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S J A Turney Sons of Taranis (2015) Review


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Sons of Taranis  (2015)
(The eighth book in the Marius’ Mules series)
A novel by S J A Turney

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51 BC. In the aftermath of the dreadful siege of Alesia the tribes of Gaul lie broken and sparse, and yet the fires of rebellion still burn in the hearts of a few. As Caesar and his army continue to pacify the land wherever revolt can be found, a new conspiracy is rising.

Lucterius of the Cadurci, survivor of Alesia, seeks to raise a new great revolt, building an army in his homeland while a small group of dangerous warriors embark upon a secret and dangerous mission to rebuild all that was lost in that great siege.

Meanwhile, Marcus Falerius Fronto tries to adjust to life as a wine merchant in Massilia, little suspecting that old friends and new will soon be fighting alongside him as the last great threat from Gaul is brought right to his door.

The final battle for Gaul is about to begin.


Book 8 is a hard hill for Simon Turney to climb, it follows on from the hugely powerful and climactic “Great Revolt” and the battle of Alesia. Even after reading so many of Simon Turneys books i wondered how he could produce something that would deserve its place in this series. As ever he managed to surprise me and delight me.

This book is to a degree a mop up exercise for the Romans, as Caesars army takes on the dregs, the left overs, dregs that are still formidable armies in formidable fortresses. Yet his main character Fronto is no longer with the army, we get to see a different side of Roman and Greek life as Fronto builds his Wine business. As usual it would not be Fronto if it was straight forward, he comes up against local politics and to a degree organised crime. Couple these main plot points with the return of some old enemies on a crazy mission to resurrect the hopes of Gaul and you have a splendid engaging, twisty and entertaining plot line.

For me this is one of the better books in the series, the removal of major battles forces Simon Turney to concentrate on the smaller side plots, the town life and family life of Fronto, other key soldiers come to the fore with the army and show their skills, in this book giving a great view of cavalry life.

so for a book that had to follow the big battle of the series, this is a true triumph and a real surprise, a sign that S J A Turney is more than just your everyday Self Published author, i believe he is one of the major players in the Historical Fiction genre, up there with the likes of Ben Kane, Anthony Riches, Douglas Jackson and Christian Cameron.  If you have not read his books please do so (my favorite series is the Ottoman Cycle.


Marius’ Mules
1. The Conquest of Gaul (2009)
aka The Invasion of Gaul
2. The Belgae (2010)
3. Gallia Invicta (2011)
4. Conspiracy of Eagles (2012)
5. Hades’ Gate (2013)
6. Caesar’s Vow (2014)
7. The Great Revolt (2014)
8. Sons of Taranis (2015)
Prelude to War (2014)

Tales of the Empire
1. Interregnum (2009)
2. Ironroot (2010)
3. Dark Empress (2011)
Ottoman Cycle
1. The Thief’s Tale (2013)
2. The Priest’s Tale (2013)
3. The Assassin’s Tale (2014)
4. The Pasha’s Tale (2015)
Praetorian: The Great Game (2015)
Tales of Ancient Rome (2011)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, S J A Turney