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Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable 14th Legion

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    First of Many

    This book is beautiful. The words lift from the page directly into your ears and makes the history so easily understood that you might think that you were taken back in time to the Roman Empire. All of Stephen Dando Collins's books are written in the same format and describe different parts of the legions history. you could go to the Siege of Jerusalem or find out how Caesar brought Gaul to its knees. this book is wonderful and a must have in any persons collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2005

    Poor writing style

    The author is to be commended for bringing a great deal of information together. The premise of his book has great potential using the history of the Roman 14th legion to tell the story of Roman history in parallel. It is the author's writing style that is painful: 'Determined to teach the German tribes a lesson about the foolishness of messing with Rome...', 'While these two legions put their feet up, Caesar led the 7th, ...', 'Here was an opportunity for the youngsters of the 14th to give Caesar reason to consider them more than just a B-grade legion.', 'The 14th ... returned from the operation without a scratch, and with a king, a prince, and the wife of Rome's public enemy number one. Not a bad week's work.' The author is trying to make his book more 'broadly accessible' but he has dumbed it down too much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2005

    very good book

    I thought that the author told a historically accurate account of some of the greatest roman victories and defeats. His writing style is creative in the sense that it creates an interesting history of Rome. Once I started the book I must say that I looked forward to picking it up again. The story of Queen Boudicca is a story that is very relavent today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2005

    Cleverly structured and well-paced

    As someone whose knowledge of Roman military history is largely derived from Shakespeare and the Asterix comics, I can't claim to be the ideal reader about the story of Rome's 'remarkable' 14th Legion. It's a tribute to Stephen Dando-Collins' narrative powers that he won over such a battle-wary reader as myself. No doubt it helped that the fight at the heart of this story involved a woman wronged: the wild Queen Boudicca of Britain who, after her husband's death, was denied her rightful inheritance by the Roman governor of Britain Gaius Paulinus. After she was beaten and her daughters raped, she swore revenge and led an uprising against the Romans. Dando-Collins opens the book with the final battle where it looks like the 14th legion are about to be slaughtered. Leaving the reader hanging, he flashes back to critical moments in its chequered past. Cleverly structered and well-paced, Nero's Killing Machine is written with a filmic sense of the physicality of battle and the fine line between triumph and disaster. FIONA CAPP, Book reviewer, 'The Age', Melbourne, Australia

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2009

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