Audiobooks The Soldier of Raetia – Z55z.co

Rome, BC Manilus Dardanus, a new soldier from the provinces, applies for a military sponsorship with Cassius Valerian, the general of a small legion patrolling the northern frontier Idealistic and naive, Dardanus has a lot to learn about the life he has chosen, and at first the brusque and reticent general seems the least willing candidate to teach him but gradually a bond begins to form between this unlikely pair, one that neither could ever have imaginedOver the course of a blood soaked summer in the wild, as Dardanus struggles with coming of age and Valerian wrestles the ghosts of his past, battles and betrayals on every side threaten to end that fragile bond and possibly their lives


10 thoughts on “The Soldier of Raetia

  1. Martin Martin says:

    Hot studs in loincloths and red cloaks That s what m m set in Ancient Rome is about, right When I look for m m stories in this time period, I am usually ready to let lots of historical inconsistencies pass, because I expect them to be pretty sexually explicit by nature And if you re lucky, there s a well developed plot somewhere in there too I am saying this lovingly, as I ve enjoyed many novels set in Ancient Rome The Soldier of Raetia , however, is very unique in the m m niche of Roman Hot studs in loincloths and red cloaks That s what m m set in Ancient Rome is about, right When I look for m m stories in this time period, I am usually ready to let lots of historical inconsistencies pass, because I expect them to be pretty sexually explicit by nature And if you re lucky, there s a well developed plot somewhere in there too I am saying this lovingly, as I ve enjoyed many novels set in Ancient Rome The Soldier of Raetia , however, is very unique in the m m niche of Roman historicals.First of all, it rings absolutely true to the time period And unlike many Roman m m novels, it doesn t feel like two contemporary gay guys falling in love wearing togas It is two men actually living in Ancient Rome, living by Roman rules of society and suffering through their lives as soldiers.This is the story of Dardanus, a 20 year old Roman citizen who grew up with his procurator father in a Roman province that is nowadays known as Switzerland His father already has a first born son who will follow in his political footsteps, so Dardanus is sent off to Rome to become the ward of famous General Cassius Valerian a hardened and unmarried military man without any heirs of his own Cassius gives the son of his former friend a pretty cold welcome in his home, having had enough of the many young bootlickers who try to become his heir To Cassius, Dardanus is just one of many, but the boy quickly earns the General s trust by proving that he isn t an ambitious schemer like is father Cassius promises to watch over him during the summer.Living with the general, Dardanus enjoys a full military training in the barracks and makes friends among his squad, some of whom are sons of wealthy Roman nobles like himself, while others are half breeds who worked themselves up in the military ranks in a way that wouldn t be possible for them in civilian life.His friends spend their free time whoring and drinking, which isn t what Dardanus is looking for in life He isn t really sure what he wants exactly, as he his a virgin in the true sense of the word, but he knows it is his Roman duty to become a husband and father at some point His loyalty, his endearing innocence and his readiness to give away his heart way too quickly make him one of my favorite characters in an Ancient Roman setting.The concept of homosexuality in Ancient Rome is very unusual in comparison with modern gay men, as it was socially acceptable to have sexual relations with persons of any gender, as long as a Roman citizen wasn t the passive partner in the relationship.Therefore, it was not uncommon that an older man General Cassius is 40 years old in this story, so he s not old in my book, LOL had a sponsor prot g or student teacher relationship that also involved sexual contact It wasn t as common as it used to be in Greece, but it was definitely a well known and socially accepted concept.With this in mind, it is fascinating to see how General Cassius best friend Pertinax who is happily and straightly married is enouraging him to finally start a sexual relationship with Dardanus, as it is obvious that the General clearly favors his prot g , but Cassius has no plans to follow that path, his pent up frustrations even prompting him to treat Dardanuscoldly than necessary.Dardanus, on the other hand, is unconditionally loyal to his general, but at the same time cannot cope with the brutality of war in the same way as his friends and fellow soldiers.His coming of age through battle and his accepting his place as a soldier who needs to kill people in a fight is amazing to watch albeit heartbreaking as well General Cassius doesn t want to spoil his ward or single him out in front of his fellow soldiers, so it takes a long time for both guys to actually grow closer, as Dardanus spends most of his time with his squad.When a gruesome battle against northern invaders turns bad, General Cassius finally drops his reserves and openly cares for his wounded ward.All in all, this story is a perfect example of well done character development The attraction between these guys is not a simple reaction to good looks or a muscled body General Cassius is a battle hardened man with scars all over his body, but it is his sharp strategic mind, his fairness towards his subordinates and his fearlessness in battle that fascinate young Dardanus who grew up with wars only existing in books and sword play being a simple part of his education His fascination with his general starts out as mere loyalty and the need to look up to somebody who seems bigger than life to a 20 year old youth It takes some time for Dardanus to realize that the general is in fact only a human being and a man who is deeply torn inside.Cassius, however, thinks of Dardanus as a boy when he takes him in, only offering him a military education It takes months of training and gruesome battles for him to see the man Dardanus has become Dardanus quick and strategic mind despite his youth proves to Cassius that the boy isthan a handsome distraction that he needs to avoid at all costs in order to keep his integrity as general intact.TheDardanus proves himself as a soldier, thethe general becomes protective of him and starts working through his emotions instead of closing himself off The story is simply amazing and probably the ultimate slow burn romance However, if you re expecting a quick You Me Bed Now trope as you often find them with stories set in that period, you ll be disappointed, as this story sure does take its time to develop and revolves mostly around the grueling details of warfare and the raunchy camaradery among soldiers I enjoyed the silent moments between Cassius and Dardanus very much, even at the beginning Their dinners together are priceless There s only so much you can exchange by staring at each other over venison And Dardanus fastening the general s breast plate right before battle becomes a truly intimate moment that touched my heart I also need to mention the side characters, which are truly outstanding in this story view spoiler Elerius, Dardanus best friend, who embraces the Roman lifestyle completely, not shying away from sleeping with a senator if it helps him advance Elerius is a senator s son who helps Dardanus understand his homosexuality, but he is also a blood thirsty soldier, who enjoys killing enemiesthan he probably should and has a series of dark secrets lurking in his heart Iocundis, the 26 year old leader of Dardanus squad, who was born a bastard to a Roman father and a Spanish mother and decided to use the military to work his way up to fame and fortune He is Dardanus silent voice of reason, advising him not to give his heart away too quickly He s a good friend and an interesting guy who I would have liked to seeof.Iallus, a young recruit of Dardanus age who is a loving husband to his charming wife and devoted father to his baby son, making Dardanus aware of what he s missing out in life Watching his friend and squad mate also makes Dardanus realize that a wife and children isn t the life for him, even though it is what his father expects of him Pertinax, the general s second in command and best friend who knows Cassius better than anyone and clearly sees what s going on beneath the surface He encourages Cassius to follow his feelings, but Cassius rarely follows his friend s advice outside of the battle field hide spoiler In any case, this story is truly outstanding It is one of my top 10 reads in this year and definitely my number one favorite m m story set in Ancient Rome Not to mention, it is my main reason to seeknovels set in this period It also reminds me strongly of the historical fantasy novels written by Marion Zimmer Bradley i.e The Forest House , just without the supernatural aspects, of course The world building, the conflict and the plot building are absolutely spot on Don t miss out on this gem 5 stars


