Read The Invasion of Gaul by S.J.A. Turney Online


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 asIt 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....

Title : The Invasion of Gaul
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781484136805
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 466 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Invasion of Gaul Reviews

  • Andy
    2019-05-26 17:32

    Pg 275 & we're outta here, will write more on the why's at some stage. Originally this was heading towards potentially a three as its quite a promising start with all the prominent characters coming to the fore in the defence & battle around Geneva in the opening chapters, good fast start, ok dialogue & the makings of a fine Roman based series to follow, one with a little more depth to it than the adventures of Macro & Cato of Scarrow fame is what I was hoping for...... what a jolly wheeze wot ho Topper!So why we quite at pg 275, normally I’d tough it out having got through the first century? Well I jus couldn’t take the puerile banter between the Legates & their centurions anymore; I found it unrealistic to the extreme & relentless, with the same scenarios being played out over & over.....The formulae goes – Romans battle against overwhelming odds & despite poor tactics (alleged by Fronto) by Caesar come out victorious – Legate Fronto (of the Xth Legion) attends staff debrief & tells Caesar “how it is” in private – Legates (legion commanders) go down the rub-a-dub-dub & get lashed – Fronto comes up with another strategy before a battle.... oh no what madcap lunatic scheme have you got planned chorus the Centurions – Romans battle...... repeat over & over...... Cor what a caper!The story just never gets going (actually there is none), the characters don’t get past the initial introduction, the dialogue just grinds (for me) & comes across as puerile more befitting of a classic Ealing comedy form the 1950’s for teenage lads. The battle scenes bar the opening defence of Geneva are actually quite difficult to picture, the grand stratagems with Caesar are ok tbh for Roman militarists out there but I wanted more overall to carry on reading. Despite the opening lines of each paragraph detailing a few Roman/Latin words/nuances of the time, I didn’t feel immersed in the period, the historical fiction detail was lacking for me & paragraphs were wasted with aimless chit-chat (& me I love dialogue!).I could go on BUT..... lets jus say I really couldn’t get to grips with the style & most importantly the dialogue. It has echoes of being a family friendly version of Scarrow’s Macro & Cato if anybody is looking for a comparison. Know what I mean nudge nudge wink wink!NOTE to self : For future read up on the life experience of untried authors to see how compatible they may be to my ways of thinking & attitude & humour!

  • Jane
    2019-06-16 13:47

    Highly recommended for one reading, but mediocre [2**] upon rereading. I only read partway through the second time then finally donated the volumes I had in the series to the library. Someone else will enjoy them I'm sure. The whole series may be more to others' tastes. My original review:I had put off reading this one because of Caesar as a character; I can't stand the man: unashamed self-promotion in his writings [I had to suffer through his [book:Caesaris Commentarii de Bello Gallico|20053972] in high school Latin]; his undenied ambition; deviousness; and cruelty. I'm glad a large part of the novel is the main characters' questioning among themselves some of his actions or non-actions, motives, and arrogance. They never forget Caesar is still their general; these men are professionals and no one is insubordinate. They come together in friendship--no cabal there. None of these soldiers is a Cassius or a Brutus. I'm glad I read the novel. It's basically the author's concept of the Battles of Bebracte and Vesontio: Romans defeating the Helvetii, then Germans.I felt the story followed a certain pattern: first, briefing or tactics staff meeting; then skirmish, battle, or diplomatic mission; followed by down-time for Fronto and his friends, other high-ranking Roman officers. A lot of wine is quaffed during down-time and staff meetings, well-watered, I'd hope. Then the cycle would begin again. Fronto, the atypical legate, and his friends were all engaging. I liked the humor in the novel; these men were human, not all super-serious. I skimmed the first part of the novel again, but I saw no physical description of Fronto, which I would have liked, to visualize him better. No age was given, but later in the series he was described as 40, which sounds logical for his attaining rank of legate. Also, any personal details consisted of scattered sentences here and there in the novel. I was very pleased the author did not think of shoehorning love interest for Fronto here; it would have been out of place. Battles and skirmishes were vividly described. They did become a bit redundant for me, however. I do not mind gruesomeness, but one conflict practically on the heels of the other...? I liked that the swearing was mild or confined to brief general descriptive phrases. I liked also women and brothels were barely mentioned. The phrase "wine, women, and song" did give me a bit of a start. There were other anachronistic terms; among them one 'OK' I can remember. "Belay" I believe is a nautical term. I definitely will read the others in the series, but I'd like some time to get 'de-battled'. Also, I'll just try to ignore Caesar as much as possible.

