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The Fort

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From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on Rome's Danubian frontier. AD 105: DACIA The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home. From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on Rome's Danubian frontier. AD 105: DACIA The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home. Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then there is Hadrian, the emperor's cousin, and a man with plans of his own. "An instant classic of the genre." HARRY SIDEBOTTOM "An authentic, enjoyable read." THE TIMES


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From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on Rome's Danubian frontier. AD 105: DACIA The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home. From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on Rome's Danubian frontier. AD 105: DACIA The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home. Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then there is Hadrian, the emperor's cousin, and a man with plans of his own. "An instant classic of the genre." HARRY SIDEBOTTOM "An authentic, enjoyable read." THE TIMES

30 review for The Fort

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    4.5 stars Flavius Ferox is in trouble. If you've met him before (in Goldsworthy's Vindolanda series), you'll know that Ferox is always in trouble. In fact, he's such a magnet for shitty situations, that were I somehow to be transported back to this period, I'd sure as hell make sure I remained in whatever part of the Roman Empire that was the furthest distance from wherever he is. Not only is this book no exception from the Ferox danger rule, it's the bloodiest exemplar of it to date. It is BRUT 4.5 stars Flavius Ferox is in trouble. If you've met him before (in Goldsworthy's Vindolanda series), you'll know that Ferox is always in trouble. In fact, he's such a magnet for shitty situations, that were I somehow to be transported back to this period, I'd sure as hell make sure I remained in whatever part of the Roman Empire that was the furthest distance from wherever he is. Not only is this book no exception from the Ferox danger rule, it's the bloodiest exemplar of it to date. It is BRUTAL. Focusing the action on an isolated fort in a contested region of Dacia gives the book a close, claustrophobic feel. There's no escape from here. The Fort must be held. It's a stressful situation even before you find out that he's trapped inside with a number of people who want him dead with a greater intensity than those on the outside. See what I mean about him? The build up to action is initially slow... and then doesn't stop until the walls are painted in blood and most people are dead. THEN it finishes with a boot to the face. To say that Goldsworthy has upped him game with this is to undersell it. The action goes harder, the dialogue is funnier, the political machinations are more dangerous. Everything is so much more precarious. It's all on the line here and you can feel it. There's no telling how bad it's going to get, but I can't wait to find out. What I do know is that whatever happens in the future, Ferox will be in trouble. Omnes ad stercus.... ARC via Netgalley

  2. 5 out of 5

    William Gwynne

    To hear a short pitch of The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy himself, where he talks about previous releases and about the premise of this new release, you can click on a link here - The Brothers Gwynne To hear a short pitch of The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy himself, where he talks about previous releases and about the premise of this new release, you can click on a link here - The Brothers Gwynne

