Paperback Í Blood Forest MOBI Ò


Blood Forest 'A bloody page turner' Mail on Sunday They call him Felix A lost soldier without a memory and now a brutal battle to win For fans of Bernard Cornwell Simon Scarrow Ben Kane and Conn Iggulden a spectacular debut where honour and duty legions and tribes clash in bloody heart breaking glory AD 9 Fifteen thousand battle hardened Roman legionaries strike deep into dense forest Awaiting them are deadly hostile Germanic tribes In a clearing they find twelve massacred and strung up legionariesIs this a threat or a warningThere is just one bloodied broken survivor He has no idea who he is Only that he is a soldierAnd now he must fight As the legions are mercilessly cut down the nameless soldier joins a small band of survivors trapped in the forest If they fight together they have a slim chance of staying aliveBut whose side is the soldier on And is it the right one'Gives Rome's legionaries a contemporary voice brutal audacious and fast paced' Anthony Riches author of Empire series'Historical fiction written by a real war veteran who knows all there is to know about blood and bonding in battle An earthy and powerful read' Sport'Blood and guts but also a clever exploration of the moral ambiguity of war and loyalty to a flag' Mail on Sunday Initially I thought this was a superb read; gritty and realistic At the centre is a mystery who is our hero what is his secret He has been discovered in a forest clearing in Germany amongst the corpses of brutally slaughtered Roman soldiers He is taken to be a survivor of this slaughter and inducted back into the legions about to make their historical march into the Teutoberger Forest We all know what's going to happen don't we?What follows has that verisimilitude that accompanies anything written by one who knows Geraint Jones is a former soldier and he knows how soldiers live and act It's earthy it's gritty it's nasty and brutal It's gripping I enjoyed it as I devoured itSo why only four stars the ending That last chapter was so disappointing almost saccharin The grit and the earth and the blood and the guts all washed away leaving an empty taste of disappointmentDon't get me wrong it's a good read Well worth it just don't bother with the final chapter Prior to reading this book I knew nothing about the battle of Teutoburg Forest view spoiler A deceitfulmasterful win by a traitor to the Roman Empire Prince Arminius a German born and very highly respected officer of the Empire who cunningly led 17K of Governor Varus’s soldiers into a massacre in Germanic tribal lands guarded fiercely by people who opposed Rome and their conuering ways hide spoiler Powerful intense novel on Teutoberg Forest Massacre 9 AD as told from a legionary's viewpoint rather than the officers' They are only tangential to the story except for Arminius who drives the action and to a lesser extent Prefect Caeonius whose actions bear on the protagonist Felix several times and whose final decision concerns the whole army Although the Teutoberg incident has been recounted several times in novel form recently it's always interesting to see how each author tells the tale A wounded soldier is found in a grove his companions all having met ghastly deaths at the hands of the Germans He claims to have remembered nothing beforehand Rescued he is sent to Legion XVII as a battle casualty replacement and is given the name Felix meaning Lucky The story concerns him and his contubernium called herein a section The novel smolders until the final conflagration battle with the Germans near a defensive wall of withy branches the Germans have erected and the shattering conclusion at the marching camp Through the novel we get tantalizing bits of Felix's past and how he came to be there until the final reveal At the marching camp he has a choice to make that will affect the rest of his lifeThe action was gruesome and blood saturated all through but nothing felt gratuitous here The author went overboard on the profanity and I wish it could have been toned down somewhat eg f word as gerund over and over I did get a view of a common soldier's life back then in all aspects in garrison life and group dynamics on the march dodging Germans' hit and run tactics traps and obstacles as well as battle I also got into the soldiers' heads their thinking psychology and emotions The members of Felix's section fit the stereotypes of a group of soldiers the brute and bully but de facto leader; the raw recruits; the disillusioned dispirited old soldier; the super religious and ultra patriot; the loving family man; and others The story easily could have been moved to another era say World War II The author lays out the possibility of a seuel but I feel the story could have ended here The writing was top notch and the cover fantastic The figure of the crow on the cover and its symbolism become apparent on reading the story I felt the whole prologue was a waste and added nothing to the story which could have begun easily with Chapter One dispensing with the prologue entirelyHighly recommended The trickiest reviews to write are the ones about books I have read that are already on the back foot for being a setting I am not interested in It makes it hard because I have to work out why I am not really getting into the story Is it because I just don’t like the setting in this case Roman? Or is it because I just did not like the book? I thought long and hard about Blood Forest while I was reading it and after I finished it In the end this is what I came up withI am not a keen reader of Roman historical fiction or ‘swords and sandals’ if you will And yet I do read it and enjoy it if the setting is beautifully and skilfully done For example the MC Scott Roman historical fiction books There is some skill at times in the Blood Forest settings but my issue was that the main setting was the suaddie comraderies I need plot and storyline than all the walking talking gutting grunting stabbing walking talking sleeping shtting spitting talking Not that it isn’t loved by many It simply isn’t something I get in to Not my fault nor the fault of the authorSo there was that And it was an obstacle to get over for me I don’t care about the gore or the swearing I used to as so much of it in swords and sandal books is not for the betterment of the read it is only for shock value but now I expect it from these suaddiegrunt comraderies books and I have learned to live with it to a degree If it is done in mature wayMy problem with Blood Forest was that after a promising start the comraderies became all the book was about and the plots and sub plots were absent or presented in such a fleeting way that if you blinked you’d miss them I even forgot sometimes that Felix had some back story to come out and that he had supposedly lost his memory I have noted other reviewers commenting on absence of plot too and I think to many who are looking for then it is uite distractingWar for many soldiers can be boring A lot of sitting around waiting for orders to come down waiting for transport waiting to move out Waiting waiting waiting Digging latrines Talking about women's body parts Sleeping Cleaning weapons And for some very little or no combat or action Sometimes not getting a shot off or getting shot at So if it is boring for real soldiers imagine how documenting this life can be boring for readers who don’t need that detailed insight Who already know about it perhaps or wish to read adventure in their stories not only actionI think that covers it My issue was both The roman suaddiegrunt setting dominating plot devices and suspense And my general disinterest in Romans and dislike for them as a peopleSimple Not simple Yes?In saying all that Make up your own mind on this book I read it for a book club read so I was already swimming out into unfavourable seas My opinion is compromised

  • Paperback
  • 377 pages
  • Blood Forest
  • Geraint Jones
  • 06 June 2014
  • 9781405927796

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