The time is A.D. 71, the place is Northern Britain. Set against the founding of York, and the real life characters who founded the ancient city, this award-winning novel follows the fate of Roman and Celt alike. Cethen Lamh-fada and his wife Elena are forced from their home by the Roman engineer Gaius Sabinius, as the Ninth legion moves in. From the first skirmish at Cethen’s village, to the inevitable battle as Stannick, The Village is a riveting tale laced with dark humour, hard romance and the reality of life in dangerous times. With no dashing heroes or outrageous villains, the story is about the people of the time.
It’s no secret by now that historical fiction is one of my all time favorite genres. Due to that, I review a bit stricter than I usually would. I want the real history to weave into the story in a way that I feel like I’m actually there. I want to of learned something as well as enjoyed a wonderful story by the end of the book. Since I am so picky with this genre, I don’t accept a lot of review submissions from it.
I am SO GLAD I accepted this one! Holy moly was it good!
I loved how Mr. Clews told the story from both sides of the battle. I was incredibly impressed at the attention to detail the author showed for the accurate language, clothing and general setting in this book. He rode right on the line of too much detail a few times but stopped right before it got annoying.
Gaius was a bit of a pompous jerk in some parts of the story but I was happy to see that worked through in the end. I wanted to like him for his tenacity for survival as well as his underdog of Rome status. Being cursed with a family name that holds no leverage in those times was a trial to say the least. His outlook on life was particularly what I imagine a Roman soldier would have. Tough as nails but not quite clever enough for politics. Mr. Clews writing Gaius as an engineer was a clever way to include details of the architecture and superior building technology of the Romans without bogging the story down with too much detail. Very well done.
Cethen and his family were expertly written as well. The story leaked sympathy for their inevitable loss. As a reader, I connected with them more than Gaius. I always root for the underdog. History is not a fairy tale and the underdog often loses in real life. This is a tough thing for a writer to balance. On one hand you have to stay true to history. On the other you have to weave a bit of a happy ending for the underdog. I was satisfied how Mr. Clews handled this dilemma.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Definite 5 stars.
The Technical Data:
Title: Eboracum: The Village | Author(s): Graham Clews |
Publisher: Rubicon Developments Ltd. / Publication Date:4-3-2016 |Pages: 475 (Print Edition) | ISBN: 9781425119997 | Genre(s): Historical Fiction |Language:English |Rating: 5 out of 5 | Date Read: 5-5-2016 | Source: Copy From Author