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Hadrian to Ferox: "You are a hard man to kill, and you have the knack of winning against the odds." Although The Fort is the first in a new series, it features Flavius Ferox as well as some of the other characters from the Vindolanda series. For example, Ferox’s friend Vindex and some of Ferox’s household staff. It appears to follow on directly from events in the final book in the Vindolanda trilogy, Brigantia. However, for the benefit of readers (like me) who haven’t read Brigantia, or indeed th Hadrian to Ferox: "You are a hard man to kill, and you have the knack of winning against the odds." Although The Fort is the first in a new series, it features Flavius Ferox as well as some of the other characters from the Vindolanda series. For example, Ferox’s friend Vindex and some of Ferox’s household staff. It appears to follow on directly from events in the final book in the Vindolanda trilogy, Brigantia. However, for the benefit of readers (like me) who haven’t read Brigantia, or indeed those who haven’t read any of the Vindolanda trilogy, the author provides subtle details about key events and characters from the earlier books. Ferox’s current posting is to a remote fort on the border with Dacia (part of what is now Romania) during a period of uneasy and, in all likelihood, short-lived peace between that nation and the Roman Empire. He’s accompanied by a force of fierce Brigantes (Celtic Britons from the north of England) some of whom have vowed to kill him in revenge for an act of that they view as murder. Like Ferox, the reader may wonder just why ‘this ragbag of rebels, bandits, deserters and rival tribesman’ has been sent to Piroboridava. In fact, as Ferox admits himself, he’s a bit of a ragbag, ‘a good Silurian boy turned Roman centurion’. But, ever practical, he sets about getting the rather rundown garrison into shape in order to have a better chance of defending a Dacian attack should it come, as his gut tells him is likely. This also serves to provide a focus for the disparate group of six hundred soldiers he finds himself responsible for and a way of dispelling the boredom that might otherwise bubble over into violence. The story switches briefly to Rome where the reader is introduced to the Emperor Trajan’s cousin, the senator Hadrian who has recently been appointed legatus of the Minervia legion, some of whose soldiers have been deployed to Piroboridava. I knew very little about Hadrian before reading this book apart from the fact he later became emperor himself and built a famous wall in the north of England. The author gives a little nod to this by including a scene in which Hadrian shows a keen interest in the process of building design and construction. The Hadrian the reader is presented with here is intelligent, wily and ambitious although with a private life that leaves him open to manipulation by others. Talking of private lives, the book was enlivened for me by the arrival at the fort of the feisty Claudia Enica, Queen of the Brigantes, and two young warriors, Bran and Miruna. All three have been trained in warfare by a woman known as ‘the Mother’. She trained them well as it turns out. From time to time a third point of view takes over, that of a young warrior, Brasus, placed in command of an advance guard of the Dacian army. His narrative is infused with the rituals associated with his tribe’s religious customs, giving it a mythical quality. I confess the multiplicity of storylines left me rather confused to begin with but gradually things became clearer especially once many of the characters find themselves gathered together. Not so much Casablanca‘s ‘Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine’ as ‘Of all the forts in all the Empire they ride up to the gates of mine’! The book contains the sort of authentic detail – of weaponry, Roman army procedures, social and religious customs – you would expect from a historian of the author’s reputation. There is also an extensive glossary for those of us who can’t tell our gladius from our spatha. My fabulous hardcover edition also included a map of the region and a plan of the Piroboridava fort. As the author explains in his fascinating historical note at the end of the book, the fort’s location is fictional but is based on a Roman garrison of the same name situated closer to the mouth of the Danube. For those who like plenty of full-on action in their historical fiction, there are only skirmishes to begin with. However, stick with it because there are scenes later in the book that will definitely not disappoint. The book’s final few chapters see some story lines resolved but others carefully set up as ‘to be continued’ plot lines to whet the appetite for subsequent books in the series. Consider my appetite well and truly whetted!

  4. 4 out of 5

    The Coycaterpillar Reads

    Sometimes you just pick up a book and fall into another time. The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy is one such book. The time, the characters, the narrative. Everything just seems to slot into place. The characterization skills are terrifically utilized and the plot was swift-moving and often balancing on a knife-edge. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I genuinely believe that I would be hard placed to see a better example of it than, The Fort. Flavius Ferox is a character that instantly called Sometimes you just pick up a book and fall into another time. The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy is one such book. The time, the characters, the narrative. Everything just seems to slot into place. The characterization skills are terrifically utilized and the plot was swift-moving and often balancing on a knife-edge. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I genuinely believe that I would be hard placed to see a better example of it than, The Fort. Flavius Ferox is a character that instantly called to me. He’s vivid, he’s alive and passionate. His character arc and internal monologue cast me into a time where brutality is the norm, look around you – it’s there. You hear the clang of shields, the roar of pain, and the destruction lying all around. The Fort is the start of a new series but it features some of the characters from the Vindolanda series. If you are like me and haven’t read the previous series then rest assured the author has your back. There are hints and subtle hints left for you to pick up the missing information. “You are a hard man to kill, and you have the knack of winning against the odds.” Centurion Ferox and his right-hand man, Vindex are posted out to a Fort at the border of Dacia (modern time, Romania.) It’s their job to hold The Fort there, there is short-lived peace in that are between its inhabitants and the Roman Empire. His force is backed up by fierce Brigantes (Britons.) They are brutal and nothing is going to stop them from getting their pound of flesh and more than a drop of blood. They hunger for it. They are exactly the right type of soldier to have backing you up in a bloody war. The action in The Fort is extreme and bloody. It is everything it needs to be. It’s fast-paced and gave me a birds-eye view of Roman rule. Conquer, destroy and civilize. Ferox always seems to be right in the middle of trouble, in fact, trouble always seems to follow him. Matters only made worse by a super ambitious Hadrian and trying to control the Brigantes under his control. It seems like a merry band of murderers, rebels, and convicts. He has just about as much trouble controlling the Dacians as he does his own Brigantes. He also isn’t aware that The Emperor’s cousin is on his way with extremely ambitious plans of his own. Goldsworthy creates a vivid and brutal landscape in The Fort. Viscerally captivating. He makes us rethink history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Keith Currie