  2. Jaya Jaya says:

    I think there s beauty in not knowing how things will end If we knew our fate, we might try to change it.Thank you, Martin, for bringing this jewel of a book to my notice Can t wait to read the sequel


  3. Anna Graham Anna Graham says:

    I finished this book in two days Am I overly fond of historical fiction no Do I pine for Roman tales not really Am I keen on war stories not exactly Do I appreciate well written, unconventional love stories You bet But that doesn t begin to say why I couldn t tear myself away from The Soldier of Raetia Heather Domin sets a reader right in a Roman landscape, the smells, sounds and sights fleshed out as if I was reading in the houses, at the campsites, on the battlefields What Domin doe I finished this book in two days Am I overly fond of historical fiction no Do I pine for Roman tales not really Am I keen on war stories not exactly Do I appreciate well written, unconventional love stories You bet But that doesn t begin to say why I couldn t tear myself away from The Soldier of Raetia Heather Domin sets a reader right in a Roman landscape, the smells, sounds and sights fleshed out as if I was reading in the houses, at the campsites, on the battlefields What Domin does for vistas is expounded further in her plot and characters not a single voice rang untrue and I had to know how the novel ended I read a sample via Smashwords, then ordered the print version I was not disappointed in the remainder of the story, nor the presentation of Domin s work in paperback Looking forward tofrom this author


