Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sunday Catch up with reviews

Happy Sunday to you! 

My day started with a fairly thick haar cloaking the view from my window. That means I could barely see 10 feet in front of me outside at 7 a.m. By ten a.m. the blue chinks were appearing and the misty haar burned off in that almost instant way that it does in Aberdeenshire. 

I had a plan but that didn't include writing all day. Nope, first pop was to go to a nearby town to help deliver leaflets giving an update on the local SNP MP's progress. First pop didn't quite happen but I was off on my delivery round by 10a.m, after the haar lifted. Driving around Aberdeenshire single carriageway (for some single track with passing places) roads isn't fun if you can't see in front of you so it's cautious to wait. 

My writing tasks today include catching up with reviews of books read so here's another I finished last week. 

Simon Scarrow Under The Eagle  - 4 stars

This was an interesting glimpse into the life of a centurion, Macro, in the Ancient Roman Army of c. AD 43. At times, it seems as though the story is more about the young recruit Cato since there are spells where the plot is described in his point of view, though that also happens with other characters, too. However, the omniscient author plus technique didn’t interrupt my reading flow. The details of fortress life in Germania were very realistic, the harshness of the military life thrust upon the new recruits being particularly brutal and as far as we can tell very authentic from written military texts handed down to us. Phraseology that works today give a sense of the earthiness of the characters but it doesn’t quite work for me for 2000 years ago, though I appreciate how difficult it is to give the characters a real depth that makes the reader empathise with them. This would be a great read for anyone new to Ancient Roman military history who wants to learn it though the medium of realistic action packed fiction. 

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