    Flavius Ferox Defends a Fort This is the first in a new series featuring the cast of the same author’s Vindolanda series. Centurion Flavius Ferox and his pal Vindex and a force of fierce Brigantes are posted to a remote fort in the hills on the border of Dacia, modern Romania. Trajan has defeated the Dacians in the first war, but there is an uneasy peace and clever men suspect war will or should soon be renewed. Among such men is the emperor’s young nephew, the tribune Hadrian. It takes a while to Flavius Ferox Defends a Fort This is the first in a new series featuring the cast of the same author’s Vindolanda series. Centurion Flavius Ferox and his pal Vindex and a force of fierce Brigantes are posted to a remote fort in the hills on the border of Dacia, modern Romania. Trajan has defeated the Dacians in the first war, but there is an uneasy peace and clever men suspect war will or should soon be renewed. Among such men is the emperor’s young nephew, the tribune Hadrian. It takes a while to get going, this first instalment, and it stretches credulity rather, that most of the major characters of the Vindolanda series fetch up together in this remote fort. But as Roman army siege novels go, this one is very good. It’s a gritty, violent tale, especially in its second half, much less coy than the same author’s Vindolanda books. There is an interesting portrayal of the young Hadrian, quite different from what one might expect of a man often described as one of the ‘good emperors’ of Rome. Some of the tale is told from the point of view of a young Dacian warrior and when he is on stage, the narrative approaches Homeric in tone. There are loose ends, which might be reconciled in later sequels, and at times in the early part of the novel it is quite difficult to follow what is going on. Perhaps all this will be solved in due course. In short, this is a solid opening to an intriguing new pathway for the hero, Flavius Ferox.

  6. 4 out of 5

    RG

    3.5* great battles and the authors knowledge on the romans is crazy in depth. I didnt finish off the previous trilogy so maybe I was missing some of the character development.

  7. 4 out of 5

    K Saju

    Love to read good historical fictions and from the first chapter fell in love with The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy. A bloody and all out action packed story set under the Roman rule, the book delivers in all areas of intrigue, war, politics, history,fiction, characters. The book has very well described the times of the Roman and the 'barbarians' along the Danubian frontier with a good mix of actual historical figures. This book is one for all those history buffs. Recommended read. Love to read good historical fictions and from the first chapter fell in love with The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy. A bloody and all out action packed story set under the Roman rule, the book delivers in all areas of intrigue, war, politics, history,fiction, characters. The book has very well described the times of the Roman and the 'barbarians' along the Danubian frontier with a good mix of actual historical figures. This book is one for all those history buffs. Recommended read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bennett

