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And it feels like....,
This review is from: The Caspian Gates (Warrior of Rome 4) (Paperback)
There's a thing about military books series one loves - reading each new one is like meeting old friends. These men are like brothers. They're like brothers to you. You know them, you missed them, you're excited to read about their new adventures.
This book gives you no time to relax, it throws you straight into action, into a disaster, and, of course, things just go downhill from there.
I like how each character has a distinct voice, a personality, some unique quirk of character. It makes them their own people, someone you want to read about.
I must be honest - though one of it's finest, this book is genre-fiction: unlike something exceptional like M.C. Scott's ''Rome'' series, there's not many things that will surprise you here, you know what you like and you know what you'll be getting. That's not a bad thing, offcourse. Because what you know you will be getting from Sidebottom is easily readable, well-researched, filled with dozens of unknown period details story, by someone who is clearly passionate about the subject he writes about. And those are the best books to read.
And yet there was one thing that caught me unawares, something that did surprise me, something I'm not used to reading in this kind of genre fiction. It concerns Emperor Gallienus. I will say no more.
There are several plots in this book - the Ephesus event, the several Goths attacks, the main one at the Caspian Gates. Each of them suspenseful, each one military and precise.
There are also some new characters - Hippothous (not quite new, but I don't really remember him from last time); Wulfstan, Ballista's new Angle slave; and last but not least, Pythonissa, a radiant and fierce warrior princess, as much a barbarian as Ballista himself.
None of them are a cliche, an afterthought.
It took me a few dozen pages to get back into the settings, the violence, the banter, the easy camaraderie but once I did, it was like coming home.