In a short and battle-heavy narrative of a Roman legionary, Ocean Gods, Roman Blades follows Varus, a man who struggles to keep his innate warring drive in check to follow the discipline of a Roman warrior.
Giving mythology life in acts of incredible yet horrifying magic, Varus and his squad fight against pirates responsible for attacking Roman merchant ships.
Knighton writes with insightfulness, using the perspective of the protagonist to spy into the complexities of the characters surrounding him while still driving home the theme of a man trying to change himself to suit the world into which he was born.
The economy of Earth has crumbled to nothing and most of the planet has been sold off to wealthy aliens, making the New Middle East the primary center for the dregs of humankind. Humans are considered the lowest form of life – even half-breeds of human-Amphidian hold a higher status. Alekzander Brede is one such hybrid and a hired gun, paid by anyone with wealth to eliminate “obstacles” and seek out treasures. On this job, he’s seeking an ancient Egyptian Treasure.
Brede’s personality has been influenced by his mixed heritage, creating a man who views any weakness as a fair reason to die. He enjoys watching as well as causing the suffering of others, including the women he is attracted to. He is friendless and his family members despise him. He has learned not to care about killing and even threatens his own son with death for his behavior. Brede is not a protagonist one will feel sorry for, love, or empathize with, and at times he acts as the antagonist in his own life story.
Because he is always at war with someone and has few (if any) he can call friends, Brede lacks any sort of understanding of how to behave like anything other than the thug is hired to be. He fails at romantic relationships and at parenting. Occasionally, but rarely, he shines with a moment of sophistication and understanding but for the most part is no more than the sum of his parts.
This book of translated Scandinavian Folk Ballads with explanations is a useful resource for those wishing to study lore surrounding the Scandinavian culture, including Thor, Loki, and Freya, character we’ve grown more familiar with as Hollywood brings us action movies based upon the Avengers comic book heroes. The introduction to each ballad explains the overall idea of the story as told in verse.
I particularly like the clever water-color painting on the cover.
Warrior Lore is available on Amazon.com
View Ian Cumpstey’s Author Page