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A Book Like an Espisode of a Saturday Morning Cartoon
on 3 October 2010
I had high hopes for this book. As an avid history buff, I have enjoyed Bernard Cornwell's accounts of the latter years of Britain and had hoped for some more of the same sort of writing with Simon Scarrow.
Unfortunately, the two are incomparable. Simon's novel starts out feeling a bit like an 80s US Army boot camp kind of film, then morphs into feeling like a Saturday morning cartoon, before eventually ending like an Austin Powers film - with a villain detailing his whole evil plot at the moment of expected climax.
The result is a novel that is undeveloped, cliche, immature, and not placed at all in the era you expect. A good historical author takes into account contemporary language and culture into the story, but this author has just focused instead on the events. It makes the whole era seem like it was just lived 20 years ago, instead of 2,000 years ago.
If you want a good historical account, stick to the greats. Simon Scarrow is not one of those.