4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Legionary (Paperback)
Not being an e-reader 'yet', I took a chance and bought the paperback version of Legionary by Gordon Doherty. I say took a chance because self published books are an unknown quantity especially if you are going to buy a tangible book because they are more expensive than a the run of the mill paperback and in some cases you will pay the same or indeed more than you would for a hardback of an established author. Nevertheless I decided to give Legionary a go because of the subject matter and after reading SJA Turney's self published and very worthwhile Marius Mules, I knew that not all books of this nature are the devil.
So what did I think of Legionary? The book itself is 388 pages in length so its no small novel and is well written and I would guess edited in the same fashion, so the irritation that may have existed from poor spelling or grammar from a self published book (as I understand exists in some) wasn't there. The story revolves around the experiences of freedman Pavo who becomes 'the Legionary' at a very early age after gaining his freedom in AD 363, and joins the XI Claudio Legion in Rome's Eastern Empire based in Constantinople.
As the story develops the author really does enable the reader to 'live' through Pavo's eyes as he goes from recruit to experienced soldier and even before facing Rome's enemies in the forms of Goth's and Huns, has to survive and get through some quite brutal experiences which adds to the overall plot and remains with the reader and main character throughout. The novel easily allowed me to imagine where Pavo found himself with excellent descriptions of the environments, surroundings and characters. Gordon Doherty has created a book which made me want to know what happened next and I found myself disappointed when I had finished the story in a little less than three days.
So can Mr Doherty, a self published author write? In my humble opinion, yes he can and like Simon Turney he can write a well written and compelling novel that easily takes the reader to the place(s) where he has created for his characters. I think the sign of a good book is one that you don't want to put down and would read from cover to cover if your weary eyes let you, Legionary for me is one of those books and although my eyes got tired, I didn't about the story and so picked it up again the next day. I believe the sequel to Legionary is due out next year and I for one will be buying it.