- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Michael Joseph; 1 edition (15 April 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0718184815
- ISBN-13: 978-0718184810
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.5 x 24 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 499 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
Blood Forest Hardcover – 15 Apr 2017
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'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 . . .(from the publisher's description)
A blood-soaked page-turner (Mail on Sunday)
Gives Rome's legionaries a contemporary voice - this is brutal, audacious and fast paced writing (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)
From the Inside Flap
AD 9. The Roman Empire is at the height of its power. Imperial rule is enforced by the most brutal soldiers in the world.
But in Northern Europe twelve legionnaires have been massacred. A bloodied individual is found alive among the dead.
He has no idea who he is, or where he's been. Only that he is a soldier.
Forced to join Governor Varus's army - fifteen thousand seasoned legionnaires - he heads north to subdue the hostile Germanic tribes. The army marches deep into enemy territory, a densely forested land of deadly traps and merciless foes.
As battle begins, Varus's army is swiftly destroyed. Trapped in the forest, the soldier must band together with a small group of survivors who neither trust nor believe in him. If they fight together they have a slim chance of staying alive. But which side is the soldier on?
And is it the right one?
Gladiator meets Platoon in this spectacular debut where honour and duty, legions and tribes clash in bloody, heart-breaking glory.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Most of this novel takes place among a contubernium of eight men of the Seventeenth Legion, deployed across the Rhine in not-quite-pacified Germania. It all begins when a scrawny, naked man covered in blood is discovered lurking at the site of a horrible massacre of a Roman detachment. He tells the rescuers that he doesn’t remember his name or where he came from, although he is clearly desperate and on his own. The cavalry commander, a charismatic allied German called Arminius, treats him kindly and dubs him “Felix” (lucky).
Unluckily for Felix, his sandals give him away as a former legionary. Arminius takes him to the Roman camp, where he is assigned to a tent unit with six other soldiers dominated by the fearsome veteran Titus. This tight-knit group is far from pleased to have Felix thrust among them. It’s increasingly evident that he harbors a secret, but perhaps not one he will fully admit to himself, let alone to others.
The mystery of Felix’s origins takes BLOOD FOREST to a different level than most swords-and-shields sagas. For those who are unfamiliar with events of 9 AD, I won’t spoil the story by relating more of the plot. Suffice it to say that everything he experiences made me believe, “Yes, it probably was just like that.” Geraint Jones, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, clearly knows how soldiers think and talk. Their profanity and brutality sound true to life, and all eight men and their centurion, Pavo, come across as real, sympathetic characters. Considering that this is the author’s debut novel, he deserves high praise for his achievement.
By the end, the reader will understand a complicated man who must reconcile his honor with his humanity--and whom, I hope, we will meet again in a sequel.
As a debut, this novel has been a revelation for me in a very positive way, and I hope that this author can remain this high level of writing for the immediate future and beyond.
The book contains a well drawn map of the Roman Empire in c. AD 9, and a superb documented structure of the Imperial Roman Legion.
Storytelling is of a very superb quality, and the characters within this gripping tale come all vividly to life to make this book such an exciting and captivating read.
As an ex-military man this author shows greatly the human feelings and anxieties while being in a different country and in strange surroundings, and finally these same feelings and anxieties come even more to the forefront when having to fight a ferocious enemy, while being frightened and being on your toes all the time.
The story itself is set in the year AD 9, like Ben Kane's "Eagles at War", and this story is developing mainly within the Teutoburg Forest and where our main characters will meet and fight the German host led by the traitor Arminius.
The book is divided into three parts, and part one is mainly situated in and around the German town of Minden, and its from there that the adventures begin for Felix, our narrator and main character of the book, along with Centurion Pavo, his section leader Titus and fellow soldiers as there are Chickenhead, Rufus, Stumps, Moonface, Cnaeus and Micon, when they are finally preparing for their journey back to the Roman side of the Frontier with Germania, but instead of following the River Lippe and its Roman outposts they follow a track instructed by Governor General Varus after some persuasion from Arminius.
Part two is mainly about the ambush and the fighting and destruction of three Roman Legions, the 17th, 18th and 19th Legion, against the traitor Arminius and his German tribes and within these horrible circumstances its there where we find Felix, "The Lucky One", finally has to share his secret that his name is really Corvus and he himself a traitor.
In the 3rd and final part it tells us in a compelling and fascinating fashion the destruction and final stand of what is left of the Three Legions, while also picturing during and after the fight the atrocities and slaughtering that took place, and for Felix (Corvus) himself a very unpleasant surprise is waiting in the end.
Very much recommended, for this book is a must read and that's why I call it, "A Stunning & Impressive Debut Novel"!
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