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The Blood Road

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381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor's name will be written in blood... The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news 381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor's name will be written in blood... The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East! The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades... and tides of blood.


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381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor's name will be written in blood... The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news 381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor's name will be written in blood... The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East! The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades... and tides of blood.

30 review for The Blood Road

  1. 3 out of 5

    Kate Quinn

    I had a stack of ARCs waiting for my attention, but I kept sneaking back to "Legionary: Blood Road" every chance I could get: swashbuckling adventure, political intrigue, unexpected double-crosses, and an appealing, world-weary hero made this one a fast, fun romp through late Imperial Rome. Readers unfamiliar with the previous volumes in the series shouldn't be put off; this is an adventure that stands as square as its hobnail-booted hero who leaps off the first page with his swordplay, his quie I had a stack of ARCs waiting for my attention, but I kept sneaking back to "Legionary: Blood Road" every chance I could get: swashbuckling adventure, political intrigue, unexpected double-crosses, and an appealing, world-weary hero made this one a fast, fun romp through late Imperial Rome. Readers unfamiliar with the previous volumes in the series shouldn't be put off; this is an adventure that stands as square as its hobnail-booted hero who leaps off the first page with his swordplay, his quiet competence, and the bulls-eye he carries on his back from a vengeful emperor.

  2. 3 out of 5

    Cathy

    The Blood Road is the seventh book in the author’s Legionary series focussing on the exploits of Tribunus Pavo and his XI Claudia legion. I haven’t read any of the earlier books in the series but this certainly didn’t affect my enjoyment of The Blood Road – quite the contrary. The references to past events sprinkled throughout the book made me keen to catch up on the complete series at some point. [Sigh, wish-list increases by six…] The dramatic prologue of The Blood Road gives a fantastic sense The Blood Road is the seventh book in the author’s Legionary series focussing on the exploits of Tribunus Pavo and his XI Claudia legion. I haven’t read any of the earlier books in the series but this certainly didn’t affect my enjoyment of The Blood Road – quite the contrary. The references to past events sprinkled throughout the book made me keen to catch up on the complete series at some point. [Sigh, wish-list increases by six…] The dramatic prologue of The Blood Road gives a fantastic sense of the exciting story to come and sets the scene for the turbulent times in which the book is set. The Goths fear the Huns, the Romans of the Eastern Empire under Theodosius fear the Goths and the Romans of the Western Empire under Gratian fear both. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in which position relies on showing strength and ruthlessly cowing (or removing) all internal opposition – if possible, in the most excruciatingly violent way. However, all sides feature the competing forces of ‘hawks’, who advocate war and the total destruction of the enemy, and ‘doves’, who argue for overtures to be made for peace. Stuck right in the middle of all this mayhem is Pavo. He is haunted by strange, ominous, vision-like dreams depicting a path of terrible suffering – the ‘blood road’ of the title – that he must endure in order to achieve a higher objective. It transpires that achieving that objective will necessitate him leading his XI Claudia legion into danger such as they have never faced before and testing their loyalty to the limit. Okay, so our hero does seem to have extraordinary physical resilience, an amazing ability to escape from seemingly impossible situations and the luck of the devil when it comes to close calls and precarious (often literally) situations. But surely this is what you expect from a battle-hardened veteran of many arduous campaigns and bloody battles. And it makes for great fun wondering just how Pavo’s going to extricate himself from this one, and the next one, and the next one… Historical fiction fans of all varieties will find plenty to enjoy in The Blood Road. For those who like theirs enlivened by lots of action, the book features a host of skilfully described, exciting, heart-thumping and visceral battle scenes. Those who crave a good helping of historical detail along with a compelling story will enjoy the author’s obviously detailed research into Roman military structures, equipment and tactics. (Thanks to the helpful glossary, I now know my spatha from my pugio.) There are some great descriptions that bring to life the period and the atmosphere within the embattled cities of the Eastern Empire. ‘It was dog-hot, and the city streets writhed with bodies, pushing and jostling down the main way, converging from the hilly wards, spilling from alleys and finally congregating in a sweating, babbling swarm around the flagged concourse of the Hippodrome. Hawkers and hagglers cried to all and sundry, offering tiny, stale loaves baked with last week’s grain, pots of thin stew and vases of cheap wine.’ Finally, readers looking for colourful characters, especially of the ‘boo hiss’ variety, will have their wish granted. There’s Emperor Gratian, Pavo’s sworn enemy, who likes nothing better than thinking up cruel, and ideally prolonged, ways to put his enemies to death. And there are his sinister agents, of which I will say no more for fear of spoilers except to say – are you absolutely sure that shadow in the doorway is just a shadow? As Pavo confides, “I sense them everywhere: in my barracks, on every street corner, in every shadow.” Eager followers of the series will be delighted to know that the concluding chapter of The Blood Road sets up the possibility of further instalments. I received a review copy courtesy of the author in return from an honest and unbiased review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    3.5/5 rounded to 4. Pavo and the Claudia are in the last phase of the Gothic War. Pavo still is sought by Gratian, the Western Roman Emperor and his evil Spectatores. Fritigern, the Gothic leader, wishes peace, as does the Eastern Roman empire. Pavo, with prophetic nightmares pointing the way through a "blood road" and a spectral king, seeks to make this come about. Also, the Caesar, Valentinian gives him a token to prove his bona fides to the Goths. There are hair-raising escapes and gruesome-- 3.5/5 rounded to 4. Pavo and the Claudia are in the last phase of the Gothic War. Pavo still is sought by Gratian, the Western Roman Emperor and his evil Spectatores. Fritigern, the Gothic leader, wishes peace, as does the Eastern Roman empire. Pavo, with prophetic nightmares pointing the way through a "blood road" and a spectral king, seeks to make this come about. Also, the Caesar, Valentinian gives him a token to prove his bona fides to the Goths. There are hair-raising escapes and gruesome--too much so for my taste--fighting: Goth versus Roman. Pavo and the leader of the Spectatores face each other in a final swordfight reminiscent of that of Hamlet/Laertes. This episode seemed more like a "guys'" adventure than some of the others previous. Some of the rescues did seem a bit improbable and I wondered at when Pavo and company escaped once by leaping into a river, how were they able to light a fire and preserve food without everything becoming completely soaked and useless? In spite of any reservations, recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Baird