  • Prue
    2019-06-06 17:37

    This title has been published under the auspices of the phenomenally successful YouWriteOn POD publishing programme in the UK. Ostensibly it is allowing new and untried writers to break into the market place in an otherwise notoriously difficult industry into which an author must battle his way. I read this book with interest as I have been a failed student of ancient civilisations. This re-kindled my interest and I found that Turney had meticulously researched his background. I was also wary of a book with a solely male character list, but these men are spectacular . . . in their bravery, their intellectual and problem solving acumen, their humour and their sheer doggedness. It was easy to form attachments from the start.The dialogue is easy to understand, wonderfully undersold and unpretentious and the narrative itself smooth and with enough pace to allow one to absorb the Roman detail. The battle scenes are highly visual, shattering and panoramic without being overdone.I do recommend this to anyone with a bent towards hist.fict and in particular anyone who enjoys stories of the Roman era.

  • Gordon Doherty
    2019-05-27 15:51

    Marius' Mules is simply a cracking read.The main characters are warm and instantly likeable and the camaraderie between Rome's finest is spot on. Even the not-so-good guys are well woven: take Caesar, who comes across as intriguing and devious - just what is he up to? This one of many compelling reasons to keep turning the pages. The battle and fight scenes show a rich imagination and you can feel the action going on around you through vivid and gory description, some of which still make me shudder.At the start of each chapter, the author issues bite-sized chunks of learning in the shape of a mini-encyclopaedia of the one or two new Latin words he uses in that chapter. I found this very helpful and unobtrusive.All in this is a non-stop rollicking read. Indeed, after reading the last page, I felt like a veteran legionary!

  • Keith Nixon
    2019-06-04 17:25

    Julius Caesar is a man whose ambition knows no bounds and Marcus Falerius Fronto, commander of the 10th Legion, career soldier and companion of the general for ten years, knows it all too well. Caesar has assembled an army in northern Italy, his target Gaul, a country Rome has been at peace with for years. But Caesar’s desire for greatness and revenge drives him to engineer a war with the Celtic tribes that inhabit the region, no matter what it costs his men.The Marius series has been on my radar for a while and, on the strength of this novel, so will the rest of the collection be.Before going on I have a confession – I like novels set in the Roman period and I write them too, so it takes quite a lot to impress me. So what sets this novel apart? After all, there have been masses of books written about Caesar.Well first is Caesar, whilst being central, he isn’t. Yes, he’s the hub around which the main characters (e.g. Fronto) revolve. He is an incredibly well known historical figure at the end of the day, but Turney doesn’t allow him to dominate. In fact it is the other figures that really drive the action along. Caesar provides the events, Fronto and his colleagues provide the detail, the activity, the personal touch.Another aspect I appreciated was that often it was Caesar’s generals that made quite significant tactical decisions (and mistakes) that determined whether a battle was a success or a failure. In other words the great man wasn’t the omnipotent being portrayed in other stories.Third, and critically, Turney has spent a significant amount of time on research. The battle scenes are very, very well drawn – they are compelling, believable and feel accurate. Caesar himself is portrayed as self-serving and brutal. Fronto, although admiring the man, does not trust him. So there are other human elements at play here beyond the simple aspect of ‘go and kill the enemy’. For example at the beginning of each chapter are two or three Latin words or phrases with an explanation as to what they mean, usually related to subsequent events. It adds colour to the narrative without long, drawn out and distracting explanations.In summary this is an intelligent, well researched historical fiction novel that stands head and shoulders above the run of the mill tales of this type. Anyone with an enjoyment of this period should look at Marius’ Mules.Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog. May have received free review copy.

