BUY IT ON AMAZON OR ANY OTHER GOOD ONLINE STORE (ALSO AVAILABLE IN KINDLE FORMAT)
Marius’ Mules has been given excellent reviews. Readers say:
“an enjoyable and captivating tale”
“an exciting tale of the Roman army”
“I felt throughout it like I was there, two millennia ago in Gaul”
It is 58 BC and the mighty Tenth Legion, camped in Northern Italy , prepare for the arrival of the most notorious general in Roman history: Julius Caesar.
Marcus Falerius Fronto, commander of the Tenth is a career soldier and long-time companion of Caesar’s. Despite his desire for the simplicity of the military life, he cannot help but be drawn into intrigue and politics as Caesar engineers a motive to invade the lands of Gaul .
Fronto is about to discover that politics can be as dangerous as battle, that old enemies can be trusted more than new friends, and that standing close to such a shining figure as Caesar, even the most ethical of men risk being burned.
——- Excerpt from Marius’ Mules ——-
“Priscus raised his head to make out what was happening and saw one of the three remaining warriors, who had rescued shields from among the dead Romans, making straight for him in the press. It was always a dangerous situation; Centurions led from the front, and their high visibility made them an obvious target. The Centurionate bore a ridiculously high mortality rate, and Priscus was determined not to become just another statistic in the Legion’s paperwork. He eyed the wounded, blood-stained warrior who clutched a dagger in one hand, a large Roman shield in the other.
Reaching out, he gripped the shaft of a standard that one of his Signifers held.
“Give me that.”
The Signifer relinquished the tall, heavy and unwieldy standard reluctantly. It was an honour, though a dangerous one, to carry the standard.
Swinging the weighted pole above the heads of the men, he brought it down and angled it like a spear. Indeed, there was a spear head on the very tip, above the golden laurel wreath. Bracing himself, he pulled it back. The barbarian sneered and held the large shield over his torso, looking over the top in the manner of a Legionary, and picked up pace into a charge. The Legionaries held back. Though they could probably have tackled the barbarian, none of his men would dare dishonour the Primus Pilus like that. The barbarian pushed the shield out forward to ward off the spear head and laughed.
At the last minute, Priscus braced himself and dropped the point of the standard toward the ground. The spear point jammed deep into the lower leg of the barbarian, who stumbled and tripped, shredding his shin. As the point tore out of the side of his leg, his momentum carried him forward, pitching him into the air. He landed some yards from Priscus, and struggled to get to his feet. His right leg was useless but Priscus had to give him credit, as he managed to pull himself upright with his left, leaving the shield on the floor. He turned to face the Roman, snarling, and failed to see the swinging standard in the arms of the Primus Pilus in time. The heavy bronze and steel weight at the top of the standard smashed into the side of his head. Priscus hauled the thing upright and held it out for the Signifer to take. The man took one look at the blood-soaked spear tip and the bent and dented decoration.
“I hope you’re not going to try and take that out of my pay, sir.”