Read Thunder of the Gods by Anthony Riches Online


The eighth book in the Empire sequence takes Centurion Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian legion on a dangerous mission to the heart of the Parthian empire With Rome no longer safe Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered east, to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries. Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their taskThe eighth book in the Empire sequence takes Centurion Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian legion on a dangerous mission to the heart of the Parthian empire With Rome no longer safe Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered east, to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries. Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected Third Legion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts. And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital Ctesiphon on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends....

Title : Thunder of the Gods
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781444731965
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Thunder of the Gods Reviews

  • S.J.A. Turney
    2019-05-30 11:17

    Looking back over the series from the start I am struck by just how far we’ve come with young Marcus Aquila. The series began (and stayed for 3 books) in northern Britannia, in the cold and the damp with hairy bearded barbarians instigating wars and troubles and our hero hiding from the Emperor’s fury under an assumed name, sheltered by friends of friends. How long gone are those days now? For here, in book 8, with all the momentous changes we have witnessed in between, we find our hero and his friends in the dusty, exotic east, facing the might of dreaded Parthia at the very behest of those Imperial authorities from whom Marcus spent so many years hiding. Not only at their behest, I might add, but even carrying their authority, delivered by the Praetorian fleet and with the power of (the power behind) the throne. Yes, we have certainly come a long way. Which sits well with me. I have noted several times recently in reviews how long series need to change, grow and refresh to keep their pace and interest. And the Empire books are doing that. Indeed, I would say that book 8 is the finest in the series so far, vying mainly with book 5 for me.So what’s the book about? Well if you’re new to the series, I probably threw a few spoilers at you there. Stop now and go buy book 1. Book 8 takes us to new lands and with new style. The whole feel of the book is more exotic than previously. And given the fact that for the first time our heroes are facing not hairy barbarians or sneaky Romans, but an adjacent empire every bit as old and cultured as Rome, there is a new feeling of sophistication and style about it. Marcus and friends land in Syria, sent east by the Imperial chamberlain on an ‘offer they cannot refuse’ sort of basis. As I said, they have authority now. Scaurus is to take command of the legion there and is faced with corruption, crime and downright deviousness at the highest levels of both military and civil control in the province. But our heroes have no time to unpick all the threads in this web of corruption, for they have an urgent task to perform. A powerful border fortress is in danger from a Parthian army. Due to the troubles he finds, legate Scaurus will have only half the legion to help him take and hold the fortress of Nisibis against the greatest power in the east. And through an unfortunate series of incidents our young Marcus finds himself once more evading arrest, though this time by the governor instead of the throne. Can our friends hold Nisibis? Can they even get there intact? After all, the Parthians are one of the fiercest nations on Earth and have seen off more than one Roman army in the past. Well, you’ll have to wait and see how that turns out, as I’m not spoiling it for you.However, in terms of the story’s content, there are various things I will say. The addition of a new character – a young tribune not too different from our own protagonist 8 books ago – is a win. Varus is an instantly likeable and sympathetic character. The Parthian princes and their senior men are well-rounded and very interesting. In fact, one prince’s bodyguard, who will play a large part in the book as it unfolds, truly captured my imagination and was a joy to read. But the icing on the cake in this story goes to the portrayal of the emperor of Parthia – the King of Kings himself. He is a cultured, urbane, clever, witty, easy, very realistic character. Don’t get me wrong – there is a constant air of threat, for this man could have nations killed with a snap of his fingers, but being dangerous does not stop him being fun or interesting. Kudos in particular to Tony for the King of Kings.There is the usual bloodshed. Don’t worry, you battle-a-holics. Tony is unrelenting in bringing you the brutal side of Rome and its military skill. But know also that this book is far more than just military fiction. It is surprising, deep, explores to some extent the similarities and differences between ancient cultural enemies, and utterly refuses to bow down to the ‘Rome good, barbarian bad’ shtick that has for so many decades plagued the world of ancient fiction. Not only are his characters thoroughly three dimensional, but so are his nations as a whole. The plot is well crafted, with a few true surprises here and there, and runs off at breakneck pace, dragging you with it. I sat down for ten minutes’ read after lunch one day and put it down an hour later. It is that addictive a read.I find that most good novelists truly hit their stride at about book 3 or so in a series, and while they may continue to get even better over time, often they plateau at an improved level of ability for the rest of their series. I thought Tony had done that with book 4, when the series began to change from straight military fiction to a more varied, deeper level of plot. Yet now, with book 8, he has taken things up a notch again in my opinion. I was already impressed and addicted to the Empire books, so now I’m hopelessly lost. In short: Thunder of the Gods is Riches’ best book to date, a landmark in the series and a totally engrossing read.