  • Liviu
    2019-06-12 13:46

    Very good debut abut a Roman career officer who attaches himself to the star of Julius Caesar in Spain and later in Gaul; despite misgivings, Caius Valeirus Fronto becomes Caesar's main fighting legate against the Helvetians and and later AriovistusLots of typos, anachronisms and some careless editing mar the book and it truly could have done with better editing but I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it to anyone looking for a historical fiction novel about Caesar conquest of Gaul; less blood and guts than Interregnum, more of an adventure novel and I hope we will see Fronto, Balbus and the rest soon again to take on the Belage and later Vercingetorix and the might of rebellious Gaul

  • mixal
    2019-05-28 19:40

    This was a very pleasant surprise. The beginning of the book was a bit hard to get into, but then it picked up, and wow... I have to say that I haven't read better battle scenes and development of characters under these conditions in a while. I am not sure how Turney does it, but somehow he can encompass the whole battlefield without using the old "surviving character is summarizing the battle" method. He also obviously gave a great thought to infantry and cavalry tactics. There is hardly any author of Roman HF genre that couldn't learn a thing or two from this book. The characters are sometimes unpredictable, sometimes funny, but they always have some reasonable depth. Also, Caesar is not pictured as the infallible commander, but rather as someone who sometimes takes too large risks that have to be saved by his officers. Overall, a must read for fans of this genre.

  • John Devlin
    2019-05-26 11:32

    The author does a fine job investing Roman battles with grit and intensity, and I can't argue with his scholarship. Where the book falters is in the characterizations: the legates, the decurions, and the primus plus' tend to blend together - and the characters spend a lot of time drinking at bars. There's just not a lot of plot.I think the book would've worked better with fewer characters better realized. Even with my qualifications,if you like Roman history the novel's a bargain at 2.99 and the 8 book series offers the possibility that the characters get more compelling as the story continues.

  • Deborah Pickstone
    2019-05-21 14:45

    4.5 starsWell. This is excellent and would have had 5 stars but was a bit short on an actual plot! Simon Turney is, in my opinion, absolutely the best writer of warfare I have read. His characterisation is very good. Reading the author's note at the end, I have to say he achieved what he set out to do and I am confident that his writing skills will have grown in subsequent books, hopefully with a bit more plot. No matter, he's a wonderful writer and I was impressed by his grasp of his chosen era. He also has a nice, dry sense of humour.My only real gripe was the typesetting was awful and that posed a distraction, making it harder to read - and it is a book that needs concentration.

  • Hockles
    2019-06-09 11:36

    Wanted to like it but really didn't. I love the period and it was really a disappointment, felt it was light on story and historical context. Vocab didn't feel it fitted the period "Permission to speak plainly" - pardon?

  • Dean
    2019-05-17 12:53

    Wow!!! Probably the best book I have read regarding Caesar's conquest and the roman legions. You get a good feel of every day life in the legions..Look forward to reading this series. Highly recommend this book and the series to anyone who loves to read about Caesar, Ancient Rome and Ancient Battles.

  • Beavis
    2019-05-21 16:42


  • Alan
    2019-06-08 15:41

    Did not finish the book. Characters were not believable.

  • Antonio
    2019-05-19 17:27


  • Chris Serafin
    2019-06-12 17:28

    Fun series to read.

