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I am a 57 year old retired Infantry Marine, born and raised in Texas and currently living on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. I have been writing since my first novel, written at the age of 10, when my friends and yours truly fought off the Soviet hordes, who just happened to pick my block to launch their invasion. That was their big mistake.
But like a lot of dreams, it got sidetracked until recently, when I decided to focus my passion on an era and subject that interested me a great deal. Like my characters in Ancient Rome, I have served as the pointy tip of the spear of our nation's policy, and it is with this perspective that I tell the story of Titus Pullus and his friends.
Marching With Caesar-Conquest of Gaul is my first published novel, and is the first in a completed series that covers the career of Titus Pullus, the most recent being Marching With Caesar-Rise of Augustus.
on March 04, 2013 :
I cant say that I am qualified to comment on the literary style but I really enjoyed this book. It is fast paced, contains strong characters and is a most gripping read. There are a number of books covering a similar period by different authors but the viewpoint from the smelly end of soldiering is most welcome. I really enjoyed the first book and will be starting the second straight away
(reviewed 45 days after purchase)
on Aug. 11, 2012 :
Peake is a born storyteller, and this is an absolutely brilliant book. It's as close as you can get to an accurate description of what the life of a Roman legionary was like and how lower-class Romans lived. But be warned, even though you may like raw books, that this one is matter-of-factly bloody. I have minor quibbles about Peake's occasional lack of commas and run-on paragraphs (which may just be Peake's style, but most of the online books I've read are a lot worse grammatically anyway). Marching with Caesar is a gritty and a polished novel at the top of its class in historical fiction.
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
on June 01, 2012 :
Marching with Caesar is an extremely interesting account of a young soldier's experiences in the Roman Legion during the reign of Gaius Julius Caesar. Titus Pomponius Pullus is a young farm boy whose father has not much use for him, so he enlists in the Roman army. There, he demonstrates his skills as both a devoted career soldier with great potential. R.W. Peake traces first part of the fascinating career of Pullus in fine detail, from early basic training with his friend Vibius through the battles (ending with the "Rubicon") in graphic detail as though he himself lived it, all told from the main character's point of view. The dialogue contributes to the realism and authenticity of the time. Although I am not a history buff, I found myself engrossed in the story right from the beginning. This is is much more than a mere novel, but an epic story that I recommend highly for its historical accuracy and entertainment value. Seldom do readers find both; R.W. Peake will be a name to watch for in the Historical Fiction genre, especially since this is the first in a trilogy!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 10, 2012 :
I am an avid reader of Roman fiction and have read Scarrow and Sidebottom among others so bring a certain critical frame to this novel set in the period when Caesar embarks on his career into Gaul. It is a long work and very detailed in its descriptions of the day to day life as viewed through the eyes of its main protagonist Titus Pullus. As he embarks on a life as a legionary he takes the reader deep into the routines and training and battles of the legion. At first I was daunted by the length but I have to say that I was gripped from the first page onwards. Peake is able to infuse a lot of detail into character interaction and drama and so the action and description never feels like a lecture or out of place. This is a tricky act to pull off and Peake does it superbly. Vary rarely was I aware of lengthy descriptions or details except to read of them in the context of the ongoing action and drama. As a result, I thoroughly recommend this work to anyone interested in the this period of the Roman history. There is a gritty realism to it which makes it stand apart from the works of Scarrow and Sidebottom, for example, as the latter have always struck me as being a little too anachronistic in their characters and events - more as if a nostalgic British Empire is re-dressed in togas and sandals! Much as I do like their work, Peake here has crafted a solid and bloody novel which really plunges you into the day to day life a legionary on the march - and as Pullus rises up through the ranks and the grades in the exercitus of Rome, so too do you.
(reviewed the day of purchase)