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Ancient Iberia beckons and beguiles,
This review is from: WARHORN: Sons of Iberia (Kindle Edition)
I must admit I wasn't entirely hooked for the first few chapters, but once Caros was properly astride his roan mare, deadly falcata in hand, I was dragged along on a fast-paced adventure through ancient Spain, just at the time when Hannibal (of elephant fame) decided to once and for all throw the gauntlet in the Roman's face - in this case by setting out to conquer pro-Roman Sagunt, an isolated bastion of Roman loyalties in the Carthage controlled Iberia.
Caros is not a warrior, he's a merchant who is forced to take up arms in the aftermath of his family's death. Being young and resilient - and naturally gifted when it comes to strategical thinking and fighting - he quickly masters the skills of a fighting man, but when he meets pretty Ilimic, Caros decides to marry her, leave warfare behind and revert to his family's trading roots. Not to be, but more will not be said so as not to spoil the story.
What I really liked about this book was the fresh dialogue. Yes, it is at times too modern - never too modern - and the purists among us might not think it feasible that an ancient Iberian says "shit" (Of course they did - or something similar) but it creates pace and a sense of immediacy that I very much enjoyed.
What I found somewhat less appealing was the lack of female characters - beyond Ilimic, who is essentially pretty and mild. Having said that, Warhorn is a war story, so maybe the absence of female characters is natural, but even so i'd have liked at least one strong and intriguing woman, if nothing else as a counterpoint to all the men. At times, the long battle-sequences could have done with some abbreviation, which would also have helped the reader in grasping the salient facts.
For those wanting a fast-paced historical novel set in a time and place we rarely get to read about, Warhorn is warmly recommended.