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Marius' Mules VI: Caesar's Vow,…
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Marius' Mules VI: Caesar's Vow, Vol. 6 (Volume 6)

by S.J.A. Turney

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171892,724 (4.43)1
It is the eve of destruction.Gaul seethes and bucks more than ever in revolt against the Roman invader, with even Caesar's allies beginning to question their loyalty. A conspiracy of Druids and Kings move the pieces into position in their great game of independence, all led by the powerful Arverni exile Vercingetorix. The lands of the Belgae burn in the vengeful aftermath of a winter that saw countless Romans butchered by the rebel Eburone King: Ambiorix.As Rome similarly begins to show its cracks and the triumvirate of powerful men that have held together the crumbling Republic move ever further apart, so Fronto returns to the army, once more seeking his command under the great general.But Caesar has made a vow to men and Gods alike to end the life of Ambiorix, and naught will stand in the way of that vow's completion - not Gaul, nor Roman, nor reason itself. As the world climbs towards the impending cataclysm, Fronto finds himself thrust with a small group of companions into the gloomy and dangerous sacred forest of his enemy in a hunt for the one man who can halt the general's wrath and fulfill Caesar's vow.… (more)

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Although I enjoyed this book, it was terribly unsettling; I finished it yesterday but am still trembling and angry at Caesar for how he sought to fulfill his so-called vow. Perhaps it should be termed "Caesar's Mad Obsession" instead. Very seldom has a book affected me so strongly; once or twice before I've identified with certain sympathetic characters. This Caesar and several other characters both old and new are absolutely odious, even the protagonist's patronizing wife. For his genocidal policy and unmitigated razing of settlements and firing of crops and animals, I could have very easily taken a pilum to Caesar and others who buy into his brutality with no opposition. Several times I felt like throwing the book across the room. I'm glad the protagonist is decent; he and his commando-like group are willing to put themselves into danger and to seek the villain alone; he hopes to end the unnecessary violence against whole peoples. They face treachery among one of their own. I feel the author has thrown us some red herrings as to the traitor's identity; they serve to keep us guessing.

The author must be doing something right to get such an extreme reaction from me. His books are improving with each one. His filling in the gaps in the history seemed absolutely plausible to me. I will be eager to see how he treats the final confrontation in Book 7. ( )
  janerawoof | May 21, 2014 |
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