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Hero of Rome av Douglas Jackson
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Hero of Rome (utgåvan 2010)

av Douglas Jackson (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1095249,809 (3.63)5
The first in a major new Roman trilogy tells the story of Valerius Verrens as he faces up to 50,000 British warriors with only 3,000 defenders--and a last stand that will live on in history   The Roman grip on Britain is weakening. Emperor Nero has turned his face away from this far-flung outpost; the Druids are on the rise, spreading seeds of rebellion among the British tribes; and Roman cruelty and exploitation have angered their British subjects. The warrior queen Boudicca will lead the tribes to war. Standing against the rising tide of Boudicca's rebellion is Roman Tribune Gaius Valerius Verrens, Commander of the veteran legions at Colonia. Valerius leads the veterans in a last stand against the unstoppable horde of Boudicca's rebel army. Step by step, the bloodied survivors are forced back into the Temple of Claudius. It is here that Valerius wins lifelong fame and the accolade Hero of Rome.… (mer)
Medlem:karenpetch
Titel:Hero of Rome
Författare:Douglas Jackson (Författare)
Info:Transworld Digital (2010), Edition: UK ed., 482 pages
Samlingar:Read
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Hero of Rome av Douglas Jackson

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Gaius Valerius Verrens is serving in Britannia when the governor is pushing into Wales to break the power of the druids. He is sent on a mission to Camulodunum where he hears the king of the Iceni is dying and the tribesmen are getting restless under Roman bad treatment.

Although the great revolt under Boudicca is mainly told these days from the point of the view of the Celts, this was very much a Roman's eye view. I found the great romance between Valerius and Maeve unconvincing and in general the book only really took off well over half way through when the revolt started. The action scenes were suspenseful even though I knew what had to happen. I will read the next one in the series. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jul 14, 2020 |
Having been greatly disappointed in a Roman military group read [2013] for A&M, since this was my very next Roman novel, I approached this story with trepidation, not knowing what to expect. Enjoyable is too weak a word for this novel! At first I groaned when I read the name of Boudicca, but this was a different take on Boudicca's Revolt against the Romans in Roman Britain. The main story is not hers. Even so, I still think her story is overdone.

The protagonist is a young Tribune, Valerius, who leads the resistance of the veterans at Colonia against Boudicca, with their last standoff at Claudius's Temple. The writing was very good; most of the characters, both major and minor, were strongly-etched individuals. Crespo was a villain "you love to hate" and I'm glad he got his just desserts. I had sympathy for both sides in this conflict. I feel Valerius is a welcome addition to the plethora of Roman soldier-protagonists. In the final battle at the Temple of Claudius, Valerius shows himself to be not only a valiant soldier, but also a decisive leader. There were both Romans and Britons who gained my sympathy; I could understand why all thought as they did. I liked the fact that in the love affair, passion ignited slowly. Also, it was not graphic; I prefer using my imagination. I did smile indulgently at Valerius's schoolboy infatuation, though--and he initiated physical intimacy. Swearing was minimal. Some of the tactics were explained. Fighting and battles were well written. Valerius reminded me very much of Centurion Justin, the cohort-commander in one of my favorite books ever, [The Legions of the Mist: A Novel of Roman Britain]. That endeared Valerius to me; it did take awhile to warm up to him though. The scene in the aftermath of the battle at the Silurian hill fort was my first glimpse of humanity in the man. He revealed himself to be honest and decent, with a large streak of compassion, which he showed as the novel progressed.

This novel is worth rereading, and I hope to follow Valerius on any further adventures. ( )
  janerawoof | Nov 28, 2017 |
It's not often you meet a character in the first few pages of a book you just know you are going to like, care about and want to follow in all future books...which you decide you're going to have to be buying even though you're only 10 pages in to the first one.

'Hero of Rome's Gaius Valerius Verrens, Tribune of the XXth Legion, stationed in first century Britain, is one of those characters.

My paperback version of 'Hero of Rome', looks great, feels great, smells and probably even tastes great as well. It can't be underestimated, whether you realise it or not, how the physical 'presence' of a book can affect your perception of it, both before and during the reading. Many times, you can and should judge a book by its cover. With 'Hero of Rome', the good feeling of quality starts even before I read a word. Just holding the book, feeling and looking at the cover, I knew I was going to enjoy this one.

It is obvious Douglas Jackson has, as the inside cover puts it; 'turned a lifelong fascination for Rome and the Romans' into an elegant, engaging and almost effortless style of writing. Easily conveying the story, bringing out the different characters - Roman, Celtic, Briton - and making you care about their stories and their lives. I was so bound up in the story at one point that, even though I knew this is the first in a series of novels involving (at least some) of these characters, at one point during a battle, when I had no idea of the outcome, I said to myself (there was a handball game - I live in Denmark - on in the background); "ok, if he scores a goal in the next 2 minutes, the character survives". I really felt as though they needed the help of an external, 21st Century power. That, for me, is good writing. Couldn't guess where it was going, didn't want to - didn't dare take my eyes off it.

Gaius Valerians Verrens, is a Tribune in the Roman Army stationed in Britain. He is looking forward to going back to Rome and continuing his career in Law and Politics. He's not a reluctant hero in any way, possessed by self-doubts and all the other nonsense authors usually load onto their characters, thinking it gives them depth and, character. But Valerius does have perhaps a more 'mature' and well-rounded view of why he and his countrymen are in Britannia and there's a sense that he actually seems to care about how the Britons feel about the Romans. That and he's a bloody good soldier who doesn't mind 'cleaving someone to the breastbone' as my old hero Robert E. Howard used to put it.

