Roman Sunset by Elizabeth May

I ventured into a time and place I have not spent much time in…the post-Roman world of Britain.  A time in which the Roman Legions left Britain in order to protect the Empire against Alaric’s depredations.  With the mighty army gone for good, there was very little to stand in the way of marauders shattering the peace of the countryside as Scots, Picts, Angles etc looked for easy pickings.

The author has put together an intriguing story of how the remnants of the legions and the survivors of the vicious  sackings of the villages and towns strive to start a new existence.  That is the main plot but there are plenty of sub-plots to keep one turning the pages, such as captured and enslaved villagers and their various plights, the joining of disparate forces to contend with warlike tribes, etc etc.

As well crafted as the story is, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of “vocal authenticity”, that is the lack of rough language and mannerisms one would expect from ex-legionaries, tribal warriors and the like.  Language is a very powerful tool and I found the paucity of gruffness even to be a tad unbelievable.  Without the coarseness, the story suffers from character depth and development.

I will read the sequel for as I said, the story is a good one.  I give this book a rating of 3.6.

A note on Hoover Book Reviews new rating policy:

In order to have a little more leeway in rating a book we at Hoover Book Reviews are adopting the following policy.  The system will still be based on 1-5 stars but with tenth of a point intervals, so a book that we in the past have rated 5 stars can now be more accurately fixed at say 4.5 or 4.2…etc etc.  Of course this will only be reflected in the review itself as I cannot change Amazon’s restrictive, whole numbers only method.

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