Normally, I love historical fiction. Can’t get enough of it. Especially anything to do with the Romans. I’ve read every single one of Robert Fabbri’s books in the Vespasian series. I love them and am always very excited when a new one comes out. When I bought this book, I thought it was Vespasian 8. Reading the reviews, I realised quite a few people thought so. But I actually didn’t mind when I realised my mistake, since I enjoyed the other books so much.
The story is actually told through the eyes of Arminius’ son, Thumelicatz, who tells the story to a group of romans that he meets that are looking for the last of the lost legionary eagles. So, the entire book is basically one guy telling a group of guys a story about his dad. I may be oversimplifying … or am I? I actually don’t think so.
One of the main rules of writing is “show, not tell” and while I think you can play with that in a novel, this entire book is simply telling the readers what happened, in what really isn’t a very believable fashion (and I love fantasy fiction so if I don’t find it believable that’s saying something). This method, at least in my case, makes the book extremely difficult to read. The reader gets lost too easily. I don’t know if this book is a publisher letting the author go off on a tangent to write about his passion with what seems to be little editorial input because the other books were so successful, or if it’s just a blatant cash in on the series’ success, but it was a sad disappointment. For those who enjoy the Vespasian series, this book isn’t a necessary part of it, so if you skip it, you’re not missing anything.
You can find my review along with other reviews of this book on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2259015000