Friday, August 30, 2013

"Arena" - a review...

....does anyone else's heart sink slightly when they see that one of their more preferred authors has got a co-author for their latest book??

So it was with this one, but at the advantageous price Tescos were charging (other supermarches are available ) I thought it was worth a punt...

First things first, this is the first time in print for the contents,but the book is an omnibus of previously released ebooks  (novella's)so if you've read them then this is not going to contain anything new for you...

That makes sense when I think back on the book, as it is the story about the son of a tribune, who has been executed as a traitor..  the son has been thrown into one of the gladiator training schools, in the expectation that he will be killed in one of his early bouts....  the book is divided into each of the challenges he faces in the arena - fighting beasts, other gladiators of various types, and with various weapons, but always inching towards his goal which is a bout against the gladiator who executed his father....

So what do you get for your money?

A slightly formulaic story, it had the feel of a children's book about it but is eminently readable. The historical background is second to none with lots of descriptive colour about what it is like to be a gladiator in Claudian Rome. We get an appearance by the excellent Macro (chronologically this is before all his other adventures with Cato that Scarrow is better known for), some slimey baddies, a mad emperor, and set against a Rome increasingly ruled by the whims and demands of the mob....

I liked it, it's not high literature but it fairly ripped along and I was interested by the story, and the Gladiator detail...   Steve the Wargamer rates this one 7 out of 10..

3 comments:

  1. 7/10's not bad I did like his other Roman adventures but I know what you mean about co-authors??

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  2. I've seen this but assumed it was another one of his "young adult" gladiator series but maybe not...

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    1. Legatus - marketed at adults, but it read a little like it was aimed at older teenagers?? Blood thirsty enough not to be for children, though I may be out of touch!

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