  • David Baird
    2019-06-13 12:38

    Review to follow

  • Tom
    2019-05-17 17:45

    "Historical Fiction" is a broad category, and this is a worthy contribution. It is Fiction placed in a historical context. As a HUGE FAN of McCulloughs First Man in Rome, it is somewhat difficult to read lesser versions of the genre... but in the Pulp Novel version of the same, this is pretty darn good. Great battle scenes, fun and relateable characters, page-turning plots... maybe I should rate this higher except that... well, I don't know. Maybe I just LIKE Colleen's version of JC better than Turney's version.I was thinking these novels would be about Gaius Marius, not having read the blurb closely. But really, we are talking about Caesar's Mules, rather than Marius's, and the latter conquering of the three parts of Gaul by JC, over several years, each book in the series covering one campaigning season. I think it captures the feel of these campaigns fairly well, and the Chaos of Battle is presented pretty well.The main character is Legate Fronto rather than JC himself, and he is a lovable commander for sure. The novel follows the historical record (mostly from JC's books) reasonably closely, though Turney makes a point of denying JC ANY credit, instead giving it to Fronto or Tertulus, or someone else. Could be true, but he does seem to press the point rather farther than makes sense.As a Roman era fanatic, it is also a bit odd to see modern words applied to the Roman world. Colleen is meticulous about using the appropriate latin word, but Turney is more-accessible = less strict. While fanatics like me might find this off-putting, I understand that a modern vocabulary is probably a LOT easier than acquiring the latin terms and staying within the bounds of that vocabulary, for the 'average reader'.Overall, these novels are good reads and I enjoy them. But the Colleen novels are divine, so... if you have not read them, I highly recommend spending your time on them first, then these, if you what to spend some more time in the classical world, and read the pulp fiction version of the same events, different viewpoint, different characterizations, and really, a different objective.

  • Ian Langham
    2019-06-14 13:46

    Having finally finished this at 4am I am both glad I finished it and sad that I took so long with it.While there are many other books that are centered around the hard bitten noble centurion. This is the first (of a series) that I have found that focuses on the higher ranks, Legates, Tribunes and Caesar himself. At first I was a bit wary that this might be yet another volume in the adventures of Caesar, that have appeared over the years. Happily this is not the case and JC appears upon occasion to give orders or discipline the hero(s). Legate Fronto and a few others. The central character is a professional soldier rather than than political one as such he is more competent than some of the others around him. Even if he does like a drink or three. Other good points are the way Caesar when he appears is portrayed as a bit of a warmonger intent on conquest. Also rather than the all knowing general he history as painted him. He will listen to his staff officers, in particular the heroic Fronto. The story as it covers the invasion of Gaul (France and other bits) only up to the defeat of Ariovistus so there is much more to come. So more fights to be won, drinks to be drunk, centurions to shout at and generals to advise. Life is never simple for a Legate in the Legions.Only thing I did not like was the (spoiler) scene is where Fronto engages in single combat with a captive. Yes it was necessary for the story but in reality would a Legate stoop to such a level? I think not (if wrong I apologize to the writer).

  • Masen Production
    2019-06-04 15:43

    Rated 0 stars“Caesar's Gaul campaign is a well known fact and much has been written of the same in the past. It was a campaign that was to further his career so that he could do something that was considered impossible by the elitist's of Rome. With the backing of the other two (Pompey & Crassus) of the triumvirate he embarks on a annexation on a flimsy excuse. The genocide of the Helvitte tribe is well know, thou this book is about the inner camp story of the senior staff attached to Caesar. The commander of the 10th Legion (Caesar's preferred and favorite legion) Fronto is the main character of the plot. The fact and fiction are very well intertwined to make it into a very fantastic read till the last page. Mr. Turney all your books are welcome buy's henceforth thou one complaint "It was lacking for proper proof reading". A superb book and a must read. ”Ashim S wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | edit | permalink )

  • Robin Carter
    2019-05-29 13:46

    When I was asked to look up this title I have to say I was unsure!Its not main stream publication, its got little or not marketing behind it...etc. etc...But im a sucker for a roman historical fiction book, and the tag line:"It is perhaps time we looked at Caesar more as a scheming warmonger than a heroic warrior."This appealed to me, ole JC gets his behind kissed a bit too much so it would be good to see him portrayed a little differently.This is the up to date more edited version, an advantage over the big publishing houses, the author has the ability to go back do those corrections and updates and edits and then resubmit them for the next print run very easily. especially for the kindle versions of this book.This is a great title, with a great bunch of characters, set in a pivotal period of history. really is a winner on so many levels, don't miss it!(Parm)

