2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Makes the action-packed boring,
This review is from: The Silver Eagle: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 2) (Paperback)
I never thought that I would find an action-packed military novel boring, but this time I did! I can see why sales for this kind of fiction are initially healthy and then demand suddenly tails off. Clearly, other reviewers enjoy Ben Kane more than me. Revealingly, one mentioned his lack of familiarity with the 'benchmarks' of the genre, authors like Conn Iggulden and Simon Scarrow. Both are twice as good. It's a case of thinking bad wine is good because you have never tasted the best.
Kane cleraly knows his Roman military topic well, and extensively explains at the back why he deviated so often from either fact or likelihood. All through the book I had assumed that it was pure ignorance producing the bloopers. I was outraged that he actually knew what he was doing!
What most of you care about is whether it is an exciting read. Well, the answer is no. The heroes fight too often in too similar a situation, usually when anyone with sense would and could avoid it. Every character is in just too much peril too much of the time. It becomes tedious. The motives of the key figures are too limited and not particularly believable. We are constantly reminded of them, as if the author doesnt quite believe they are sufficient either. I found the portrayal of Romulus's prostitute sister Fabriola the most unconvincing and the most irritating too.
Factually, I can stretch to Kane's claim that there is 'evidence' for women being allowed to worship the god Mithras in the east. (Although, in fact I'm pretty sure that it's incorrect.) But to make it acceptable among Romans in Rome, even before the cult really got established there, is unnecessarily pushing it. And why bother to do so, I ask? It's just to put the silly trollop into yet more self-created trouble she does not deserve to survive.
This could have been a good book with a third cut out and the action tightened up. Expect to regularly see on a market stall near you.