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Publisher's Summary

The Roman Empire is crumbling, and a shadow looms in the east....

376 AD: The Eastern Roman Empire is alone against the tide of barbarians swelling on her borders. Emperor Valens juggles the paltry border defenses to stave off invasion from the Goths north of the Danube. Meanwhile, in Constantinople, a pact between faith and politics spawns a lethal plot that will bring the dark and massive hordes from the east crashing down on these struggling borders. The fates conspire to see Numerius Vitellius Pavo, enslaved as a boy after the death of his legionary father, thrust into the limitanei, the border legions, just before they are sent to recapture the long-lost eastern Kingdom of Bosporus. He is cast into the jaws of this plot, so twisted that the survival of the entire Roman world hangs in the balance....

©2013 Gordon Doherty (P)2014 Gordon Doherty

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • CS
  • 05-21-14

A visceral historic cross-section

What did you love best about Legionary?

Obvious care and painstaking work went into the military history of the piece. Armed units, organization and procedure rolled out with a feel of authenticity, and you could feel the author's enthusiasm for his work.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending provided a sequel hook by hinting a previously mentioned character would soon come into the story. This came out of the blue, however. The lack of context kept me from feeling the intrigue.

What does Simon Whistler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Simon's vocals are smooth and ambient. He makes the bone, blood and guts story pleasant to the ear, and oddly relaxing to listen to.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Live by the Sword."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent book, stellar performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who loves a good adventure yarn and would enjoy following the travels of a boy battling for his life across the tapestry of a lush but brutal history.

What other book might you compare Legionary to and why?

Hard for me to say, as I'm not much of a historical fiction reader. If anything, though, I would say this reminded me of Louis L'Amour's "The Walking Drum." Lots of action, shallow characters, plenty of fun.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the bar scene in who Pavo drunkenly escapes a thrashing by kicking his far superior opponent in the privates -- not because of the cheap comedy, which wasn't bad, but because it encapsulates the sense of rowdy, slapdash, seat-of-your-pants action that typifies the story.

Any additional comments?

Simon Whistler's narration of this tale is a joy. His English accent gives it a sense of Old World majesty while his enthusiasm is infectious. He clearly enjoys the material (or he's very gifted at faking it). I would love to listen to more books read by him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

interesting historical novel

I enjoyed this novel but stumbled a bit with mispronunciations and wrong use of tenses. It could use a good editor and preview listener.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed this novel

I was never a big fan of the historical type fiction, but since i listened to this i think my tastes may have changed. I found the story-line intriguing and it all flowed very well. I think the narrator did the book justice and i will definitely look for more from both the author and narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start, but gripping by the end

Where does Legionary rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

For story, somewhere in the middle. For production, kind of low. It is possible to hear some of the edits and "punch ins" and certain words are pronounced differently at different times.

What did you like best about this story?

The drama built well, the author handled suspense well. Good pacing after a somewhat clunky beginning.

What does Simon Whistler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Simon's voice and dramatic reading ability are both quite nice. Again I found the production quality somewhat lacking and that distracted me from the story at times.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Blood, Guts, and dust

Any additional comments?

Some back story is delivered too quickly at the beginning. The protagonist goes from young child to young adult quickly, and later allusions to his past that weren't really brought up earlier. But I found that the story became much more coherent and enjoyable as it went on.

I think the author handled two juxtaposed narratives well: the main protagonist is a grunt soldier caught up in the intrique of generals and emperors. The stories of both "higher" and "lower" rank characters are well told and well mixed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent Performance; One Facial Expression

If you could sum up Legionary in three words, what would they be?

Adventure, Blood, Grimacing

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I enjoyed the adventurous nature of the story, and how it painted the times in a way that made it come alive. I didn't care how everybody only had one facial expression.

What about Simon Whistler’s performance did you like?

Simon did a great job reading this story; his polished voice brought forth the excitement in the action.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Legionary

What did you like best about this story?

Very good audiobook...Well paced, action book. The characters were well developed and make me care about them but not so much that dragged down the book. I recommend this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good listen, enjoyed Strategos more

What other book might you compare Legionary to and why?

It was similar to Strategos, another title written by this author

What about Simon Whistler’s performance did you like?

He did an excellent job and I enjoyed his voice and reflections, very pleasant to listen to.

Any additional comments?

I was provided a copy for an honest review

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

werry good

enjoyd it wery mutch
the start was a bit hard with the roman name soundint weary simular for one with the germanic laungitsh (norway ) but maby tht is just me. in the end an all around a werry good book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • BDHumbert
  • Fort Pierce, FL, United States
  • 03-26-17

Actually

OK I just am not a big fan of drawn out battle scenes - and towards the end it got way hard to believe

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Josephine
  • 05-12-14

Sounds like a good story but the narration is bad

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I don't really like the style of the narrator. He made every sentence sounds as if it is a surprise and that really gives me a headache.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tony
  • 06-01-17

Great book of the past that was

I loved this book and couldn't stop listening. The whole story and narration put me in the scene and I only wish it was longer.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 04-15-17

Peculiar pronounciation spoils it.

Spoiled by the peculiar pronounciation.of grimacing, grimaced and ethereal. The author employs the first two of those words at least six times every chapter and sometimes many many more. A small thing, you may say, but by half way through, it was grating.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert Spencer
  • Robert Spencer
  • 09-28-15

Legionary and Gordon Doherty

Very good book. l liked the author, Gordon Doherty 's style and went onto listen to his book Strategos, which is excellent and difficult to "put down "

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steven A. McKay
  • Steven A. McKay
  • 10-26-14

Great listen!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd read the Kindle version a year or so before – it was, in fact, my first ever ebook purchase if I remember correctly – and I knew it was a good read, so I wondered how this Roman historical fiction would translate to the audio format.
I'm happy to say it works a treat.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pavo. He's pretty inept but grows as the book goes along.

Any additional comments?

Overall, this audiobook is a great listen. I do a lot of driving at work and sometimes I get sick of hearing Radio 5 Live or Slayer or Jethro Tull CDs, so it was a very welcome change of pace to have this on as I drove around the west of Scotland every day. It's also good value, lasting for quite a few hours, so don't let the price tag of these things put you off – a lot of work goes into this!


Whether you've read this book before or not, you won't be disappointed when you download the audio version. Give it a try. Doherty's writing has improved since this, his debut novel, so future audio versions of his books will be even better. I've just completed Legionary 3 – Land of the Sacred Fire and I'm looking forward to hearing it read by Simon Whistler, so...bring it on Gordon, we're waiting!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for roman archaeologist
  • roman archaeologist
  • 05-21-14

odd pronunciation

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

the story is interesting but like many roman stories can be similar to others

What did you like best about this story?

story moved along at a good pace and did not get stuck in one place for to long

What didn’t you like about Simon Whistler’s performance?

i felt that simon whistler put in a lot of effort coming up with very odd pronunciations of roman names took a while to translate some of these

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

i had no emotional reaction to the book it was a good storey

Any additional comments?

i wish the readers would try and find out the normal or commonly used pronunciation rather alway come up with their own unique versions

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 03-10-18

Poor performance and less than satisfactory story

The reader needs to review his delivery. It got better during the latter parts of the performance, however the there was no differentiation in the voices of the characters. The story was unimaginative and confusing. I suggest back to base for all concerned. Won't be wasting..my time again.