Thank you so much for reading it and providing feedback. I will certainly check out that YouTube channel! I'm thrilled to hear your comparisons to Douglas Jackson and Conn Iggulden, that's great to know. I really appreciate you pointing out the tweaks I can make - looks like I need to find the right balance between thuggishness and an authentic Roman voice for my soldier lads. Shouldn't be impossible. I like your point about too many names of battles being thrown in - replacing Alesia with Gergovia would certainly work well.
I hadn't noticed the speech tag thing, so that's great too. I do like using action to replace words like 'there was a pause', for example, as writing the action naturally creates the pause - but constant tags avoiding 'said' are annoying and I hadn't noticed how much I was doing that 😂 Thanks again!