of the series so far and left me wanting more. 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 more and more 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 more 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?
5.0 out of 5 starsSo far, the beginning of this series is totally absorbing. The mixing of fact and fiction is brilliantly
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 October 2016
. The characters are extremely fascinating, and the story lines are such that I find myself anticipating every spare moment when I can sit and read. I have read hundreds of Roman fiction books and enjoyed all of them, however, sometimes one comes across a writer of the genre that can actually generate real emotion in the reader, and make the characters and events come to brilliant, blazing life with all the attendant feelings of compassion, horror, amusement, shock ,outrage, sadness and admiration. Mr Jackson is one of those writers. My only regret is that I will read the whole series in short order, as the books are impossible to put down! If you want to 'feel', there's the books!
Once again Verrens finds himself involved in plots to murder the emperor, plots to kill an important roman general. How he survives is tantamount to his ability as a soldier and a lawyer. Bring on the next one.
I am enjoying (Avenger of Rome) number three in the (Gaius Valerius Verrens) series, I am reading my way through the series of books. I find that Douglas Jackson is a imaginative writer of fiction and history mix very enjoyable.