  • Mary
    2019-06-08 06:55

    When we left Marcus Valerius Aquila and the Tungrian auxiliaries in Book 7, they had returned to Rome to expose the corruption of Praetorian Prefect Sextus Tigidius Perennis. While there, Marcus also ferreted out the names of the Prefect's assassins responsible for the deaths of his family members and taken brutal revenge on all of them except the despicable Emperor Commodus, himself.Although glad to be rid of the "Emperor's Knives", the emperor's chamberlain Cleander considers Marcus to be a valuable but dangerous asset who might attempt to take ultimate revenge on the emperor as well. So, as Book 8 opens, Cleander has decreed that heretofore Tribune Rutilius Scaurus is promoted to Legatus and Marcus is appointed his equestrian-level Tribune. Together with any Tungrians who wished to accompany them, they have been ordered to Syria. There, Legatus Scaurus is ordered to take command of Legio III Gallica, root out the corruption that has flourished under the current governor, and relieve a Parthian siege of the important Roman stronghold of Nisibis (modern Nusaybin, Turkey).One of my favorite historical novels, "Fire in the East", by Harry Sidebottom, takes place in Roman Syria so I was already familiar with many of the obstacles Marcus and his Legatus would face there including the lethal armored cataphracts and the deadly archers with their perfected "Parthian shot".The action is driven by the historical events of an uprising of Parthian client kings against both Rome and their own ruler, Vologases IV. Although I could not find a particular reference to a siege of the contested stronghold of Nisibis during this time period, it could have very well occurred during attempts by Osroes II, King of Media, to overthrow his father, the King of Kings, Vologases IV, and prevent the succession of his brother Vologases V. Osroes II, as well as his ally, Narsai of Adiabene were both historical figures that appear in this installment. The author does an outstanding job of bringing this struggle to life since the ancient sources are rather sketchy on the details of events that transpired during this period.The first major battle that occurs while the troops make their way to Nisibis, is nothing less than thrilling as Legatus Scaurus uses every tactic he has read about to thwart destruction of his forces - specially laminated shields, improved body armor, portable bolt throwers, lengthened thrusting spears and, of course, deadly caltrops. Scaurus has left nothing to chance, drilling his men for weeks before they finally set out on the march. As it turns out, the Tungrians must use every ounce of that training to drive back the Parthians and keep them at bay until they can finally reach the relative safety of the stolid Roman outpost.But, how will Scaurus and Marcus lift the siege and return this part of the Roman frontier to a respectful stalemate? It will take another valiant defense against almost impossible odds as well as the blessings of Fortuna on a clandestine attempt by Marcus to negotiate a settlement with the King of Kings himself!Highly recommended!

  • Peter Upton
    2019-05-25 12:53

    Whenever I want a bit of light reading I tend to look for some Roman adventure because the writer's are generally historians so that you always learn some ancient history while enjoying a bit of an adventure romp. I normally read Simon Scarrow's excellent series and I found this slightly inferior because from the start we are introduced to a number of characters who I found difficult to follow because sometimes they are called by their title such as Legate, a line or two later and they are referred to by their surname and then elsewhere by their first name so each main character has three names. But this is just a break, a romp for light relief after reading Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' so I carried on reading and enjoyed the book although I never did quite clear the confusion over all of the major characters. There was also a problem in the battle scenes where I was never quite sure who was sinking an axe into whose back but knowing the Goodies are going to win (If you are for the Romans) and I am going to learn something about Roman and Parthian battle formations, fighting techniques and weapons I didn't really mind. Overall I thought it was a good read but Simon Scarrow's are clearer.