    Usually when I read a book I make a few key notes to help when writing the review. I just wasn’t able to with this book.. because I couldn’t put it down long enough to write even one word. The only way to describe this book is simply tremendous! It says something about the writer when they are able to keep a series going..and to keep it fresh and interesting.. It just never feels like the end for Pavo will ever come, even though I know one day this great series will draw to an end. That will be a Usually when I read a book I make a few key notes to help when writing the review. I just wasn’t able to with this book.. because I couldn’t put it down long enough to write even one word. The only way to describe this book is simply tremendous! It says something about the writer when they are able to keep a series going..and to keep it fresh and interesting.. It just never feels like the end for Pavo will ever come, even though I know one day this great series will draw to an end. That will be a sad day indeed! But for now at least we have a new book in the series! The Blood Road, book 7 in the series. The situation with the goths is turbulent to say the least but it’s time to draw an end to the war as the western and eastern armies clash with the goths with heavy losses felt on both sides. Emperor Gratian wants to be the saviour but just how much is he willing to sacrifice to ensure glory? I really enjoyed the warfare in the tale which was easy to immerse myself in and get lost. I’m no historian but I loved the detail of the places, weapons, clothes the author put into the tale. All of which make the story feel real as you can imagine it in your mind’s eye. Fans of a good battle will love this tale as there’s plenty of detailed battles, and when I say detailed I mean both factual and down right engrossing man vs man to the end type of fights when your heart pumps so hard your chest will burst. Caught in the middle of everything is Pavo who has made himself quite the enemy in Emperor Gratian and Pavo has to do his very best to stay out of harms way…in doing so he puts everyone he cares about in danger but the only way to stop things is to help end the war! but if you know the author then you’ll already know not everyone will come out of this unscathed. There’s twists as usual from the author that really do keep you hooked and that ending had me fuming! how could you leave us like that Mr Doherty! ha. Overall a smash hit of a book that continues to add to an already riveting series! Detailed enough to please fans who enjoy historical details but not so much as to alienate those who prefer the thrill of the plot and warfare. Gordon Doherty always has that knack of writing things exactly how I like it and long may it continue. Hats off to the author, simply wondrous.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Paul Bennett