The Britons and Celts can also be said to be looking forward to him - and all the other Romans - returning to Rome. Perhaps more so. Britannia has been under Roman occupation for a number of years now, but that doesn't mean that all the local population is happy with that. Romans are good for trade, whether you're Roman or Briton, as some realise, but others want them gone and the old ways back. The Druids as guardians of the old knowledge are roving the land spreading dissent and bringing the situation to a boil. Valerius begins the story by getting involved with the 22nd Legion in battles against the locals in the south west of Britain, just over the (modern) border in what is now Wales. However, while the Legions have plans to move north west and finish the troublesome Druids once and for all, Valerius is detailed to go east, to 'Colonia', north east of Londinium. Ostensibly a mission to reconnoitre and repair the roads, he finds the local Roman garrison have gone more than a little bit native and are looking a little past their best. Valerius is in for a surprise. In many ways. Especially when 'Rome', as in the Emperor back in Rome, decides that their investment in Britain isn't turning out to be such a good idea after all and the local people suddenly find that they are going to be made to pick up the bill. With interest. Turns out, the Romans have had their eyes on not so much the green and pleasant land, but the gold that they think lies under it. It has cost a lot of Sestertii to invade Britain and now the Romans have decided they want their investment back. The Britons are not in the slightest bit happy about this, as you can imagine. The new Roman ways have steamrollered over the ages-old Celtic beliefs and customs and so, egged on by the Druids, Boudicca becomes a violently eloquent spokeswoman for that unhappiness. While Valerius is buffeted about Britannia by his leaders and the natives, Douglas Jackson subtly builds up the undercurrent of tension and atmosphere that leads to a momentous final battle, with an effective, concise and controlled style.

So, 'Hero of Rome', pretty much has it all. There are goodies. There are baddies. There are baddies who might be goodies and other 'goodies' who are worth not turning your back on. In fact, Valerius finds out very quickly that not all his enemies are the ones outside, spreading dissent. But he also finds he has friends in the most unexpected of places - and at the most unexpected times. All this and the descriptions of Roman life, art and industry, the interaction between the Roman occupiers and their new British subjects and thoughts of both sides on the benefits or otherwise of the arrangement, are especially well done. Most thought provoking, if you ask me. I hate it when reviewers say things like 'an evocative recreation of Roman Britain'. I mean, how do they know? Unless they have a time machine we don't know about, they have no idea about how life really was back then, the - as XTC once so eloquently put it; 'smell, touch, taste.' We can make guesses and I suppose some guesses make more sense than others. And I'm far from being anywhere near an expert on Roman Britain. I just like reading books on the subject and dreaming a little. I like history and history from a long time ago precisely because of the uncertainty of how it really was back then. Because then there is room for me to dream and imagine how it was, using the author's work as a guide. Douglas Jackson is one of the best guides you could hope to come across.

The whole of 'Hero of Rome' has a nice flow to it. There's a confidence and an understated surety running through the whole of this involving story. A trust, it felt like. That Douglas Jackson knows his subject, has absorbed it and is writing a story in a very natural way, without pushing his knowledge and research up in your face. Make sense? I don't know, it's hard trying to grab and tie a nuance down, but that's kind of how it felt. It also felt satisfyingly plotted and logical in its development, the whole full and well rounded, but with masses of promise for the future story developments. You like Valerius and want to join his adventures again. Maybe it's because some of the central themes - most developed out to a conclusion, some not and some maybe for later enjoyment - are strong enough to carry us through a story no matter when it is set, that make it easy for a 21st Century me, relate to and understand fully the motivations of not just a 4th Century Valerius, but also the Britons, Druids, Boudicca - and all those caught in between.

This has been my first encounter with the Roman world of Douglas Jackson. And it won't be the last. 'Hero of Rome' is as good a piece of Historical Fiction as you're likely to come across. And the really good news, for me anyway; it's only the start of our adventures together. ( )
1 rösta Speesh | Mar 29, 2014 |
Great stuff. A young nobel noble goes out to help with the Roman colonisation of Britain, and gets caught up in a rebellion caused by greed and corruption. Lots of blood and gore ensues. The description of the battle scenes and strategy behind it all is good. The romance between the nobleman and a local girl a tad contrived. Bringing he back to Rome to meet the folks—really! Possibly a mistress in an insula somewhere, but no more. ( )
  Traveller1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
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The first in a major new Roman trilogy tells the story of Valerius Verrens as he faces up to 50,000 British warriors with only 3,000 defenders--and a last stand that will live on in history   The Roman grip on Britain is weakening. Emperor Nero has turned his face away from this far-flung outpost; the Druids are on the rise, spreading seeds of rebellion among the British tribes; and Roman cruelty and exploitation have angered their British subjects. The warrior queen Boudicca will lead the tribes to war. Standing against the rising tide of Boudicca's rebellion is Roman Tribune Gaius Valerius Verrens, Commander of the veteran legions at Colonia. Valerius leads the veterans in a last stand against the unstoppable horde of Boudicca's rebel army. Step by step, the bloodied survivors are forced back into the Temple of Claudius. It is here that Valerius wins lifelong fame and the accolade Hero of Rome.

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