    BLURB From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on Rome's Danubian frontier. AD 105: DACIA The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home. Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then BLURB From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on Rome's Danubian frontier. AD 105: DACIA The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home. Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then there is Hadrian, the emperor's cousin, and a man with plans of his own. "An instant classic of the genre." HARRY SIDEBOTTOM "An authentic, enjoyable read." THE TIMES REVIEW I have read a lot of Roman era historical-fiction, and I follow the works of a plethora of authors who write in that genre. So, I'm not exactly looking for 'new' authors as my 'to be read' pile is already overloaded with books written by those authors I already follow. However, because I have garnered some little notice in the blogosphere with my book reviews, I occasionally get unsolicited requests for read & reviews. Such was the case for The Fort. I was intrigued by the subject matter, and when I saw that one of my go to Roman authors stated this about The Fort, "An instant classic of the genre." , then I was convinced to do the deed. Turns out it was a good decision as The Fort is one of those books that pulls the reader in, daring them to not turn the next page. A superbly detailed account full of the historical events plumped up with some wonderful fiction. The characters are true to form, the action relentless, and a narrative that is punctuated with snappy dialogue. While the main protagonist is Flavius Ferox, to me the star of the show is his wife, a Brigantine Queen. I fell under her spell early on, kind of like Brassus (you'll understand when you read the book). Now I hate spoilers, so I'll be vague - the ending caught me a little by surprise - though it does pave the way for more tales of the Trajan/Hadrian era, and that my fellow Roman readers means I have another author to follow. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Falvius Ferox returns, this time in charge of a fort on the Dacian frontier as the 2nd Dacian War looms, with Decebalus ready to break the treaty. An ambitious Hadrian complicates matters while the besieged Romans, many of them Brigantes with their reasons for killing Ferox, do their best to inventively resist repeated assaults. The action is well-described as is the detail of the fort, Roman customs, politics and army life. The Dacians are not quite as well-realised but obviously there are far Falvius Ferox returns, this time in charge of a fort on the Dacian frontier as the 2nd Dacian War looms, with Decebalus ready to break the treaty. An ambitious Hadrian complicates matters while the besieged Romans, many of them Brigantes with their reasons for killing Ferox, do their best to inventively resist repeated assaults. The action is well-described as is the detail of the fort, Roman customs, politics and army life. The Dacians are not quite as well-realised but obviously there are far fewer sources for them as the author notes. Some personalities, particularly the wise-cracking sidekick, Vindex, and the somewhat unrealistic female characters detract a little from an involving and entertaining read. I prefer the author's excellent non-fiction but it is good to read historical fiction with an authoritative background. (Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Welcome to the Dacia in the year AD 105, somewhere around the region of what we know today as Romania and Moldova, where an uneasy peace lies between the people of the Dacian Kingdom and the Roman Empire, following the Dacian War between 101 and 102 AD. Although ostensibly under Roman Rule, after Emperor Trajan's defeat of King Decebalus, unrest is on the rise, driven by rebellion in the hearts of the native population, and it seems war may be on the horizon once more. Our story begins with Centu Welcome to the Dacia in the year AD 105, somewhere around the region of what we know today as Romania and Moldova, where an uneasy peace lies between the people of the Dacian Kingdom and the Roman Empire, following the Dacian War between 101 and 102 AD. Although ostensibly under Roman Rule, after Emperor Trajan's defeat of King Decebalus, unrest is on the rise, driven by rebellion in the hearts of the native population, and it seems war may be on the horizon once more. Our story begins with Centurion Flavious Ferox arriving at the isolated fort of Piroboridava on the Danube to take command in these unsettled times. His job is made all the more difficult by the fact that his enemies not only lie outside the fort's walls, but inside as well, because the Brigantes under his control - made up former rebels and convicts - are just as likely to want him dead too, rather than accept him as their commander. If this wasn't problem enough Hadrian, the Emperor Trajan's cousin, is also on his way to Dacia to set in motion ambitious plans of his own, and Ferox is going to be right at the centre of trouble when the conflict starts. This is a gripping story that takes you right into the midst of the height of the Roman Empire. There is quite a lot going on here and it did take me a while to get my head around quite what was going on and who was who at first (a cast of characters would have been very helpful here), especially since the story runs back and forth between events in Rome, the fort under Ferox, and the frenzied plotting of the Dacian's, as the preparations for war get underway. However, before long, I found myself completely immersed in a story full of conflict; bloodshed; detailed descriptions of the locations, landscape, and buildings; and the art and technology of warfare, at this time. But, for me, it is the story of the people that is the most interesting and the way Goldsworthy uses his background as a historian to give a real insight into the nature of Empire; the rigid social structure, and the multitude of nationalities and cultures that make up the big picture. Not only does Goldsworthy give us the more familiar picture of life within Rome itself, with its snobbery and constant power plays between Emperor and Senate, it is the part of the story in the outposts that really matters in this book - the make up of the armies that fight side by side; the people they live amongst; and the shifting nature of allegiances. Ferox's situation, and indeed his own background, show that the Roman army was composed of all sorts of men, drawn from across the empire, and sometimes made up of units whose link to Rome was not only tenuous, but more a matter of a choice between conscription or death. It's not just a question of rank and file soldiers; but also of nationality; religion; tribal affiliation; and their comrades in arms, who might sometimes also be female; and it's not therefore, surprising that this story is full of tension and divided loyalties both within the fort and outside. I was so impressed by the way Goldsworthy manages to really bring history alive in this thrilling tale, full of compelling characters, and although he does admit to tinkering a little with the facts in one of the best Historical Note appendices I think I might ever have read, I learned a huge amount about this era and what life looked like in this corner of the Roman Empire. I thoroughly enjoyed this first part of the new City of Victory series and cannot wait for the next instalment to meet up with some of these fabulous characters once more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    Animula, vagula, blandula Hospes comesque corporis (Hadrian) When I ARC this book, I was reading Philip and Alexander by Adrian Goldsworthy, so I knew that the historical parts were going to be well researched and accurate. It was the first historical fiction I read by this author and won’t surely be the last because I found it gripping and fascinating. I didn’t read Vindolanda and this means I didn’t knew anything about Ferox and other characters that were featured in this previous story. The story Animula, vagula, blandula Hospes comesque corporis (Hadrian) When I ARC this book, I was reading Philip and Alexander by Adrian Goldsworthy, so I knew that the historical parts were going to be well researched and accurate. It was the first historical fiction I read by this author and won’t surely be the last because I found it gripping and fascinating. I didn’t read Vindolanda and this means I didn’t knew anything about Ferox and other characters that were featured in this previous story. The story is slow burning. We are introduced to the characters, the places and the political situations of Dacia. Even if there is not war at moment there’s a sense of foreboding and of coming troubles. After we understand what is going on the story start going it’s gripping, fast paced and gritty. Plenty of actions and twists makes this story gripping and highly entertaining. Ferox or Titus Flavius Ferox is an interesting character, a strong man who is typical of this era when legionnaire came from all over the Empire. He’s clever, strong willed and brave. I liked him an hope to read soon his further adventures. The author delivers a cast of well thought characters and the different POVs help us to understand the different cultures and the different way of thinking. The biggest surprise is Hadrian. I knew him as the philosopher described by Marguerite Yourcenar in Memoirs of Hadrian, the man who built masterpieces like Villa Adriana/Pantheon/Castel Sant’Angelo (Mausoleum of Hadrian) and the lover of Antinoo. I had some doubt he could be a bit ruthless as I couldn’t have made to emperor, as far as I know ancient Romans were not very kind and being an emperor could be a dangerous profession. I discovered what could have been the man in his younger year when he took part to the Dacian Wars. I was fascinated by The Fort Hadrian as he’s described as human, cunning and ruthless and I think this is more realistic than the one described by Yourcenar and the history I studied. The historical part is very detailed and well researched (Ok, the author is a historian). My knowledge of Dacia and Dacian wars was inexistent and know I’m starting to understand something more than the usual “Dacian were rebels”. The details of the military part, how they were dressed and lived on the frontier is astonishing. Let’s summarize: a gripping, entertaining and well written story that kept me hooked. I can’t wait to read the next installment; this one is highly recommended. Many thanks to Head of Zeus and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Baird