  • A.J. Armitt
    2019-06-06 12:25

    This story is a well paced, page-turner, charting Julius Caesar's invasion of Gaul. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction from the likes of Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden and David Gemmell, then this really is a book for you! With great characterisation, bloody battle scenes and political wranglings, the author tells a very different story of one of Rome's greatest Generals; revealing him to be a power-hungry politician rather than a hero of his people. Written from the POV of the men under his leadership, you get a believable depiction of not only the man, but those under his command. As an avid reader, I would have to say that this has been one of my favourite books this year. A bloody triumph!

  • Mikeslinky
    2019-05-25 19:46

    This a great book that I came across by chance trying to replace stories about Simon Scarrow's Macro and Cato. This is a fast paced story about our hero Fronto and his path to glory in Gaul supporting Caesar's invasion. Very much the career soldier, Fronto is straight forward and not afraid to speak his mind. The book has a number of twists and sub-plots, which keep you reading to find out what Fronto and the quite devious Caesar are up to next. Turney seems to have done his research and even offers tidbits of education for good measure. I loved the battle scenes especially the ways in which Fronto always seems to come up with a plan to win! Now reading the rest of the series.

  • Andy Millen
    2019-06-01 17:26

    The First in the Marius' Mules Series, set in Ceasar's Invasion of Gaul. My gods, this is a belter of a series. I have read up to book three currently, and I am hooked. Brilliantly told, the characters are truly great, and the mix of serious action full on warefare, Drunkenness and politics combines to tell a smashing tale. Indeed, in MArcus FRonto, Simon has created a main character that you could imagine being in a bar getting absolutely pissed with, never mind likeable and believable.

  • Pete
    2019-05-21 16:27

    Excellent read.Once get to know the characters you'll find the book grabs you and you find it hard to put it down, and when you finish, you want carry on the story (which I am with the next in the series) .The way it's written you can picture the scenes,battles and people themselves,and the humour to me was really good it made the characters real.If you like roman historical fiction you'll enjoy this book.

  • Steven McKay
    2019-06-09 17:53

    Considering this is the author's first novel, I enjoyed it immensely. The writing style is highly entertaining and carries the story along nicely.I did think the senior officers spent too much time drinking or occasionally acting a little slapstick, but overall the story flows along nicely and is a pleasure to read.If you enjoy your Roman war fiction, you should have fun with this - I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.

  • Amarpal Sidhu
    2019-06-07 13:42

    Very well written. Must admit never tried Roman fiction before but really enjoyed it. Turney has great descriptive ability - makes you feel like you there as a fly on the wall. All this is backed up by great research and knowledge into the period so the illusion isn't spoiled and you stay comfortably in the Roman 'time warp'. Since this was his first effort I have absolutely no doubt the sequels are better.

  • Joe Corso
    2019-05-17 12:37

    The first book in his trilogy of ancient Rome and it's great. I love books on ancient Rome and if you're like me then go for it. But be warned you can't just read the first book without wanting to read the other two books. I finished the first two and I'm deep into the third. Great reading. Great writing. I recommend these books highly.

  • Simon Marriott
    2019-05-31 11:33

    Immersive read. The device of introducing two new Latin words a chapter means you quickly get immersed in the world of the roman army. The characters are a little 2d but I liked the fact that the plot wasn't too 'hammy'. It's a pretty straight story of soldiers on campaign

  • Ralph Halse
    2019-06-05 12:43

    Whether you enjoy fiction or historical fiction, this is presented in an entertaining manner that offers intrigue, an insight into ancient thinking, technologies, life style and warfare. All in all, a great read!

  • Dan
    2019-05-19 14:36

    Very enjoyable - will definitely want to read the rest of this series. Great Battle descriptions giving a flavour of how the roman army operated, good interesting characters, straight-forward and easy to read.