Finished The Eagle's Conquest, second in the popular series of Roman historical novels by Simon Scarrow. Haven't read the first: I'm beginning to think that it's best to start a series in media res, as for the first one the author's still getting his hand in.
The main character is optio Cato in a legion busy conquering Britain in the reign of Claudius, but also deals with his boss, centurion Macro, and the general Vespasian.
Seems a pretty solid effort, with lots of military detail. Good to see things from lower down the ranks for a change. However, the conspiracies seem a little silly and melodramatic; and there's nothing devastatingly original here.
Claudius here is presented as a vain idiot, nothing like Robert Graves highly idealized version, which makes a change. Also you don't have the good guys working to Restore the Republic, which is a break from the usual cliché.
I might keep an eye out for the others, but while it's workmanlike, it's not really something to rush out and read.
Visiting parents this weekend. Took Friday off to get some chores done.
Finally got around to getting rid of a few books at the charity shop. Has barely dented the book-mountain though. Will give them a chance to flog that lot, then dump the Rebus series and Fool trilogy on them, but after that it's going to be hard to choose.
Random. Insectoid barbiebot. Daily Mash: Huge Increase In People Who Have Totally Got Swine Flu. Boggins Window Cribs. Miniature sheep trim grass in vineyard. Atheist de-baptisms. Frog and spider symbiosis.
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