Praetorian: The Great Game by S.J.A. Turney – Review


Title – Praetorian: The Great Game
Author – S.J.A. Turney
Genre –  Historical Ficton
Length –  468 Pages (Kindle)
Publication – 12th March 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


Promoted to the elite Praetorian Guard in the thick of battle, a young legionary is thrust into a seedy world of imperial politics and corruption. Tasked with uncovering a plot against the newly-crowned emperor Commodus, his mission takes him from the cold Danubian border all the way to the heart of Rome, the villa of the emperor’s scheming sister, and the great Colosseum.

What seems a straightforward, if terrifying, assignment soon descends into Machiavellian treachery and peril as everything in which young Rufinus trusts and believes is called into question and he faces warring commanders, Sarmatian cannibals, vicious dogs, mercenary killers and even a clandestine Imperial agent. In a race against time to save the Emperor, Rufinus will be introduced, willing or not, to the great game.


I was kindly gifted a copy of this book by the author and i can honestly say I was not disappointed. I’ve read a few books now in the same genre and many start slowly building up as they go along… not this one. Thrust straight into the action with our hero saving the life of a Praetorian prefect.

This starts the whole journey for Rufinus as he is promoted to the Praetorian guard after meeting the emperor. This sudden promotion gains him some new friends but also enemies!

We see Rufinus deal with these enemies the only way he knows how.. his fists! We then see a feud escalate. Not to give away anything I particularly liked the way Rufinus dealt with this situation.

Now Rufinus is chosen to save the emperor from a suspected plot against him. During this we see him struggle with being deceitful whilst also trying to gain favor in order to get closer to those who are suspected to be plotting against the emperor.

There are so many twists and turns along the way that the book kept me gripped and I honestly had no idea if Rufinus would succeed in his task or not.

The ending to the book did not disappoint either; I have no trouble recommending this book to anyone. It was a fantastic read.

The chapters flowed well, the characters relationships grew before your eyes. You could see alliances and friendships forming.  The author clearly put a lot of time and effort into this book and it shows

One thing I really loved about this book is that I took an instant dislike to one of the Praetorian prefects, the other I really liked. I found as I went along and Rufinus made discoveries along the way my opinion of the prefects changed. It was amazing to see how easily Simon managed to change my viewpoint as a reader so quickly.

Simon clearly knows his stuff, the book was brilliantly written from my stand point. I couldn’t pick anything I didn’t like or even anything I would have elaborated further on. It was simply a brilliant book and one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

If you do one thing today make sure it’s to click the picture above and view the book on Goodreads, read the other reviews, check Amazon.. then buy the book. It’s well worth the money

Last comment is directly for Simon.. My next pet will definitely be named Acheron!

1 thought on “Praetorian: The Great Game by S.J.A. Turney – Review

  1. Pingback: Praetorian: The Price of Treason by S.J.A Turney – Review | David's Book Blurg

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