Warnings: swearing, sexual references, violence, mild gore.
Author: Anthony Riches
‘THRILLING, AUTHENTIC AND ACTION-PACKED, WOUNDS OF HONOUR IS THE STORY OF A FIGHTING MAN IN THE ANCIENT WORLD’S TOUGHEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL ARMY.
Marcus Valerius Aquila has scarcely landed in Britannia when he has to run for his life – condemned to a dishonourable death by the power-crazed Emperor Commodus. Desperate, the Praetorian Guard officer agrees to take on a new name, serve in an obscure regiment on Hadrian’s Wall and lie low until he can hope for justice.
Then a rebel army sweeps down from the wastes north of the Wall, and Marcus has to prove he’s hard enough to lead a century in the front line of a brutal war with a merciless enemy.’
As someone who enjoys ancient cultures and religions, I was excited for this book. But within pages of starting, the very un-Roman insult of ‘cumstain’ jarred me into thinking that maybe, just maybe, this wouldn’t be the book I thought it would be.
Most of the book I enjoyed, however I think someone who reads more violent books would find it more to their liking. There was constant descriptions of burning animals, marching, more marching, deaths of ‘blue-nosed bum f*ckers’, even more marching, and the smell of dead bodies, and to be honest, that isn’t my kind of book.
The plot was good, but some bits didn’t add up – Marcus’s whole family had been murdered, but this only came up a few times. Marcus was a ‘traitor to the Emperor’, and again, this was immediately accepted by all of the characters that new about it.
I did like the characters though, especially the female doctor (who was unfortunately quite sexualised, for reasons beyond me. She is a DOCTOR, not a PROSTITUTE.)
This is the kind of book that I feel I wasn’t the target audience for, but I have read reviews that put it in a better light (Find the Goodreads page here).