    I have known the author for a few years now. Well, I know him in the online sense of the word, and have enjoyed reading his books so much that I even used his name for a character in a book I wrote (and killed him off in a very dramatic fashion) :-) . It is a somewhat sad fact that often when an author has written a series that spans this many volumes, the content loses some of it's vitality; it's level of excellence begins to dwindle. It pains me to say this because it may cause Mr. Doherty's h I have known the author for a few years now. Well, I know him in the online sense of the word, and have enjoyed reading his books so much that I even used his name for a character in a book I wrote (and killed him off in a very dramatic fashion) :-) . It is a somewhat sad fact that often when an author has written a series that spans this many volumes, the content loses some of it's vitality; it's level of excellence begins to dwindle. It pains me to say this because it may cause Mr. Doherty's head to swell to an uncomfortable size, but The Blood Road is in no way an example of lost vitality or excellence lost. In fact, I think this actually surpasses his other work, as hard as that it is to imagine. The Gothic War comes to a head as peace offerings are sabotaged and the XI Claudia is in the thick of the action. So too are Emperor Gratian's special hunter/killer squad of heavies. Gratian has a score to settle with our hero, Pavo, and will stop at nothing to have his revenge. The Blood Road, a mixture of political intrigue, war time maneuverings and battles, and legionary cohesiveness and loyalty, is a taut, thrilling ride taking the reader on unexpected treks and paths as Pavo and the  XI Claudia struggle to survive the Goths and the Romans who seek to destroy them.  A page turning delight awaits you, my peeps and fellow travelers, so sit back and enjoy a thrilling romp through the Thracian countryside. 5 stars

  6. 3 out of 5

    John Francis

    Awesome. Another long tough journey for Pavo, Sura and the Claudia. Hunted by the coward Gratian and his speculatores, Pavo and the Claudia must run and run. He is the one chance for peace between the eastern empire and the Goths of Fritigern. Gratian wants to rule the whole empire and humiliate Theodosius. Will Pavo and Sura overcome Vitalianus and Gratian? Will they get to Fritigern and bring about a true lasting peace? Will the Claudia survive the loss of Pavo? A hectic ride from start to fin Awesome. Another long tough journey for Pavo, Sura and the Claudia. Hunted by the coward Gratian and his speculatores, Pavo and the Claudia must run and run. He is the one chance for peace between the eastern empire and the Goths of Fritigern. Gratian wants to rule the whole empire and humiliate Theodosius. Will Pavo and Sura overcome Vitalianus and Gratian? Will they get to Fritigern and bring about a true lasting peace? Will the Claudia survive the loss of Pavo? A hectic ride from start to finish. Another great read from Gordon Doherty.

  7. 3 out of 5

    stephen roper

    Pavo Another brilliant story cannot get enough of these stories keeps on getting better all the time cannot wait for the next instalment

  8. 3 out of 5

    Hector Miller

    As always, I enjoyed the read. I like the characters, interesting descriptions and period setting. Initially moves a bit slow, but once things get going it's a page turner.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Moore

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steve Mistwalker

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pat Cunningham

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Moore

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Geary

  14. 3 out of 5

    george hermann

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark Kearney

  16. 4 out of 5

    james

  17. 3 out of 5

    Sarah W Saunders

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike Griffiths

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trey Tudor

  20. 3 out of 5

    eric john chearman

  21. 3 out of 5

    Mark Lewis

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mr Sean D Courtney

  23. 4 out of 5

    Edward Nield

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robert Fass

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Charlton

  26. 5 out of 5

    kenneth ball

  27. 3 out of 5

    Robert Orofino

  28. 4 out of 5

    g l gardner

  29. 5 out of 5

    Richard Shaw

  30. 3 out of 5

    nigel creaser

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