    Centurion Flavius Ferox is sent to an isolated fort beyond the Danube. From the moment he arrives he has a bad feeling about things. Many of the veteran soldiers are being recalled now Ferox has arrived, and the men he has brought with him are a ragtag bunch to say the least. Some even want to kill him! Ferox is the main focus of the tale and I loved the man. He’s the kind of solider you know will make it through..but by the skin of his teeth.. it’s not going to be an easy ride for him. His relat Centurion Flavius Ferox is sent to an isolated fort beyond the Danube. From the moment he arrives he has a bad feeling about things. Many of the veteran soldiers are being recalled now Ferox has arrived, and the men he has brought with him are a ragtag bunch to say the least. Some even want to kill him! Ferox is the main focus of the tale and I loved the man. He’s the kind of solider you know will make it through..but by the skin of his teeth.. it’s not going to be an easy ride for him. His relationship with his wife also gave extra depth to the man as we see a different side to him and this leads to some very humorous moments which I loved reading. Hadrian was another fun character.. he’s very astute and ambitious, he’s not above using men’s lives to get what he wants. Brasus is another character who stands out, he may be one of the enemy, his task to break into the fort and slaughter..but I feel he ends up being one of the most likable characters, there’s air of respect around him. For me it’s all about the siege..it plays a big part in the tale but is paced so perfectly you are never bored. If anything you just feel the frustration Ferox must have felt, powerless, stuck and searching for an idea to get them out of this mess! The approach of switching perspectives helped keep the storying flowing nicely too. The testing of the siege weapons is a particular favourite of mine and there was some wonderful detail added on what methods the defenders used to repel the attackers which really had the imagination firing. If you are a fan of siege craft you’ll enjoy this one for sure! What I really enjoyed was the relationships, the character development and the fact the author held no love for anyone, with more than one meeting their end in a gruesome way which gave it the gritty realness of war. The author showed a real talent being able to balance the plot with historic detail, it was perfectly mixed so the flow of the story was effortless and the chapter length just right. One night I even had to force myself to bed as it was after midnight and I had work in the morning but the story just sucks you in..its always “oh one more chapter”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Antipodean Bookclub

