An interesting look into the machinations of the Roman patrician classes and how they wielded and held onto their power. Albeit fictional, the authors depth of detail portrays the desperation to hold onto power as much in ancient times as it does today. Most enjoyable!
I've so far enjoyed the Marching With Caesar (copyrighted yet!) series, but this simply feels like Pullus Rebooted. I never found the original Titus Pullus a particularly compelling character to begin with - he doesn't give me the mythic sense that the author keeps telling me he has, and he's a bit formulaic - it's his inside view of life in the legions, the daily grind as well as the setpiece battles, that makes this series so interesting, his status as a chronicler of a place and time.
Now in this latest installment I get the feeling that Peake found it too difficult to build a story around a more complex character, so out goes Gaius Porcinus, an interesting, more cerebral, individual, and in comes....well, a clone of Titus Pullus. Same old reiteration of size, to the point of absurdity (again), same old "divine madness" same old...same old - it would have been far more interesting had Titus Pullus, the grandson, been at least somewhat different than his old granddad, facing different challenges, with more marked differences in characteristics. This puts a damper on the entire book, which otherwise features a lot of interesting action and situations. I keep thinking this could have been done so much better, and it's a shame.
I give this historical novel 5 stars, although I still have a couple of problems with it. I found the writing to be a bit stilted: one sentence seems to sometimes last a whole paragraph. I frequently had to retrace my steps back to the beginning of the sentence . This actually made the writing more true to life, as it was more like a non-professional writer setting down his thoughts. All in all, I would prefer it to be easier to read. I do like the author's knowledge of both ancient Roman civilization as well as his military experience . The battles are well choreographed, but his descriptions are sometimes difficult to picture. I believe that a lot of these faults could be addressed by more thorough editing. Meanwhile, international will continue to enjoy Mr. Peake's books!
This is the first time I've reviewed a book before I've finished it. But MWC: Fraternitas has a different tone than past installments, and Titus's narrative is coming from a more personal place. The connection for me as a reader is also more powerful in this latest installment because I appreciate family and love. Peake mentions in the forward he feels he's taking an inherent risk with MWC: Fraternitas. But I feel the risk is a very rewarding reading experience from a master storyteller who's writing prowess is unquestionably top notch.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat story telling you can reread over and over again.
30 July 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
wow. I am continually amazed and pleased by the stories in this series. The rich development of the characters. How you feel that you are standing right there in the time and place with the Characters. And especially young Pullis and Augustus meeting and conversing. I am so looking forward to the next installment. I am so fortunate to have discovered another really wonderful storyteller in this author. And because these books are on my kindle, I need to save up and find them in Hardback for my personal library. As good or better than Mitchner.
5.0 out of 5 starsContinues his 5 star streak with yet another outstanding volume in this excellent series. Titus the grandson delivers
25 October 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
R. W. Continues his 5 star streak with yet another outstanding volume in this excellent series. Titus the grandson delivers, and certainly lives up to his namesake in both the excitement of Roman battle, the historically interesting day to day life of Roman soldiers and civilians and the political intrigue in Roman society. I can't wait for volume XII.