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Publisher's Summary

AD 98. The bustling army base at Vindolanda lies on the northern frontier of Britannia and the entire Roman world. In just over 20 years' time, the Emperor Hadrian will build his famous wall. But for now, defences are weak as tribes rebel against Rome.

It falls to Flavius Ferox, Briton and Roman centurion, to keep the peace. But it will take more than just a soldier's courage to survive life in Roman Britain.

©2017 Adrian Goldsworthy (P)2017 W.F. Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KC
  • St. Petersburg, Florida
  • 02-07-18

Action, Adventure, Mystery

Enjoyed the story, which is complete with action, adventure, and mystery. Very compelling plot and I did not want to stop listening. The historical context was vivid and I felt like I was there. Recommended!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Historical Fiction written by an Historian!

What a concept. Fiction written by an actual scholar of the times. Probably as plausible a narrative of the times as any. It's worth a second read.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If only all historical novels were this accurate!

An impeccable historical novel by someone who coincidentally happens to be an authority in the field. Not academic at all though, quite dramatic and enjoyable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really, really good

As far as historical fiction goes this has to be one of the best works I’ve read (or listened to) apart from Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow. As someone who loves history the level of detail described in the historical notes at the end add a lot to the story. Look forward to seeing more fictional work from this author!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining and Informative

Goldsworthy has been a go to author when it comes to Ancient Rome in his non-fiction writings, and now his historical fiction too. This fast past novel drips with pathos, and you feel like you are getting enlightened on how Romano-Britain functioned.

#AncientRome #historicalfiction #AncientBritain #Tagsgiving

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Much like Bernard Cornwell in style

I really enjoyed this and already bought the 2nd in the series (only two so far) on kindle -- 2nd not out in audio at the time of this writing. It's very much like Cornwell's books (The Last Kingdom series, Sharpe's Rifles, etc). The author has written many histories of the Roman era and so his fiction is very authentic. Five stars for those who like rugged historical fiction.
Note I gave only 3 stars for performance. The narrator would not maintain volume when he was in the various characters, and sometimes basically whispered when a character whispered. Sometimes he would trail off the end of sentences, for effect. The problem is that I had to turn up the volume, then BAM he's at full volume again, I turn down, he goes soft, I turn up, then BAM. I am not sure if this is narrator or the sound engineer not compensating but I don't normally have to do continually adjust my volume like this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Yeah I loved it

So I am new to this portion of Roman History. Or I should say fictional history. Many of the terms used in the beginning were very foreign to me but as the story progressed and I did some side investigation I came to understand. The story and the narration are amazing. First with the story, it drew me in and established the characters, without leaving me in the dust. The narration, voices and accents brought it to life... Side note I’m pretty sure one or two sounded like Sean Connery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ray Carpenter
  • 01-31-18

First class novel...

Excellent characters and story line.. would recommend this book to anyone who loves history and the Roman period...

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Curator
  • 02-09-18

At last a proper roman novel

Adrian Goldsworthy is not someone who would write drivel about roman Britain so I thought I’d be in safe hands. To find the spark for the novel was the party invite from the Vindolanda tablets made me way more excited than it probably should but it worked so well. Peter Noble is to be praised for not mangling the Latin terms as so many narrators do. All those blokes churning out Roman military boys own stories should be force fed this book to see how it’s done.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-13-18

Fantastic!

Absolutely gripping throughout, and narrated well. Very historically accurate and informative, tells the story with great attention to detail.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Gordon Downie
  • 09-04-18

Vindolanda

Loved this book from start to finish. It is obvious that the author has a wide knowledge of the Roman army and it’s activities in northern Britain at this time. I must also give high praise to the reader who brought the times and the characters to life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roy
  • 09-18-18

Excellent Story

An excellent "tale" well told. Will look forward to the next nivel in the series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • jjm
  • 09-11-18

great dramatisation and attention to detail

fast paced and intricate in detail. the author has seriously done his homework, great read.

2 of 2 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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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 08-15-18

impeccable research

loving historical fiction as I do, the best books are by academics giving the reader an insight into the era, and Adrian Goldsworthy is premiere of these. there is of course a great story evolved around this research with characters good and bad on both sides with plenty of intrigue and descriptive battles, all of which I thourghly enjoyed. I can only hope audible release more of his work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie grice
  • 06-11-18

must read

this book!

captured my attention from page 1 and never stopped. historical correctness makes this book come alive giving you the ideal platform next to the charactors, making you live ever heart stopping moment. cant wait to start book 2 in this Ferox series! Thank you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Plamen
  • 01-08-19

Good book! Worth it!

I was a fan of Goldsworthy's work in the are of history, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that he wrote some historicak novels as well. I mean, who better to do it? And he provided with flying colours. Great story, he has a talent for writing novels. The narrator was perfect! Great start of a saga, if one is to come. Only it's a shame that Audible.co.uk doesn't have more of his history books... Work on it Audible!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • swheelie
  • 12-30-18

disappointingly unsophisticated yarn

I was expecting something more than the typical blood, sex and guts that often comes with this territory, given the academic prowess of the author. I'm sure there was lots of historical accuracy where this was possible, but the story itself was pretty unimaginative and the plot twists were signposted like Picadilly Circus. Standard issue characters with little depth or nuance, particularly the few female ones. Given the title and academic background of the author, I was hoping for something more insightful and thoughtful, but alas this was not the case.

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  • Aiden Hamilton
  • 07-20-18

Bad pick.

Most books I can find a way to enjoy.. but not this one! Tried a number of times but it just doesn't work for me

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 12-27-17

Very good, but confusing in parts

While an excellent Roman historical novel it lacks the historical background about the early parts of Emperor Trajan's reign; this only becomes evident in the last chapter. Goldsworthy is an excellent historian, but needs some polishing as a historical novelist. The reader can come confused with the number of characters, especially on the Roman side. He could learn from Scarrow and Kane in putting together a novel.