• The Great Game

  • Praetorian, Book 1
  • By: SJA Turney
  • Narrated by: Piers Hampton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

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The Great Game  By  cover art

The Great Game

By: SJA Turney
Narrated by: Piers Hampton
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 SJA Turney (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Great Game

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

COULDN'T KEEP MY INTEREST

This seemed to begin well if lamely with the centurion and the slave girl and the emperor and his enemies plotting and cross plotting dum de dum de dum; a bit Cornwellian in over the top descriptions of gore and wounds and blood but with a couple of original flashes here and there, enough to give hope that better things were ahead. But then it continued treading water in this predictable vein with wholly implausible plot twists and paste-in musings about the willowy but unapproachable slave girl and the boring events of the previous chapter etc etc. Nothing ever really seemed to move forward. It would be great to read something written just because it was a fine story as opposed to a story treatment that necessarily included blood, gore, love interest, blood gore love interest tied together with wearying coincidences and goofy confrontations intended to inject some dramatic energy. The author can write very well and should pick a tale that is worthy of his skill. My thoughts.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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EXCELLENT!

Loved it! S.J.A. Turney has done it again, can not wait to continue the series. Turney is one of the absolute Best!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

wonderfully written, horrible narration

First book of this author for me, and the writing and story are EXCEPTIONAL! The narrator, he needs to learn how to STOP whispering the last words of EVERY sentence! Literally. Other than "action" sentences, he whispers the rest of the time, up goes the volume. Action happens, blares your ears as you TRY to LOWER the volume, only the next INSTANCE to have to turn it back up!
The narrator has a WONDERFUL voice. Smooth, natural, and even a bit seductive (as a woman, I like it, HeHe). He needs to read at a CONSISTENT moderate volume for the WHOLE sentence.
I will be avoiding any audio books he narrates.

1 person found this helpful

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I love this book!

Great to see a parallel story to thr movie "Gladiator" that was completely different? refreshing and exciting

1 person found this helpful

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Good Story

It’s a good story. My main issue is with the performance. The performers whispering is interrupted by eruptions of shouting. It makes the experience almost intolerable. It makes no difference when listening on speakers or AirPods.

1 person found this helpful

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its really good

all sixteen books are great ,was sorry for it to end ,very entertaining , if you like Rome story's you will like this

1 person found this helpful

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Makes history even more interesting

I never thought I would enjoy 200 years after Caesar as much as I have this offering from the author who gave me a good idea of how Roman legions actually worked. The politics after Marcus Aurelius were just as mean spirited, convoluted and downright nasty as we have even now we haven’t learned anything from History.

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Narration is superb

I have listened to the nearly ended Mariu's Mules series, which also had a superb narrator. In this Praetorian series, however, with the private musings of a guardsman making up much of the book, the narrator here was more appropriate, softer and more intimate. I look forward to the rest of the series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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makes no sense and barely a ROMAN story line.

Why would they put him as a spy to the same people that saw his face and talked to him when he got his promotion? A few weeks later were supposed to believe he goes undercover around those same people and they are not going to recognize him. That blew the story for me. I got no emotional connection with the character. We know little of him. Just a lot of unbelievable things going on, the realism is not there. This could have taken place in the middle ages or any time period, there's nothing "Roman" about the story. The writer didn't find out how they actually lived and made no attempt to mix anything interesting about the time period. I would pass on this one.

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  • NICHOLAS
  • 07-21-18

Good story ruined by poor sound control

I really enjoyed the story but the sound levels were terrible. I listen to audiobooks walking to work used the same phone and same headphones for 100s of books. Normally have the volume at about 50-60% this book forced me to 100% and still struggled at places. The worst part was the voice actor would randomly (guessing attempt to add drama) shout which resulted in a painful volume jump. All in all good story let down by poor recording.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dr G. Bankoff
  • 01-01-20

Don't bother

Lame story, boy's own adventure, no character development and very predictable. Only book I've removed from my device.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Spencer
  • 07-29-18

A gripping, well crafted story

In every respect a great story, full of twists and turns, with excellent narration throughout.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dionne Titterton
  • 08-04-20

Loved it

A brilliant story from start to close. Main character I really got behind and wanted to hear what was going to happen next.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Glenn Hudson
  • 12-31-19

Quality

A good listen, enjoyed the journey of the character , good plot twists and an all together different look at comudus to other authors

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 03-18-19

Brilliant

State of the art for this genre .
As good as Simon Scarrow and I don't say that lightly.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Youngstuts
  • 10-30-18

Riveting novel and outstanding narration

This novel is a really riveting piece of fiction writing and the narration is the best on audible and there are several outstanding narrators that I have listened to over the years. Whilst the content of audiobooks matter it is the narrator that brings it to life. This book, and I expect the other two in the series so far, combines both. Now I will listen to the next book in the series, the price of treason and hope that there will be a lot more to follow once they are written and recorded..

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-08-18

excellent.

the author has an excellent knowledge of the time in which the story is set and brings alive the intrigues of ancient Rome, together with an unlikely hero, this is an excellent story. narrated to perfection. loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James McDaid
  • 08-25-20

Enjoyed the book and presentation very much.

Very good subject with more than enough suspense , detail and colour to match this subject.

Thank you for this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Thomas
  • 07-11-20

Wonderfully descriptive story narrated well

I loved the twists and turns of this story, it's immersiveness and delivery which was first class! I am not very familiar with late empire Rome so had to do a bit of background reading for context. The tale remained true to history and was spun so well that it's end is a bit of a rollercoaster although in very believable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sweetheart1
  • 07-28-21

holy moly

i stumbled across this author while stalking another favourite...and i am so glad I did! absolutely brilliant story and the perfect narrator. twists and turns and flips in every chapter. can't wait to listen to the rest of the series :)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mortox
  • 01-01-21

Another glorious SJA Turney journey begins!

Having finished the mind bogglingly awesome Marius' Mules series by this author, I thought I had reached the summit of Roman stories (seriously, check out that series..).

Starting a new journey with this novel I was thrilled to see Turney is just as masterful with intrigue, tension and suspense as he is with war and battles! Fast, full of action and a likeable protagonist is the recipe that makes this book come to life. A true wizard of writting weaving a story you will crave like water to a thirsty man. 10/10.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 2ez777
  • 02-14-19

good adventure

the story was good but the ending was a bit disappointing but will lead into the second story