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The Spear of Crom by Tim Hodkinson
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The Spear of Crom

by Tim Hodkinson

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Recently added byjanerawoof, FBerger, KayMackey, smtevels

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Rating closer to 3.5. Rousing action/adventure set in Roman Britain, late 50s A.D. Fergus of Hibernia, an auxiliary cavalry officer in the Roman army is given by General Suetonius Paulinus the task of recovering what the Dobunni queen has told him [Paulinus] is the "Holy Lance" that had pierced the side of Christ on the cross. Fergus and Tribune Agricola set out on this [supposedly diplomatic] mission as envoys. They have to overcome hostile druids, find themselves in the midst of a civil war in the country of the Dobunni and face a final showdown with two traitorous Roman officers who have "had it in" for Fergus since his early days in the legion.

The story is filled with non-stop thrills. Most exciting were the events at the final confrontation, especially that concerning the chariot and attempts by various elements to make off with the spear. I liked how the author worked in Irish culture and mythology, adding to the atmosphere of the novel. The heroes were pure goodness and the villains [who got their just desserts] evil incarnate, but the novel is a few hours of pure enjoyable escapism. I did urge on Fergus and the Tribune every step of the way.

I do wish the author had included an author's note. I did have some questions that maybe a statement from the author would have clarified. For instance, I was bothered for awhile about the use of spurs; I wondered if they were used at that point in time, but a little research told me they had been used for several hundred years before the novel took place. The last couple of pages left the exact conclusion concerning Fergus ambiguous. Although the author may decide on a sequel, I feel this novel could just as easily be a standalone. ( )
  janerawoof | Sep 28, 2014 |
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