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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Guiamo (The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo)
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$10.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on August 27, 2013
This was an interesting coming of age type of story written in the historical fantasy genre. I found the writing okay, but could use a little work. The biggest problem I noted was a lack of real conflict, which (for me) led to a lack of caring about the main character. An example from the very first chapter of the book (possibly a spoiler, but you also could figure out this much just by reading the summary of the book posted on Amazon): Guiamo is an young orphan, and he is abandoned by his aunt and uncle in a rural area. As soon as the aunt and uncle leave, Guiamo walks up to a nearby fisherman and offers to help him, and the fisherman takes him in. The problem was resolved before it had really become a concern, and Guiamo never struggles through it. This was a common theme throughout the book- there is something for Guiamo to do that should be difficult and challenging, and he just breezes through it.

That is not to say that the book was all bad, just trying to explain why I did not care too much about what happened to the characters. I never was worried that things might not turn out okay for Guiamo. The plot overall was interesting, bringing Guiamo into contact with a number of historically important people throughout the story. The historical facts seemed to me to be researched well, with nice descriptions given of what life was like in the early Roman empire. Overall, the book was a pleasant read, and kept me interested to the end. I may or may not read the rest of the series- I am somewhat curious about what new adventures Guiamo might get into, but I am completely confident that whatever they may be, he will excel at solving them.
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on August 23, 2013
Unlike alot of historically based novels, this book details life in an era not commonly written about. Overcoming tremendous obstacles Guiamo uses intelligence,tenacity and God given abilities to conquer adversity,yet remains humble and loyal to all those who have assisted him.
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on August 3, 2013
Amazing book by Marshall Best. I could not even put this amazing book down! I loved every part of this book. I recommend that you try this book.
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on August 4, 2013
Great for young readers alike girls or boys. Many useful qualities that should be taught in modern days life too,
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on July 9, 2013
Guiamo by Marshall Best is an outstanding historical novel of life and times in the ancient Roman era. It is full of action and adventure plus a great story of the life of our hero, Guiamo.

The author did an excellent job of developing the storyline, making it both real and believable. By sticking to known facts of this era he made his story come alive and become all the more believable. There were times I had to remind myself this was fiction. It was easy to follow the story and keep up with each new twist and turn. I really had trouble putting this book down.

Marshall Best's writing style brought the characters to life. He was able to instill emotion and character into each of them making it easy to identify and follow them. I really like a book where you can feel and sense what the characters are feeling and sensing.

Marshall Best did an excellent job with Guiamo and I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend this book to all readers and ages.

[Please note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]
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on December 6, 2013
Oh, how I love a well written book with a carefully built plot! And how I love to see the characters grow with every page I turn! I can’t even remember why I wanted to read “Guiamo” so badly. Maybe it reminded me of my passion for Ancient Rome and for the Latin mythology. Maybe the beautiful cover drew my attention, and the book description promised me a well researched historical novel with just enough fantasy elements to keep it interesting. It doesn’t matter now, really, because Marshall Best delivered much more than I expected.

Guiamo is a 10-year-old orphan who is abandoned by his uncle near a fishing village. It turns out this was the best thing his uncle could have ever done for his nephew, because Guiamo is taken into care by an old fisherman who teaches him everything he knows, and then sends him to his friend, Gabinius, a wealthy bladesmith who treats him like his son and offers him all he needs to grow into a strong and intelligent man. It is quite clear from the beginning that Guiamo is special. The Oracle predicted his coming into Gabinius’ house, and he soon finds out his grandfather is a powerful Druid. Moreover, when he visits the temple of Mars, the god of war, the priests give him an ancient, magical spear that is said to have been built by Mars himself.

One of the things I loved about this book is that the main character, Guiamo, needs to learn in order to become a great man. Even though he finds out he is special and he can control the powerful spear of Mars, nothing comes easy to him. He starts low, works, and fulfills his duties towards his protector. He knows there are rules he needs to respect, and steps he needs to take in order to reach his potential. He remains humble at all times, grateful for everything Gabinius has done for him, and simple in his demeanor, never considering that his intelligence, wits, and newfound abilities set him apart from the others. Naturally, I can’t wait to see how this character evolves in the next novels.

I can’t find anything negative to say about this novel. Some readers might find it slow at times, and that is because the author introduces many details about the traditions, society and politics of the period the action is set in. This didn’t bother me at all, because I always had a clear image of the characters’ world. The fact that the author has done such extensive research for this series can only be a plus. It gives consistency to the writing, and everything seems so much more realistic.

I also loved the words of wisdom Guiamo learned from his tutors, and I believe younger readers will find them interesting and worth remembering. Thus, the book doesn’t only prove to be enjoyable, but also quite educational, which is always good when it comes to a YA series. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical novels (especially about the ancient times), mythology, and fantasy.
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on December 9, 2013
(4.5 stars) We first meet Guiamo as a 10-year-old boy who gets abandoned at the side of the road by his Aunt and Uncle. We later learn that his father died when he was 5 and his mother and older brother died when he was 8. His aunt and uncle reluctantly took him in which is why they have no problem abandoning him. Fortunately, he's near some fishermen and one of them, Calidius, takes him in. After Calidius hears his story, he says, "Work diligently on the nets, and your life will improve. The lot of a fisherman is a life of hard work, but it is honest work, and there is honor in that. We also eat well, and that is one of life's greatest joys." Guiamo learns to fish and begins looking for ways to do it more efficiently.

