6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Derring Do on Hadrian's Wall,
This review is from: Wounds of Honour (Empire) (Hardcover)
I had great fun reading this first novel by Anthony Riches and found much excitement in its pages too. It's well worth a read. But, I felt disappointed that there was so much homage to other novels of similar ilk. The raw young Roman: (Julius Frontinus of "Roman Eagle Celtic Hawk', and Cato in Simon Scarrow's series); the grizzled veteran: (Marcus Vettius Valens of 'Roman Eagle Celtic Hawk' and Macro in the Cato series) and the various servants and sidekicks; Aquila is even the name of a character in Rosemary Sutcliff's Roman trilogy).
While the characters are well drawn and engaging it all seems too good to be true in many respects. Nasty things do happen and the language used is not for those who object to 'four letter words' but the number of people who do things for honour and the rotters who always lose in the end make this too formulaic for excellence.
I hope that Mr. Riches will be able to move beyond the formula in later books in the series as there is much to recommend in his writing. I will certainly be giving them a go.