on March 6, 2012 :
This is a jolly good read. A bit daunting at first, but once you are successfully transported back to the time of the Roman Empire it is a gripping story. The characters are well composed and believable -- even recognizable to anyone who has wandered the world for a while. Living in an age of push-button warfare, it is refreshing to read of real blood-and-guts battles where your enemy is right in front -- or behind. A nice touch of spirituality as well, in Malorix. Well done!
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Nov. 8, 2011 :
Despite the need for a bit of a line-edit, this was a jolly good, epic read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
(reviewed 10 months after purchase)
on July 19, 2011 :
In this first work of fiction by Stephen Lorne Bennett, the reader is presented with an engaging and informative look into the cultures and environment of the central and eastern Mediterranean region in the second century AD. An intriguing story line is carried throughout by well-developed characters, and fleshed out with vivid descriptions of the landscape, weapons, combat, clothing, food, architecture and social customs. I was not previously familiar with details of this era, but Last of the Ninth is written with an authority that suggests painstaking research. Within this framework of historical facts, Bennett presents his hypothesis on the mysterious disappearance of Rome's 9th Hispanic Legion.
(reviewed 12 months after purchase)
on Jan. 31, 2011 :
A great historical novel! As good as any written by Massimo Manfredi or Harry Sidebottom. Excellent description of the athmosphere in Ch.1 The Oracle - which sets the scene.Malorix, the Sarmatian, is an interesting protagonist.In view of the open ended ending, a follow-up is expected.Volume II - 'Malorix,the Sarmatian aming the Alani ?' "By Targitas!" I enjoyed the episode in the goldmine and the battle scenes. The language and similies vey apt.Though not the author's mistake - his love of all things Roman as well as latin are obvious - the phrase 'Cui Bono?', not 'Quis Buono' should be corrected. Minor typing errors eg. doubling or misplacing the definite article 'the' should also be eliminated.Congratulations ! A great book. Looking forward to Volume II. Richard Flammer
(reviewed 38 days after purchase)