    “Ferox remembered reading that Cicero felt his new villa had gained a soul when a library was created” . . . I first met Titus Flavius Ferox when he was Centurio Regionarius of the fort of Vindolanda at the far reach of the Roman Empire in North-Eastern England. Born of the Silures, a tribe from South Wales, Ferox was taken hostage and raised as a Roman before being commissioned into the army. The three books of the Vindolanda series show Ferox as a skilled soldier and a man of sound judgement and f “Ferox remembered reading that Cicero felt his new villa had gained a soul when a library was created” . . . I first met Titus Flavius Ferox when he was Centurio Regionarius of the fort of Vindolanda at the far reach of the Roman Empire in North-Eastern England. Born of the Silures, a tribe from South Wales, Ferox was taken hostage and raised as a Roman before being commissioned into the army. The three books of the Vindolanda series show Ferox as a skilled soldier and a man of sound judgement and fair leadership. However, wherever he is, things have a habit of tuning to custard. As he often says “Omnes ad stercus” The Fort is the first book of the City of Victory Series. Ferox is now in Dacia (modern day Romania) watching an uneasy peace with the Dacians falter before the outbreak of the second Dacian war at the time of the Emperor Trajan. Placed in a small fort guarding a strategic bridge over the Danube, it’s not long until “omens ad stercus” again and Ferox is besieged trying to outwit an army of Dacians whilst commanding a disparate group of Romans and Brigantes. Some old favourites from Vindolanda pop up; Vindex, Sulpicia Lepidina and Philo, so reading The Fort was like being reunited with old friends, albeit in the middle of a bloody battle A Roman scholar, Adrian Goldsworthy is able to use his knowledge to fictionalise and flesh out the details of a military campaign where few contemporary records have survived. Through his books, I’ve enjoyed learning about Roman dress, food, customs and entertainment all whilst being thoroughly entertained myself. There is a significant amount of military history in the Fort, but testament to my love for Ferox that I was content to learn about bows and battering rams till the cows came home Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my eARC of The Fort. I loved catching up with Ferox again and look forward to his next adventure

