Reviewed by Caleb Shadis
In Soldier of Rome: The Legionary we meet a young man, Artorius, who joins the Legions in order be a part of the force sent to punish the German barbarians for the Teutoburger Wald massacre. They had wiped out three Roman Legions including the one his older brother had been attached to. We follow Artorius as he becomes a recruit, is trained to be a Legionary and finally marches with the army to exact vengeance upon the barbarian horde.
The Legionary takes place primarily as Tiberius takes over after the death of Caesar Augustus – an interesting and popular time for Roman historical fiction. While I’m not a Roman historian, what knowledge I do have about the time period matched with the facts Mace used in his stories. I believe he tried to be accurate in the details, especially when he described the Legions’ weapons and their use.
James Mace tells a good story; there are some gruesome moments, which is to be expected given the topic at hand. Mace has his favorites and you can expect them to come through mostly unscathed. All the bad things happen to others. This is not a dig against The Legionary (and my wife prefers stories that work like that!), but it reminded me of a Western , or even a David Eddings book, where you know the good guys are going to win. Not everyone prefers that kind of story. For my part, I did enjoy The Legionary and do plan to acquire at least the next one in the series if not all of them.
Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Pump Up Your Book. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.