on Dec. 6, 2013 :
Oh, how I love a well written book with a carefully built plot! And how I love to see the characters grow with every page I turn! I can’t even remember why I wanted to read “Guiamo” so badly. Maybe it reminded me of my passion for Ancient Rome and for the Latin mythology. Maybe the beautiful cover drew my attention, and the book description promised me a well researched historical novel with just enough fantasy elements to keep it interesting. It doesn’t matter now, really, because Marshall Best delivered much more than I expected.
Guiamo is a 10-year-old orphan who is abandoned by his uncle near a fishing village. It turns out this was the best thing his uncle could have ever done for his nephew, because Guiamo is taken into care by an old fisherman who teaches him everything he knows, and then sends him to his friend, Gabinius, a wealthy bladesmith who treats him like his son and offers him all he needs to grow into a strong and intelligent man. It is quite clear from the beginning that Guiamo is special. The Oracle predicted his coming into Gabinius’ house, and he soon finds out his grandfather is a powerful Druid. Moreover, when he visits the temple of Mars, the god of war, the priests give him an ancient, magical spear that is said to have been built by Mars himself.
One of the things I loved about this book is that the main character, Guiamo, needs to learn in order to become a great man. Even though he finds out he is special and he can control the powerful spear of Mars, nothing comes easy to him. He starts low, works, and fulfills his duties towards his protector. He knows there are rules he needs to respect, and steps he needs to take in order to reach his potential. He remains humble at all times, grateful for everything Gabinius has done for him, and simple in his demeanor, never considering that his intelligence, wits, and newfound abilities set him apart from the others. Naturally, I can’t wait to see how this character evolves in the next novels.
I can’t find anything negative to say about this novel. Some readers might find it slow at times, and that is because the author introduces many details about the traditions, society and politics of the period the action is set in. This didn’t bother me at all, because I always had a clear image of the characters’ world. The fact that the author has done such extensive research for this series can only be a plus. It gives consistency to the writing, and everything seems so much more realistic.
I also loved the words of wisdom Guiamo learned from his tutors, and I believe younger readers will find them interesting and worth remembering. Thus, the book doesn’t only prove to be enjoyable, but also quite educational, which is always good when it comes to a YA series. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical novels (especially about the ancient times), mythology, and fantasy.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
on Nov. 9, 2013 :
Let me start by saying I enjoyed the book! The only thing that make me think twice about reading it was that the book is during the time of Julius Cesar and he is one of my least favorite characters in History....But this story was so well done! Guiamo is such an amazing kid! He makes the best out of a horrible situation and becomes a great boy! He takes the teachings he is given and excels in every thing he is taught! I loved this character because through out the book he is trained and traded, and always makes the best of whatever situation he is in! It has some intense scenes in it, and I found that towards the end of the book I knew I was going to have to start book 2 right away! I definitely recommend this book!
(I was given this book in exchange for my honest review)
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
Larry B. Gray
on July 9, 2013 :
Guiamo by Marshall Best is an outstanding historical novel of life and times in the ancient Roman era. It is full of action and adventure plus a great story of the life of our hero, Guiamo.
The author did an excellent job of developing the storyline, making it both real and believable. By sticking to known facts of this era he made his story come alive and become all the more believable. There were times I had to remind myself this was fiction. It was easy to follow the story and keep up with each new twist and turn. I really had trouble putting this book down.
Marshall Best’s writing style brought the characters to life. He was able to instill emotion and character into each of them making it easy to identify and follow them. I really like a book where you can feel and sense what the characters are feeling and sensing.
Marshall Best did an excellent job with Guiamo and I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend this book to all readers and ages.
[Please note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]
(reviewed 55 days after purchase)
on June 27, 2013 :
Guiamo is a young boy that I can't help rooting for. With the death of his father in the war, then illness taking away his brother and mother, how could you not immediately root for him to succeed?
If you are at all interested in historical fiction, this is a good one to pick up. If you love ancient Rome you should come and take a look at a coming of age story of a young orphan as he struggles to find his gifts from the Gods.
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)
on June 27, 2013 :
Guiamo is a very gifted boy who was abandoned in Gaul when he was only 10 years old. He was found by a fisherman who took him in and recognized his talents. Even at 10, he was inventing better ways to catch fish. Other men in the village also taught him skills and life lessons. He also is mentored by a merchant. As the years go by, Guiamo shows talents in many other ways and is destined to be much more than a fisherman. This book also shows a little of what it is like to live in the Roman Empire in 60 B.C. I like history and this was very interesting to read about each of the characters and how life was back then.
If you like historical fiction, this is a great read. It was hard to put down and I was up late a few nights reading this. I am definitely going to check out the rest of the books in the series.
I received a free ebook copy in exchange for a review. All opinions above are 100% my own.
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)
on June 25, 2013 :
A truly enjoyable book about a young boy who must find his own way in the world of the Roman Empire. Orphaned at a young age and abandoned by his Aunt and Uncle, Guiamo finds a group of fishermen that help him change his stars. I love how the book intertwines historical facts and figures with fiction. Guiamo is an interesting character and I can't wait to read more about him in the other books in the series!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on June 21, 2013 :
Okay, bare with me. This one is difficult. I need to find the right words.
I have to be honest.
The first few pages of this book? I hated it.
I couldn’t pronounce the words/names. I was frustrated. I put it down and walked away.
If I didn’t have to write this review, I don’t think I would have picked it back up to read. (Just being honest.)
THANKFULLY, I had to write this review so I had to pick it back up and finish it.
I really, really, really enjoyed reading this book. (Even though I still struggle with names and words!)
I cannot explain the story line. It isn’t romance. It isn’t suspense. It isn’t drama. It isn’t science fiction.
The best way for me to describe it to my husband was “historical fiction” that had some true historical parts intertwined with the fictional story.
Additionally, I felt that the book was riddled with little life lessons that were meant for the main character in the book, but really left me thinking about it for days after reading it.
I really truly enjoyed this book (and I hate history and never paid attention to it in school) and was actually upset with the ending because it just ended (fortunately, I can purchase the Kindle versions for the next three on Amazon so I’m okay now!)
I very much so would recommend this to others and will hopefully be getting hubby to read it because he enjoys history and I think he would very much enjoy this historical fiction that follows young Guiamo on his life lessons.
Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)