Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog Tour: Soldier of Rome: The Sacrovir Revolt by James Mace

It has been three years since the wars against Arminius and the Cherusci. Gaius Silius, Legate of the Twentieth Legion, is concerned that the barbarians-though shattered by the war-may be stirring once again. He also seeks to confirm the rumors regarding Arminius' death. What Silius does not realize is that there is a new threat to the Empire, but it does not come from beyond the frontier; it is coming from within, where a disenchanted nobleman looks to sow the seeds of rebellion in Gaul.
Legionary Artorius has greatly matured during his five years in the legions. He has become stronger in mind; his body growing even more powerful. Like the rest of the Legion, he is unaware of the shadow growing well within the Empire's borders, where a disaffected nobleman seeks to betray the Emperor Tiberius. A shadow looms; one that looks to envelope the province of Gaul as well as the Rhine legions. The year is A.D. 20.

This is the second volume in the Soldier of Rome series. I’d read and reviewed the first one and had generally enjoyed it, so I was willing to do the same for the sequel.

The story begins three years after the first book, which shows pretty well in the maturity of the main character, Artorius. He is no longer quite as impulsive as when we first met him, and he seems to have learned to balance his body with his mind to become a better soldier. As with the first one, sometimes the names got a bit in the way, since similarities in spelling can make for a confusing read. Of course, in Roman times, the names were similar, but for a novel, perhaps it’d been wiser to choose them more carefully. The author does a nice job, however, on the historical details. There is obviously a lot of research behind these books and it shows.

The main issue I saw, in comparison to the first book, was that one’s plot tended to drag a bit. There is less action, i.e. battles, which could have been fine also, if the author had taken a little bit more time to structure the dialogues and small scenes better. They sometimes feel disconnected and not quite as believable as is ideal.

If you like historical and military fiction, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. However, I do recommend you read the first book in the series before you tackle The Sacrovir Revolt.

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