  4. Manfred Manfred says:

    I was always a big fan of Roman history, especially the Roman army and how they managed to build such an empire and especially how to maintain it.So I read quite a few books about Rome and I didn t need a lot of convincing when this book popped up on Martin s reading list, to follow suitAnd I can definitely say I did not regret it.The writing and the story reminded me of those beautiful Paul Waters books, who describes Roman everyday life including gay love interests like nobody else well I was always a big fan of Roman history, especially the Roman army and how they managed to build such an empire and especially how to maintain it.So I read quite a few books about Rome and I didn t need a lot of convincing when this book popped up on Martin s reading list, to follow suitAnd I can definitely say I did not regret it.The writing and the story reminded me of those beautiful Paul Waters books, who describes Roman everyday life including gay love interests like nobody else well maybe now like Heather Domin Add to that a beautiful and very slow burning attraction between Dardanus a young inexperienced soldier and Valerius a famous general of a Roman legion and you get a great story with a historic background and a nice love interest.However, do not expect a fluffy gay romance, be prepared for a realistic description of life in Roman times, especially in the army and with that knowledge you might enjoy this tremendously It is probablya novel about Roman soldiers and everyday life where the main characters are gay, than a gay story about Roman soldiers I certainly didn t mind, I enjoyed this a lot and it was hard for me to put the book down, it had me hooked to the end.Easily 4 stars, maybe even 4.5 and recommended


  5. Meg - A Bookish Affair Meg - A Bookish Affair says:

    You all know that I love historical fiction and I read a ton of it I was very excited about this book as I ve read very little historical fiction about Rome even with all of the HF that I read I was most definitely not disappointed This is a well researched story about the everyday lives of Roman soldiers I d like to point out that I really, really enjoyed the historical note at the end of the book that discussed what the author made up and what research went into the book I think that in h You all know that I love historical fiction and I read a ton of it I was very excited about this book as I ve read very little historical fiction about Rome even with all of the HF that I read I was most definitely not disappointed This is a well researched story about the everyday lives of Roman soldiers I d like to point out that I really, really enjoyed the historical note at the end of the book that discussed what the author made up and what research went into the book I think that in historical fiction books, it s definitely interesting to see what the sources the author looked at while writing the book I think that it really helps put things into context I really liked how vivid the writing was You really feel like you re witnessing the things that the characters are doing There is most definitely a good sense of setting, which I felt really helped to pull me into the book Also, I m not huge on war books and technically this book covers a war however, the story itself really coversof the human story behind the soldiers The focus is reallyon the inside scoop on the things that went on when the soldiers were not fighting It was a unique perspective and really allowed you to get to know the charactersthan you do in a normal war story.I really like the characters in the book You have a very powerful general, someone who would know of the high life of the highest class of Romans Then you have the soldiers that come from a variety of backgrounds I liked that you sort of got a taste of some of the different Roman classes, a very important feature of Roman society.One thing I will mention is that there is a homosexual relationship between two of the male characters in the book This should not bother you Why, you might ask Homosexual relationships were a completely normal part of Roman life As the author explains at the end of the book, the Romans thought that the male body was the most beautiful form in the world and thus, if you were a man and you took a male lover, not another thought would be given Bottom line This is a great historical fiction read


  6. Lexi Lexi says:

    4.5 Nearly everything about this book is nearly perfect unobtrusive exposition, evocative descriptions of people and places, careful and sparing touches of research, vivid characters, high stakes and the maddeningly slow burn of the relationship between the protags And now I feel like I ve sucked the life out of it with this review, but it is very much alive, very vibrant and moving This first book promises an awesome series And it s 3, guys 4.5 Nearly everything about this book is nearly perfect unobtrusive exposition, evocative descriptions of people and places, careful and sparing touches of research, vivid characters, high stakes and the maddeningly slow burn of the relationship between the protags And now I feel like I ve sucked the life out of it with this review, but it is very much alive, very vibrant and moving This first book promises an awesome series And it s 3, guys


  7. ainsley ainsley says:

    If you ve ever looked for reading material and thought, I want something like the Eagle of the Ninth, but actually gay , I have a recommendation for you.