When he's learned all he can from Calidius and the other fishermen, Calidius sends him to Gabinius, telling him to stay with him for three years and the lessons he learns there will prove valuable to Guiamo. Guiamo is sad to leave what has become his home but quickly adjusts to life with Gabinius and starts making improvements in his new location. He becomes friends with Ursius who trains dogs for the Roman army and their friendship continues throughout the book. He learns more about who he is and develops his gifts and continues to invent new things to make life easier and more efficient for those around him.

This book is the beginning of quite a journey! Guiamo is a character that is easy to love and invest in. I'm fascinated with him and the wisdom he possesses at such a young age. He's quite an inventor, as he's always looking for ways to improve life. He takes life in stride and looks for the good in it, never screaming and shouting that life is unfair or questioning why certain things happen to him. He does seem to have a moment of sadness at what he's left behind but always seems ready for the next adventure.

We also start to get glimpses of even greater things that Guiamo is destined to do in his life. He received a sword which has some amazing history and he learns more about his personal connection to it and how it can help him. There's also a curse that is revealed which gives some foreshadowing into his future. At then end, I was definitely ready to keep reading more!

I received a copy of this book to review. My opinion is 100% my own.
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on June 22, 2013
Marshall Best's The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo Series is addressed mainly to the young, but I can assure you that reading it can be enjoyable at any age. Certainly I would not have grabbed Guiamo, the first volume in the series, to read it, given the age that I have, but I had to do a review for the blog tour and my passion for the ancient world made me to give it a chance. And I did well!

Guiamo is a well written book, a pleasant read and with a lot of lessons for those who are just starting out in life: about how to be better, how to help your fellow man, to put other's happiness above your personal satisfaction. Do not be naive, the humanity has not changed much in 2000 years. People are just as good or bad as ever, they have the same qualities or defects and it seems, sadly noticing it, that nothing can change our way of being.

The central character of the story is Guiamo, a Roman orphan who for now seems to be doomed to a tragic fate, but who will benefit from the compassion and help of some special people. Yes, luck sometimes smiles to you, but also Guiamo is not an ordinary kid. Nobody will pamper him, the dramatic moments will not be missing, but by the way he is, and how he takes life seriously even at such an early age, he manages to gain the adults' trust and admiration. A young man full of imagination, who the author credited with some of the inventions that allowed Rome to become the terrible force of the ancient world, such as the gladius, the Legionnaire short sword and the ballistae, an oversized crossbow that has devastating effects. Do not smile, you will realize why by reading the story. The development of the first book runs through the character's childhood events until his coming of age, which, in the ancient Rome occurs earlier than in our society.

An exciting adventure, peppered with descriptions of everyday Roman life, but also with a touch of Celtic magic. It is a story about growing up, about taking responsibility, and a mystical one. It's a novel that entwines, in an interesting way, the fantasy with real history. The author introduces in the story moments of Caesar's Gallic Wars, and the first volume of the series will end with the preparations for the first Roman invasion of Britain. The book is a great and welcoming way for young readers to take contact with history.

Even if the text is full of Latin words, they are neither unnecessary, nor tiring. The style is pleasant, even funny at times, the action is smooth, it will not tarry, and there are no useless descriptions.

A captivating book, and why not, an instructive one that I recommend to you!
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on June 21, 2013
Okay, bare with me. This one is difficult. I need to find the right words.

I have to be honest.

The first few pages of this book? I hated it.

I couldn't pronounce the words/names. I was frustrated. I put it down and walked away.

If I didn't have to write this review, I don't think I would have picked it back up to read. (Just being honest.)

THANKFULLY, I had to write this review so I had to pick it back up and finish it.

I really, really, really enjoyed reading this book. (Even though I still struggle with names and words!)

I cannot explain the story line. It isn't romance. It isn't suspense. It isn't drama. It isn't science fiction.

The best way for me to describe it to my husband was "historical fiction" that had some true historical parts intertwined with the fictional story.

Additionally, I felt that the book was riddled with little life lessons that were meant for the main character in the book, but really left me thinking about it for days after reading it.

I really truly enjoyed this book (and I hate history and never paid attention to it in school) and was actually upset with the ending because it just ended (fortunately, I can purchase the Kindle versions for the next three on Amazon so I'm okay now!)

I very much so would recommend this to others and will hopefully be getting hubby to read it because he enjoys history and I think he would very much enjoy this historical fiction that follows young Guiamo on his life lessons.

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
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on June 12, 2013
If you are looking for a great book for your child, you have to get this one. It is perfect for kids probably 10 and up. Younger ones may have a harder time with some of the words and names but that has never really stopped my kids from liking a book. Parents don't have to worry about any mature content. The only thing may be one scene in the book with the blessing of the fields, and a phallus. I don't really recall any bad language.

Boys will probably get into this more than girls, but everyone will be able to connect with this book. I was drawn into Guiamo's world from page one. It took all I had to put the book down to get some sleep. I guess I should've started earlier in the day, instead of late in the evening. The author does such a great job that you can imagine you are right there. You can almost smell the fish at the fishing village.

I love that the book mixes history and myth together. You can almost get the sense of what it was like to live in the Roman empire. Life was difficult but you still have the optimism that you can change your life and excel. It teaches kids that hard work pays off and it still gives that sense of adventure. While most people will not agree that a boy of 14-15 would be considered a man, back then he would've been considered a man.

I really can not say enough about this book. I can't wait to pass this on to my son and probably to the library where my husband teaches. If you are try to get your child to read, this is the perfect book. It has a little bit of the supernatural, history, and myth with plenty of lessons and adventures.

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
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