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Posted October 9, 2011
It's not often you find a book about Roman soldiers that is not a textbook. It seems like a hard subject to move over into fiction, but this book was handled relatively well.
The story revolves Artorius, a young man who trains to become a legionary in the army. There are a lot of interesting details about Roman life, mainly about military training, which would be interesting for lovers of history. The quantity of fight scenes are well-executed, with the right amount of tension affecting the reader, but for those of you who get bored with action movies, the amount of tactical explanation might get a bit on the dull side. Even I, who love a good fight scene, found myself drifting in my reading during some of these scenes. There are good moments, though, some comedic scenes which are written with skill. What I felt the most was that it wasn't as balanced as it could be. There were entire chapters of mostly action, while other ones were about trivial conversations that had little to do with the plot.
The characters are alright. Artorius, though brave, is not lovable, which is a problem since he is the protagonist. Some of the side characters, such as Magnus or Vitruvius, are much more interesting, much more rounded characters. The women are either all prostitutes or unfaithful girlfriends and wives, which was not too fun for me to read. I understand that there was no such thing as feminism in ancient Rome, but still, it gets frustrating to read about these pointless women passing like ghosts through men's lives.
This is a hard one for me to recommend. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I think if there had been a stronger main character, it could have been good, but as it is, it left me with a bit of a hollow feeling. I have the second book in the series to review, and I'm not sure what to expect. Hopefully, Artorius will develop a bit more, enough for me to care for his success.
Posted September 5, 2011
Posted August 8, 2011
Before I go further into reviewing this book, I am going to say, it's a "guys" book. No fancy schmancy romantic war ideas, no going back to a tear stained love interest who was waiting for him to come back home or silly sappy love drama to make you cringe, etc etc you get the hint. This is full on brutal war descriptions, with the emphasis on brotherhood and fighting together against all odds. The author did a really good job with his homework in making this book as historically accurate as possible, even providing footnotes, and where he got them from. I liked the amount of historical detail put into this book so every little moment was easily pictured, and descriptions of Roman military tactics, their weapons, and how they fought was well written. The plot was simple, and although it has been done before, it still served as a good basic story to introduce Artorius to the reader. His development as a soldier was well done, although one could only assume the worst as it seemed that Artorius just got more angrier throughout the novel. The other characters in the book served as just supporting cast, although I wish there was more to them - although some had distinct personalities (Valens with his women, Magnus and his Northern ancestry) I wish there was just more development with them as I wanted to know more about these other characters too. It is a brutal book, battle scenes are written with extreme detail and the amount of violence is high. Although realistic because war is never something to be taken lightly, the sheer brutality of it described in this book may deter the readers from reading this. The only other criticism I could see, is some readers might thing the testosterone level in this book really reaches its' limits. It might be a turn off for some, I didn't mind as it did seem obvious this book does cater to the male demographic. (Let's just say, Artorius turns out to be a very very frustrated man, har har). I thought it was very well done, and I want to keep reading the rest of this series. I'd like to know what happens next! I greatly recommend this to others who are fond of military history, or who love a good book about Ancient Rome.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 12, 2008
Soldier of Rome was a so-so story and I learned things about the Roman Legions that I never knew before. However, the story is scattered with wrong vocabulary throughout the book which takes away from reading enjoyment. Examples are 'waive' when is should read 'wave' (the most prevalent), 'undue' instead of 'undo', 'then' instead of 'than', ad infinitum. If there was an editor or proofreader to catch these before publication it would have greatly added to the reading experience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 3, 2007
Posted December 27, 2006
This was a great book. I could not put it down. Kept me on the edge of your seat with the constant action and life of the Roman soldier. Enjoyed the way the book kept on flowing and never died out. I cant wait to see what else he writes. Look forward to it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.