  8. Jane Jane says:

    This was basically a Bildungsroman The strong points were sympathetic characters and excellent character development A young man, Dardanus, enlists in the Roman Army, 10BC, and is posted to Raetia parts of modern day Germany Liechtenstein Switzerland Austria We are given a detailed depiction of his basic training , of members of his contubernium i.e., tentmates messmates and General The equivalent term probably would have been Legate Valerian of the Legion, his sponsor and mentor D This was basically a Bildungsroman The strong points were sympathetic characters and excellent character development A young man, Dardanus, enlists in the Roman Army, 10BC, and is posted to Raetia parts of modern day Germany Liechtenstein Switzerland Austria We are given a detailed depiction of his basic training , of members of his contubernium i.e., tentmates messmates and General The equivalent term probably would have been Legate Valerian of the Legion, his sponsor and mentor Dardanus bonds with them all, including a deeper bond with the General There are vivid battle scenes, heroism, and treachery Some parts of the story are poignant Though simple, the language seemed very modern, but there was no swearing a good thing, in my view In the author s historical note, she gave a skeleton history of that historical period She separated fact from her fictions for the novel and told us why she invented what she did I loved her descriptions of nature and of the characters I could visualize each person and felt that I was standing right in the middle of the action all through This was an easy read of only a few hours As this is the first novel in a projected series, I certainly would like to read any further adventures and will reread this novel


  9. G. G. says:

    Well researched, but there s a bit too much of telling instead of showing, and it takes a while to get going The relationship between Dardanus and Valerian his sponsor legatus is very slow burn, which I enjoyed Overall, while The Soldier of Raetia isn t as great as I expected, it s an enjoyable coming of age story.


  10. Dumbledore11214 Dumbledore11214 says:

    Have you ever read a book which you kept coming back to no matter how many books you have read after, and wanted to read and reread and savor every word and reread again Have you ever read a book where you wonder how the writer could transport you to another time so flawlessly and make you want to get to know the characters in person because they felt so amazingly real I am sure we all have such books which we can gush about endlessly, and this is one of those books for me.This is a historical Have you ever read a book which you kept coming back to no matter how many books you have read after, and wanted to read and reread and savor every word and reread again Have you ever read a book where you wonder how the writer could transport you to another time so flawlessly and make you want to get to know the characters in person because they felt so amazingly real I am sure we all have such books which we can gush about endlessly, and this is one of those books for me.This is a historical fiction novel with the touch of m m romance of the kind which I personally do not see nearly enough in the genre, and of the kind which I crave the most I have read historicals which, as far as I am concerned, really should not classify as such since the settings were badly researched and or the characters were contemporary minded just placed elsewhere in time Recently, however, I have read several historicals in a row where the settings were well researched and the characters felt for me well, let s just say I felt as if I was reading about aliens from space, so unrelatable the characters felt in the best possible way And this prompted another reread of this book, where I could not help but hold my breath so badly I wanted my beloved characters to succeed against all odds, survive, and find all the things they are looking for in life.These characters did not feel as if they have contemporary mentality and were just dressed in Roman costumes Quite the contrary, in fact One of the most likeable characters in this story wants to buy his mother ten slaves when he becomes a successful soldier, and no, there is absolutely no chance I could like somebody from my own time wanting to do that But this author seems to remember that there are at least some character traits that a lot of people could relate to no matter which time we live in, and good guys in this book, while not running to free their slaves or do other anachronistic things, seem to have those traits in abundance traits like honor, patriotism, courage, and willingness to help their comrades on the battle field.This is a story which, as blurb tells us, takes place in Rome and one of its provinces As I said above, this is first and foremost historical fiction about the life in the army of Rome at the time of its glory as much if notthan a m m romance The love story between Valerius and Dardanus is definitely there, but it takes a back seat to the rest of the story This is also a coming of age story for Dardanus, who comes to the home of General Cassius Valerian because his father wants Valerius to take Dardanus under his wing as his ward and maybe later heir.All of the characters in this book are very well fleshed out, and it was a joy to read about Valerius very reluctantly deciding to be Dardanus sponsor for the summer when he starts his military training and slowly, oh so very slowly, coming to realization that he may actually be attracted to young man Dardanus was so lovely, a twenty year old who dreamt about being a soldier and who is blossoming into a real soldier who fights for Rome, and whose admiration of Valerian turns into love His friends Iocundus, Ellerius, Iallis and couple others were delightful characters as well.We get treated to very detailed descriptions of Roman army training and battles, but for me it was never boring in fact, it was so very vivid that I found the pictures the writer painted with words I was so engrossed, it truly felt as if I was there among the soldiers and was observing the battle field.My only niggle with the book was the fate of the villain and the villain itself The villain felt to mepitiful than villainous, although I totally understand how soldiers of Rome would have felt very differently and had no pity At the same time, while my little contemporary heart liked how the villain was dealt with, and I do get the explanation of how it would have made sense, it did feel to me a little anachronistic.Please be warned, there is one m f sex scene on page, which, while completely making sense in historical context, may turn some readers off.Highly recommended.Originally posted at jessewave reviews my nick is Sirius there