Sort order. The Story Continues! Although William is dead, his brother Robert is rising among the others, showing his abilities and sense of political aptitude at a time that requires leadership.
Now, with their allegiance to the. I was looking forward to the continuation of De Houteville brothers' story but it was not like I expected. This seemed to be more the set up for the final conquest of southern Italy by the Normans. This was more the political intrigue between Byzantium and the Lombards that set up what is to become their loss of control as they try and wrest military power from the Normans In telling this part of the story the book moves slow, talking is not as exciting as I was looking forward to the continuation of De Houteville brothers' story but it was not like I expected.
In telling this part of the story the book moves slow, talking is not as exciting as a calvary charge. Reading about the Norman mercenaries you get the sense for the military power they represented, but what they lacked was the mind for politics. They were brutes. We were introduced in the first book to the beginnings of the Norman desire to acheive more than being mercenaries, real power is land and titles.
Based on real historical events.
This book explained how that was acheived. I look forward to the next as they consolidate and expand their influence. Nov 15, Sonny rated it it was ok. I have read some of the naval histories this author has written under another name and enjoyed them so I thought I would give his Conquest trilogy a try. The first Conquest Mercenaries book was great. I gave it 4 stars and had great expectations about this book. As it turns out what you expect and what you get are two different things. I was a little disappointed in this book in that it concentrated too much on the political aspect of the time period.
It also had way too many characters crop u I have read some of the naval histories this author has written under another name and enjoyed them so I thought I would give his Conquest trilogy a try. It also had way too many characters crop up here and there which made keeping track of their comings and goings and doings rather confusing at times. That is why it took me 12 days to read it. Is it worth taking the time to read? Yes, as there are a few good battles and the story of the main characters does advance.
I will be reading the last book and I am expecting it to be as good as the first fingers crossed. Feb 07, Suzanne rated it it was ok Shelves: historical-fiction. I found this quite disappointing after Mercenaries , it was very hard to get into due to the long, long passages of dry narrative about convoluted politics and campaigning. There was very little engagement with the characters and their lives, to the extent that when view spoiler [William de Hauteville died hide spoiler ] I found it very hard to care.
Jan 27, Teddy rated it it was ok. A little dry for me. I like books that focus a little more on the people and even though I am through the second book in the series I feel like the people are incidental to the story instead of the main part of it. I'll go ahead and finish the third, just to wrap it up, but they aren't my favorite. Sep 26, Robert rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
Series: Republic Trilogy
To view it, click here. I really liked this trilogy. I read book 3 first and wished I had began with book 1, but in the end it was all good. I think he could add a few hundred pages per book and be fine. Things seemed to have been rushed at times such as William's demise. Clodius raises the child as his own but Clodius is a better soldier than a farmer so the struggling family must rely on hunting and fishing just to put food on the table.
In truth, Dabo has previously served in the legions but has found it much more profitable to stay home and buy up all the surrounding farms from other neighbors who have gone off to serve the Republic. Roman Slave Medallion photographed at the Terme di Dioclezione in Rome, Italy by Mary Harrsch With his adoptive father gone, Aquila spends his days in the surrounding hills hunting until one day he comes upon what appears to be an old shepherd.
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However, Aquila discovers the man is really a one-eyed Celtic warrior named Gadoric who was captured by the Romans and masquerades as a feeble cripple to avoid being sent to Sicily to work on the large latifundias farms owned by wealthy Roman senators there. The Celt is mystified by Aquila's tall, blonde appearance and feeling a kinship with the boy, teaches him to use a spear and a bow despite the fact that if the warrior, now a slave, should be found with weapons he could be crucified.
The Celt becomes a surrogate father to the youth and the two become inseparable. But one day Aquila finds the Celt has been discovered and watches tearfully as his friend is led away in shackels towards Sicily.
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More misfortune follows when his adoptive mother dies and he must go to live with the despised Piscius Dabo. The other protagonist whose story runs parallel to Aquila's is Marcellus Falerius, son of Lucius Falerius, one of the two main characters from Book 1 who has, as yet, escaped the fate prophesied by the Sybil when Lucius and his boyhood friend Aulus clandestinely sought out the Sybil as children.
Neither will achieve their aim. Look aloft if you dare, though what you fear cannot fly. Both will see it before you die.
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The old crone had scratched a drawing of an eagle in flight on a scrap of papyrus and tossed it to the two boys but as Lucius caught it, the image burst into flame, but not before searing the image into each boy's mind. Before the climactic battle of Thralaxas at the conclusion of Book 1, Clodius, serving as a legionary under the great Macedonicus, had scratched his adopted son's eagle talisman in the dirt where Aulus stumbled across it before his bloody death at the Thermopylae-like defeat. But Lucius is unaware that the first half of the prophecy has come to pass as he visits the tomb of his old friend at the beginning of Book 2.
Lucius Falerius grew up to become an ambitious politican and was the man who had ordered the murder of the tribune of the plebs a character based on Tiberius Gracchus because the man supported legislation to redistribute land to the poor. A monument to the Gracchi by Eugene Guillame, French, Photographed at the Musee d'Orsay by Mary Harrsch. Falerius viewed this legislation as a move that would destroy the Rome he knew, directed by the wealthy elite known as the Optimates.
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Although his ruthless act had caused quite a stir at the time, Falerius, claiming innocence, expertly manipulated the strings of power to overcome the opposition and become the first man in Rome. Now aging, he works desperately to pass on his knowledge of the political machine to his son, Marcellus.
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But Marcellus, actually the son of one of Falerius' barbarian slaves and Falerius' wife, unlike his "father", harbors an innate athletic ability that makes the martial arts come naturally to him. Although he learns the political lessons his father drills into him, he, as yet, is not the ruthless singleminded individual his father has become. And, he is beginning to chafe under his father's constant surveillance although he remains obedient to his father's commands.
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