The Man with Two Names: A Novel of Ancient Rome

The Sertorius Scrolls, Volume 1
Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: History, Ancient History
4 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Is it better to be a bad man and accomplish great things, or be a great man and accomplish nothing?"

Quintus Sertorius has spent the first 20 years of his life training horses on his family farm, but this must end when his father dies and his village's political connections to Rome are severed. For the sake of his family, Quintus must leave his village for the Eternal City.

If he succeeds, his people will be fed. If he fails, his people will starve.

He begins his political career under the most influential men in Rome, but soon discovers that those in the Senate are less inclined to help him than he had hoped. His journey takes him from the corrupt and treacherous Forum to the deadly forests of Gaul, making powerful friends and enemies along the way.

But it will take more than allies to succeed. He will have to decide what compromises he is willing to make, and what risks he is willing to take, if he is to secure a future for himself and his people.

©2017 Vincent B. Davis II (P)2017 Vincent B. Davis II

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Your first person view of the Roman Republic

What did you love best about The Man with Two Names: A Novel of Ancient Rome?

An an amateur Roman History fan -- I loved how you are really experiencing, first-hand, in first person, how the Marian reforms affects every day roman life.

What did you like best about this story?

Gaius Marius in the flesh. Great dialogue and characterization of such a brash and interesting historical figure.

Any additional comments?

It wasn't long enough :). I want more. I really hope to see this materialize into a multi-book series with scrolls spanning everything from the Gracchi to the the rise of Augustus and beyond. Keep it up, very good stuff.

6 people found this helpful

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could not stop. best read/ listen

loved it and was not looking forward to end. highly recommend +++ don't miss it!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

felt too modern sometimes

I really love Roman military audiobooks. I have listened to so many of them. Many use modern military idioms to fill in for what we don't know about life in the Roman army. For my tastes this audiobook goes too far with that styling. Gaius Marius is transformed into a stereotypical Vietnam general and I often forgot that we were talking about Roman military matters rather than modern. This is heightened for me by the strong American accent utilized by the performer for some of the characters. I found that it really ruined the book for me. Some how the American twang is more difficult for me to suspend my disbelief around than the oft used British accents of the Simon Scarrow eagles series or I Claudius. I suggest a more neutral performance could improve this book immensely.

I loved the protagonist that was chosen and look forward to hearing more about the life of Sertorius in future instalments.

1 person found this helpful

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Bad reader

The story might have been okay, I couldn't get past the reader. He sounded like he was reading a children's story. I gave up after about an hour.

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Very interesting take on ancient Roman history

I enjoyed this novel take on Roman history. I am still trying to find out if the ideals attributed to the main character were truly Roman ideals or a romanticization (pardon the pun) of propaganda used to get young men to sign up to fight and die so the elites can prosper which every nation has used since the earliest civilizations began to war with each other and humans began to live in cities with ruling elites.

However, having the narrator use Southern accents for several of the Roman characters was really off putting and took away from the mood of the book. It was a distraction, not an added feature.

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Yeesh this book is ROUGH.

Skip this one. The prose is dry, dull and tedious. The author especially needs to reconsider how they write dialogue.

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Narrator Was Miscast

This book could have been much more enjoyable if the narrator's voice wasn't monotonous and if it did not sound as if he was a San Fernando Valley native. It was a distraction to the story such that I would pass upon any other book he has narrated. As for the story, it was only moderately interesting with little character development beyond the main two characters. Without giving away the ending, I was surprised when it arrived and felt like the author simply became tired and stopped writing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sm
  • 09-08-19

Great Story

I found this a really interesting story, and links with other books I've read from the period. Looking forward to start the next in the series. My only issue is that the book could be slightly longer.