S.J.A.Turney's Books & More

Reviews, news and inside the world of books.

Hero of Rome

leave a comment »

As has been noted in other reviews for ‘hero’, the only thing that I could see that might put a potential reader off is the fact that Boudicca’s revolt is far from anew theme or setting for Roman fiction.

The thing that counters it for me is the angle from which the events are seen. This is not the story of the Iceni warrior-queen, or of Cerialis. This is the story of a young officer, talented and bright, but out of place and often out of his depth. The revolt of Boudicca is not the crux of the story, but rather the scene against which the tale is set.

Another thing that I appreciated was that the eponymous hero was ar from the infallible superman that is often the standard portrayal of a Roman officer, but a man who endures fear, doubt, guilt and more. A real 3 dimensional character in whom I could easily believe.

The book is a good read from start to finish but, in my opinion, improves over the second half to a realy satisfying conclusion. The scenes of panic, evacuation, and tense preparation for coming dangers really sprang to life for me and will live on in my imagination.

I’ve read Jackson’s earlier novels (Caligula & Claudius) and they were good enough that I would not hesitate to recommend them, but Hero is a step up from them and one of the best books I’ve read for a while. I have now added the rest of the series to my reading list.As has been noted in other reviews for ‘hero’, the only thing that I could see that might put a potential reader off is the fact that Boudicca’s revolt is far from anew theme or setting for Roman fiction.

The thing that counters it for me is the angle from which the events are seen. This is not the story of the Iceni warrior-queen, or of Cerialis. This is the story of a young officer, talented and bright, but out of place and often out of his depth. The revolt of Boudicca is not the crux of the story, but rather the scene against which the tale is set.

Another thing that I appreciated was that the eponymous hero was ar from the infallible superman that is often the standard portrayal of a Roman officer, but a man who endures fear, doubt, guilt and more. A real 3 dimensional character in whom I could easily believe.

The book is a good read from start to finish but, in my opinion, improves over the second half to a realy satisfying conclusion. The scenes of panic, evacuation, and tense preparation for coming dangers really sprang to life for me and will live on in my imagination.

I’ve read Jackson’s earlier novels (Caligula & Claudius) and they were good enough that I would not hesitate to recommend them, but Hero is a step up from them and one of the best books I’ve read for a while. I have now added the rest of the series to my reading list.

Advertisements

Written by SJAT

January 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Roman Military

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: