• Soldier of Rome: Rebellion in Judea

  • The Great Jewish Revolt series, Book 1
  • By: James Mace
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Waters
  • Length: 14 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The year is AD 66, and the Roman province of Judea has exploded in rebellion. Far from being a revolution of unified peoples, the various Jewish factions of Sadducees, Zealots, Sicarii, and Edomites are in a state of civil war; as anxious to spill the blood of each other as they are to fight the Romans. The Judeans find hope when the Romans commit a serious tactical blunder and allow their forces to be ambushed and nearly destroyed in the mountain pass of Beth Horon. Following the disaster, Emperor Nero recalls to active service Flavius Vespasian, the legendary general who had been instrumental in the conquest of Britannia 23 years before. In the northern region of Galilee, a young Jewish commander named Josephus ben Matthias readies his forces to face the coming onslaught.

A social and political moderate, he fears the extremely violent Zealot fanatics - who threaten to overthrow the newly established government in Jerusalem - as much as he does the Romans. Soon Vespasian, a tactical and strategic genius who has never been defeated in battle, unleashes his huge army upon Galilee. His orders are to crush the rebellion and exact the harshest of punishments upon those who would violate the "Peace of Rome". Lacking the manpower and resources to face the legions in open battle, Josephus knows he will need plenty of cunning, ingenuity, and perhaps even the intervention of God himself, lest the once proud Kingdoms of Judah and Israel become a kingdom of the damned.

©2014 James M Mace (P)2019 James M Mace

What listeners say about Soldier of Rome: Rebellion in Judea

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Ambitious tale pulled off well

When I read the description of Rebellion in Judea, it sounded like an ambitious project. I have to say it was, but that the author pulled it off well. While the conflict is focused in Judea, the cast of characters is extensive and handled well. From Roman generals and lower ranking officers and a few common foot soldiers to governors, Emperor Nero and the Jewish side. That included leaders (political/religious and military) as well as some side characters.


Each was distinctive enough that as they returned to the narrative, I was able to recall and keep going without having to ponder or backtrack.


The action (political and especially military) was interesting and fast-paced. The tale didn’t drag or get bogged down. There were many angles with different sides with different hopes and objectives, from the Jewish moderates attempting to deal with the more radical factions, to the political/military intrigue on the Roman side.


The telling of the combats, from ground or ambush, to siege, were detailed enough to keep my interest and provide a vivid picture of what was happening.


While the political and military aspects were well represented in the plot, the religious was not quite so much, and that is the only weak link in the tale, albeit minor.


The narrator, Jonathan Waters, did an excellent job, especially with such a large cast of characters to voice. The little things he did, like varying inflections or pacing and tone, as well as different voices, kept me on track and not wondering who was speaking.


A worthwhile listen, especially if you enjoy tales of Roman/military history.

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Very Good

Solid mix of historical information with understandable narration and dialogue. The narrator was very good.

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An imaginary retelling of history

An imaginary retelling of the Great Jewish Revolt of 66 AD as a narrative story. While accurate in broad strokes, much of the detail is supposition at best … and while we will never know how accurate the author’s imagination is here, I felt that in many cases he did not accurately capture the context nor the nuance of the history … and so I had a hard time connecting with the story. The 14+ hours of narration was adequate but didn’t help with improving the real feel missing in the story as written … in fact I felt it made it worse. Still, for anybody wishing to know a little more about the War, it was an okay diversion.

I was given this free review copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
#TheSeraphEngine #AudibookFree #KindleUnlimited

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Profile Image for GRAHAM GILBERT
  • GRAHAM GILBERT
  • 09-07-19

A good listen

Well put together book well read James Mace is always a good author this is no exception can't wait for book 2 to be recorded

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 09-30-22

"Incinerated by the fires of hate."

I am an enormous fan of well researched and written Roman military tales which prove to be both entertaining and informative. This book by James Mace is one such, with hgood, strong characters, very visual depiction of both siege and battles and the terrifying carnage wrought in human lives This is a place and period (66 AD, after the death of Nero) about which I know very little so cannot comment on the accuracy of detail, But the stage was large, the characters many and colourful and, despite at times not being able to remember names of a few players, I found it a riveting and addictive read. The narrator, Jonathan Waters, added to this pleasure, his reading of the text well paced and imbued with the passions of the story and the various protagonists given distinctive voice appropriate to authority. There was one irritation, however, and curiously the exact opposite of many readers: when a natural break appears in the writing either in or at the end of a chapter, instead of ignoring it as many do Mr.Mace verbally leaves that space, but of so long a duration that I had to check that my playback was still happening. It did somewhat break the absorption into the story. And, just sometimes, his pronunciation of names seemed slightly odd, but they were always consistent so perhaps it is simply an alternative rendering previously unknown to me.

My thanks to the rights holder of Rebellion in Judea who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Free Audiobook Codes. I enjoyed it enormously and look forward to continuing with book two in the Great Jewish Revolt series.

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