  • Kenny
    2019-05-20 07:04

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one. It benefits from a fairly straightforward plot which allows exploration of a new theatre - in this case the far east of the Roman Empire and Parthia. The most enjoyable part of this was really the lesser role for the lead, Corvus, allowing the legate, Scaurus and some of the other supporting characters more room to develop and breathe. That and moving on one of the other supporting cast, adding another gives a bit of freshness to the series. The plot is well handled - not groundbreaking but the siege, and encounters with Kings, Kings of Kings are done with a sense of pace and often more humour (which is usually one of the strengths of this series), as well as a bit of good politiking.There's a point of how the Legions managed to counteract some of the threat from the Parthian horse archers that plays out - it's possible exaggerated from history/could be based on reality, but works well here - particularly if you think of it like an episode of the A-Team. With good research. Hopefully this will continue in the next volume. I'll be reading it.

  • Robin Carter
    2019-06-06 06:57

    ReviewWhenever there is a new Anthony Riches book in the offing it always create an air of anticipation in my reading schedule, Its very easy for me to say Tony is a fun read but really he is so much more than that. His early books were just that, great fun, but I always felt that this squad of Tungrians could be from any time period, they were/ are the epitome of what I expect squaddies to be, they are just the same as many soldiers I have known…. Only tougher and more dangerous, purely by dint of the time period they live in, where life is cheap,Read the rest of the review here:

  • Kate
    2019-06-02 13:05

    Very entertaining addition to the Empire series. This time, our Tungrians head to Parthia, which might not be aware what is about to hit it.

  • Heath Knight
    2019-06-13 10:07

    Another book similar to the previous. easy read but getting a little predictable

  • John Warren
    2019-06-03 10:15

    best book of the series in my opinion

  • Beorn
    2019-05-21 07:50

    I could have swore I'd already written a review about this book a while ago when I finished it but evidently not, so forgive me if the details herein are a little hazy...Putting aside my unashamed bias towards Riches' books, this is basically (yet) another take on the 'our ragtag bunch of heroes are sent to the East to take on those dastardly horse-riding archers and their effete barbarian lords'. The scenario, location & general plot may not exactly be remotely original or even unique - which is a little shame as I'm a big fan of the author - but it's not totally surprising as it's almost an unwritten rule that to be a Roman historical fiction author you need to have written at least one novel set in a hot, sandy part of the Empire.It's nigh on impossible to judge a book that is not far off double figures in a series' count without looking at the earlier books in the series and I have to say that doing so, this book seems a lot more average and de rigeur than the author's other work in the series. This has a lot less of the incredibly deep, richly textured characterisation that the other books have, both in terms of the regular characters and those introduced for this particular story. In this respect, it reads a lot more like one of the many militarist writers of Roman fiction that are ten a penny. One of the things I liked, and still do, about Riches' works is his ability to seamlessly blend the personal (and inter-personal) stories & textures with those of the context in which they're operating; not too cold & unfeeling, nor too emotional and suppine.This is not to say I didn't like the book, far from it. If I'm going to read a book about the Romans in the Near East, this would still be up there; I would easily choose Riches over Scarrow, Sidebottom, Kane or the rest. It is just that this is a relatively limited part of the history of the Empire that my inner bookworm is already long since tired of reading about characters being in such seemingly identikit situations and dangers. I suppose my problem is more with the plot/setting rather than anything specific to do with the particular characters or author specifics.So, I guess, in conclusion, you could say I'm a little disappointed with this book as it falls a little short of the effect Riches' work usually has on me and I hope it's not a sign of things to come, but likewise, it's not so disparaging as to stop me holding his work in high regard and recommending him to others.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-16 10:13

    Another fine installment of Marcus (now tribune) and the Tungrians. Great characters, more corrupt government officials to outwit, and a vast army to face. This time instead of northern barbarians its a vast Parthian host, complete with cataphracts. Throw in an unexpected ally or two and a secret mission to the King of Kings and you have another great page-turner.

