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Alissa

Alissa

Empire under siege - Jason K. Lewis

Nice short book set in an alternate Roman Empire, the story opens in the middle of a battle between the legions of the Adarnan Empire and a overwhelming horde of barbarians; the main characters are primus general Felix Martius and centre branch leader Conlan Danson (of the ninth cohort of the third legion), and the story develops mostly around both their point of views, with more emphasis on Conlan's as the reader follows the battle through his actions and emotions until the puzzling climax. Both characters are intriguing and adults of different ages, the battle is carefully depicted and the reader quickly gains insight about the context, if able to remember the legions and cohort numbers, and in the final pages politic intrigue is readily served.

This first book lays the groundwork for the following installments and ends with a total cliffhanger, which is not impeding considering book 2 is already out and this short book may be more properly considered as the first part of a longer book. Of course, for this story, 150 pages are not enough for even basic worldbuilding as the premises require, but the outlined backdrop & characters hint at more depth to come. And I like military action. The writing style is flowing, albeit transparent with a few info repetitions, and the prose would benefit from a wider vocabulary. I liked the characters and the plot as disclosed, but there's really too little meat to care, just enough to go on. Let's see how the story evolves.