Top critical review
An interesting coming of age novel
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.