  • Nick Brett
    2019-06-16 08:14

    The eighth volume in a very enjoyable series, and one that has very much evolved over time. To date the man focus has been on Marcus Valerius Aquila, hiding from those in power in Rome under a false name with a Tungrian Legion. But things have changed and now Marcus is in the light and he, and his newly promoted Legatus, have been shipped overseas with their Tungrian troops to relieve a fort in remote Nisbis, under siege but a critical control point on the silk road.The author makes greater use of his characters, Legatus Scaurus is given a lot of deserved centre stage as are a number of the characters within the Tungrians. This is a bit of a change but makes good use of the strong cast of characters and that is a good thing as they deserved more air-time.The plot is a very strong mix of action and politics, both Roman and amongst the Parthian kings who are determined to slaughter the depleted Romans on their journey to Nisbis. A slightly slow start (where characters explain past events to each-other to bring us readers up to speed) but this soon hits full throttle and draws you into yet another entertaining story from a very talented author.

  • Ruth
    2019-05-24 07:51

    c2015: FWFTB: Centurion, Parthia, cataphracts, doomed, river. Whoo-Hoo! I closed the book after reading the last line and swear I had to tap desert sand out of my shoes. Whoever said that history is boring needs to read this now! The Empire series just gets better and better and the plot in this book is absolutely engrossing. The focus is not entirely on our friend young Marcus Aquila although he still features prominently. Scaurus has come into his own and, jeesh, the loyalty that pours out from this book is something we should all aspire to. But once again, for readers of the previous seven books - this author is not scared or emotional about killing off some of the more peripheral characters. **sob**. Highly and definitely recommended to the normal crew. "Otho, a famously pugilistic officer with a reputation for punching first and then not asking any questions before punching again just to be sure, leaned forward and bared his gaped teeth at the standard bearer in a fearsome smile, his voice permanently hoarse from a lifetime of bellowing at recruits,"

  • Mike
    2019-06-06 08:17

    More challenges for Marcus and the Tungrians; this time, in the Middle East, where the Roman Empire butts up against the Parthian Empire.I enjoyed reading the book and the prose is as good as the previous books in the series. Riches' combat sequences are very well done. You get a real sense of the confusion, mess and horror of close-combat.Where the book does fall a bit flat is in character development; in previous books in the series, I felt the characters were changing according to their circumstances, but it doesn't feel like that in this book. So much so that what should be an emotional segment in the book passed, for me, without feeling.

  • Debra Hayward
    2019-05-18 12:54

    A great book to read in the cold of the winter. You can feel the desert heat radiating from the pages. This is another great ensemble piece, no one character stands head and shoulders above any other. Scarus is a man to be reckoned with, and it seems he reads histories! Marcus is a bit more active in this story than he has been for a while, and not just with his swords, but the truth of who he is must be the worst kept secret in the empire!

  • Phil Murphy
    2019-06-14 11:13

    A fantastic continuation from Anthony Riches. A well developed plot line and characters to build a strong emotional relationship with. I particularly enjoyed the development of two lesser characters in Sanga and Saratos. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.

  • Patrick Raftery
    2019-05-21 12:00

    Anthony riches books get better and better ,he knows How to set out a battle using all his skills of a great story teller with the use of history he moves the story a long with a nod here to harry sidebottom warrior of rome books, and his own blood and guts make one hell of a story

  • David Slater
    2019-06-08 11:06

    A cracking read. Looking forward to the next from Anthony Riches

  • Mark Kearney
    2019-05-20 10:13

    Great series

  • Ian Hawthorn
    2019-05-30 08:58

    Best yetThe usual twisting story line and great characters. Has taken the story to another level. A very good read and the best book of the series so far.

  • Scott Gardner
    2019-06-11 14:15

    Another good yarn from Riches , what i liked most about this one , was now that Marcus has had his revenge , the plot involved the other characters more