  14. 4 out of 5

    TheMagicofWorlds

    - The Magic of Wor(l)ds blog (https://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com/) is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. I'm grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. - I’m going to start with immediately saying that when I saw this book I really thought it was a brand new series (It says it also on the cover!), but that’s, in my opinion, not 100% true as a couple of pages in the book I started to have the f - The Magic of Wor(l)ds blog (https://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com/) is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. I'm grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. - I’m going to start with immediately saying that when I saw this book I really thought it was a brand new series (It says it also on the cover!), but that’s, in my opinion, not 100% true as a couple of pages in the book I started to have the feeling that I was reading about characters who had a history together and therefore knew stuff I didn’t. Fair enough, after some Google-ing, I found out that Flavius Farox and some others were the main characters in another trilogy by this author which I haven’t read. Therefore the sense of being a newcomer to the party was true and it lingered on for quite a while I must confess. It’s however not something I can blame the author for (Maybe a sticker with ‘Farox is back!’ on the cover would be helpful?) and not something to trash the book for as it was certainly a very enjoyable read. The characters are very well depicted and there’s a lot going on from intrigues to heavy battling, humor and a real sense of that this all could have happened as the author wrote. A very interesting and fast-paced historical novel that at the end leaves me wanting to read more about Farox & co as they, along the way, became truly friends I want to follow on other adventures in Ancient Rome. I definitely can’t wait for the next installment in this series and I will be picking up the ‘Vindolanda series’ I missed out on whilst biding my time for a new story! The Magic of Wor(l)ds

  15. 4 out of 5

    travelsalongmybookshelf

    I have not read many books, if any, set in this period and my knowledge is very limited to school, many moons ago and TV. This book lands you deep in Roman territory and I have to admit I found it difficult to get into at first. There are maps to get your bearings but I could have done with a cast list to get to grips with the characters - I do so love a list! Flavius Ferox is a centurion sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube. There is peace between Rome and the Dacian Kingdom but wil I have not read many books, if any, set in this period and my knowledge is very limited to school, many moons ago and TV. This book lands you deep in Roman territory and I have to admit I found it difficult to get into at first. There are maps to get your bearings but I could have done with a cast list to get to grips with the characters - I do so love a list! Flavius Ferox is a centurion sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube. There is peace between Rome and the Dacian Kingdom but will it last? Many of the Brigantes that he commands are former rebels and very likely to kill him as to obey him. There is also Hadrian - yes that one- the emperors cousin with plans of his own... This book gets you right inside the Roman world, it is highly detailed and meticulously researched. I ended up down several rabbit holes looking things up. It became emersive, gritty, bloody and a great insight into the Roman world, I learned a lot! There are battles galore and I was rooting for Ferox and his men even though they are Romans, they felt like the underdogs at points during this story. I’m looking forward to the next in this series! Thanks to Head of Zeus for my copy of this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    M.J.

    The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy is good 'Roman' era fiction. Set in Dacia in AD105, it is the story of 'The Fort' under the command of Flavius Ferox, a character some will know from Goldsworthy's previous trilogy that began with Vindolanda. Mistakenly thinking this was an entirely new trilogy with all new characters, it took me a while to get into the story. Everyone seemed to know everyone else apart from me. But Ferox is a good character, and he grounded me to what was happening in the immediate The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy is good 'Roman' era fiction. Set in Dacia in AD105, it is the story of 'The Fort' under the command of Flavius Ferox, a character some will know from Goldsworthy's previous trilogy that began with Vindolanda. Mistakenly thinking this was an entirely new trilogy with all new characters, it took me a while to get into the story. Everyone seemed to know everyone else apart from me. But Ferox is a good character, and he grounded me to what was happening in the immediate vicinity of the Fort, and apart from once or twice, it didn't really matter what had gone before. This is a story of suspicions, ambition and lies, and it rumbles along at a good old pace. This isn't the story of one battle, but rather many, a slow attrition against the Romans by the Dacians. Overall, this was an enjoyable novel, and some of the fighting scenes were especially exciting. Those with an interest in Roman war craft will especially enjoy it, although, I confess, I don't know my spatha from my pilum (there is a glossary, fellow readers, so do not fear.)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zoe M

