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Legionary: Viper of the North (Legionary 2)…
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Legionary: Viper of the North (Legionary 2)

by Gordon Doherty

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This was the author's take on the Gothic Volkswanderung [migration of people] into the Eastern Roman Empire late 4th century AD, debacle at Marcianople and the stalemate Battle of Ad Salices [The Willows]: all set within this Roman military action/adventure novel. It was enjoyable, light, fun reading and highly recommended.

The protagonist, Pavo, and his army buddies were engaging. The identity of the chief villain deceived me, as well as the XI Claudia legion. Characterization was good; each of the ensemble had a distinctive personality. I 'loved to hate' the villain and unpleasant people and hoped they'd all get their just desserts. I could catch glimpses of the author's Strategos series. [I have read and enjoyed the latter.] I don't mind blood and gore, but I felt the drawing and quartering was beyond the Pale. Some of the earlier skirmishes and battles I skim-read, feeling there would be a large-scale set piece battle as climax; there was: Ad Salices. Too many battles render me numb to the death and destruction.

I thought there were too many coincidences and implausibilities. Many incidents relied on the old deus ex machina trope, e.g., at Ad Salices, the Western Roman army arrived to help in the nick of time. It was amazing how quickly characters recovered from serious wounds! The novel could have used more proofreading; there were certain phrases the author used over and over; more use of a thesaurus might have been in order. I did not read the first novel in the series. Because the author gave enough of the backstory I felt I knew the gist of the previous action. Mr. Doherty is a very talented storyteller. I applaud him for delving into a different period of Roman history than the usual. His historical research was impeccable.

For a nonfiction treatment of this era, I enjoyed and recommend Day of the barbarians. ( )
  janerawoof | Mar 23, 2016 |
The Danubian frontier is weaker than ever, and a storm is gathering in the north . . .

Deep winter, 376 AD: Emperor Valens has withdrawn the field armies from Moesia and Thracia to fight in the Persian War. The impoverished limitanei legions left behind to defend the banks of the River Danubius are now all that stand between the war-hungry Goths and heart of the Eastern Roman Empire.

For Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia, the brief from Emperor Valens is simple: to avoid war with the Goths at all costs while the Roman defences are so weak. But in the frozen lands north of the Danubius a dark legend, thought long dead, has risen again. The name is on the lips of every warrior in Gutthiuda; the one who will unite the tribes, the one whose armies will march upon the empire, the one who will bathe in Roman blood . . .

The Viper!
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  Gordopolis | Oct 7, 2014 |
The Danubian frontier is weaker than ever, and a storm is gathering in the north . . .

Deep winter, 376 AD: Emperor Valens has withdrawn the field armies from Moesia and Thracia to fight in the Persian War. The impoverished limitanei legions left behind to defend the banks of the River Danubius are now all that stand between the war-hungry Goths and heart of the Eastern Roman Empire.

For Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia, the brief from Emperor Valens is simple: to avoid war with the Goths at all costs while the Roman defences are so weak. But in the frozen lands north of the Danubius a dark legend, thought long dead, has risen again. The name is on the lips of every warrior in Gutthiuda; the one who will unite the tribes, the one whose armies will march upon the empire, the one who will bathe in Roman blood . . .

The Viper!
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
1 vote | Gordopolis | Aug 16, 2012 |
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