    I love historical fiction but I normally stick to a similar time period. This book has pushed me out of my comfort zone but I'm so glad I did because I loved it. It did take me a few chapters to get into the book (this is down to me and not the author) but once I did I couldn't put it down. The rich history of the book made it both intersting and I learned so much. The author has researched this era very well and was able to express his words that made it totally believable. I enjoyed the charact I love historical fiction but I normally stick to a similar time period. This book has pushed me out of my comfort zone but I'm so glad I did because I loved it. It did take me a few chapters to get into the book (this is down to me and not the author) but once I did I couldn't put it down. The rich history of the book made it both intersting and I learned so much. The author has researched this era very well and was able to express his words that made it totally believable. I enjoyed the characters and getting to know them. This is my first book by this author but I will definitely be reading more by him because I absolutey loved it. A brilliant, deep and complex story and I can't wait for the next book in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Martin Lobel

    How Romans fought “Bavarian’s” This is Roman history brought to life. Adrian Goldsworthy is the preeminent British Roman historian and author of the definitive book on the Roman army. He takes real events to life by using fiction to show how their army fought and died. I couldn’t put it down until I finished it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    The Bauchler

    A good book; but marred for me by the structure of its telling and the confusing use of Roman calendar terms at the beginning of each chapter to fix its chronology. I quickly got lost with who was doing what to whom, when.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    The author did an excellent job of blending fact and fiction. It was a pleasure to read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Jesse

    Slow start but enjoyable I struggled to get into the book at the beginning but enjoyed it. Good read and looking forward to more books

  22. 4 out of 5

    robert pickering

    A must read series of books Great writing, can’t wait for the next installment, Would highly recommend the Falvious Ferox series of books, onto the next series

  23. 4 out of 5

    Doug Rogers

    Best so far This book is the best of the series so far. Lots of fighting, lots of humor,beautiful women.what could go wrong?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Hill

    A Fine Tale Told Well If some of the plot elements strain credulity, the attention to historical details and robust action make this an entertaining read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura Turner

    If you enjoyed the Vindolanda series, you’re sure to enjoy The Fort. Featuring the same cast, we see the return of Falvius Ferox, who this time is in charge of an isolated fort on the Dacian frontier as the second Dacian War imminently looms. Reunited with characters such as Vindex, Philo and Claudia, to name just a few, it’s like a meeting of old friends we’ve not seen for a while as well as meeting new ones such as a young Hadrian who I found was portrayed very well. I will say that it does ta If you enjoyed the Vindolanda series, you’re sure to enjoy The Fort. Featuring the same cast, we see the return of Falvius Ferox, who this time is in charge of an isolated fort on the Dacian frontier as the second Dacian War imminently looms. Reunited with characters such as Vindex, Philo and Claudia, to name just a few, it’s like a meeting of old friends we’ve not seen for a while as well as meeting new ones such as a young Hadrian who I found was portrayed very well. I will say that it does take a short while for the story to really get to grips with itself but once it does that is it, it’s off and like any good old Roman novel there is grit and a hell of a lot of violence, and if this is what you’re after then the second half of the book is most certainly for you, however no skipping parts please because in true Adrian Goldsworthy style this is a great solid opening to a new journey for our hero Flavius Ferox with some vividly well described action that you just cannot find anywhere else, it’s unbeatable, so to skip pages would be doing unjustice. What I find fascinating about Adrian Goldsworthy’s writing is his fountain of knowledge that has me hanging on his every word. I’ve learnt so much from reading his books. Full of real punchy scenic detail and magnetic dialogue, his books always tend to start and move throughout at a nice steady pace before we are hit with this huge powerful crescendo of an ending. You’ve got to take your hat off to him. He certainly does have it! If you’re a fan of the Vindolanda books, then you’re in for a real treat because The Fort, the first in the City of Victory series has exactly the same winning formula and I cannot bloody wait for the next one in this series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    peter eells

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie R. Thompson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brett Bentley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Hawkins

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