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Soldier of the Mist by Gene Wolfe
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Soldier of the Mist (original 1986; edition 1987)

by Gene Wolfe

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8421716,175 (3.87)30
Member:raak
Title:Soldier of the Mist
Authors:Gene Wolfe
Info:Futura Orbit (1987), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Soldier of the Mist by Gene Wolfe (1986)

  1. 20
    The Histories by Herodotus (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Soldier of the Mist is dedicated to Herodotus, draws heavily upon The Histories for reference material and is set concurrently with the events towards the end (the sacking of Athens and retreat of the Persians) and continues after
  2. 00
    This Immortal by Roger Zelazny (LamontCranston)
  3. 00
    The Phoenix and the Mirror by Avram Davidson (rarm)
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» See also 30 mentions

English (16)  Italian (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I wish it had been the first Wolfe I had read, or that I’d read it instead of The Wizard-Knight, because there is a definite Pattern to Wolfe’s books: a young man doesn’t know (has forgotten) (has lost) his position in Society; the book is dedicated to him finding out what that position is; there is no real plot. Of the two, Soldier of the Mist is better than The Wizard-Knight, though that might be influenced by my own predilection for Greek mythology. Wolfe’s use of the mythology is very good, and he has the appropriate degree of awe before the gods. Still, Wolfe’s formula is wearing, especially due to the lack of plot. Four stars because it's beautifully written, and for the treatment of the gods. ( )
  elucubrare | Feb 9, 2018 |
I felt like I was in as much of a mist as the character who had lost his short term memory. It was hard keeping track of names and places and what was happening, but it did make me want to continue reading. Definitely not as compelling as his science fiction books. ( )
  robinamelia | Mar 17, 2017 |
Gene Wolfe wrote one, amazingly good, and life changing series. This wasn't it.

The Book of the New Sun is the greatest.

I don't know why they awarded this book all these awards. Maybe they were like me and revered him as a genius for writing The Book of the New Sun, and couldn't curb their disappointment, so they threw him all the awards they could. ( )
  Stmurdock | Jul 17, 2016 |
I just didn't get engaged with the characters...an intriguing concept, in that a man loses his memory and must write down his experiences so he knows what he is doing, but it made for a disjointed story. And (stupid to say, what with all the Greek gods popping up in the story) a little too deus ex machina ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gene Wolfeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Russo,CarolCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
First there was a struggle at the barricade of shields; then, the barricade down, a bitter and protracted fight, hand to hand, at the temple of Demeter... - Herodotos.
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This book is dedicated with the greatest respect and affection to Herodotos of Halicarnassos.
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Book description
A marvelously fluent, evocative historical & 1st of a series, from the well-known author of such science fiction/fantasy novels as Free Live Free (1985). In 479 BCE the combined forces of Thought (Athens) & Rope (Sparta) have defeated the invading Persians under Mardonius. Latro, a Latin-speaking mercenary with the Persian army (he also knows Greek & tends to translate place names literally) has suffered a head wound & lost his memory; he can't even remember from one day to the next. So, every night he records the previous day's events on a scroll, which he must then read the next morning in order to rediscover his circumstances & who his companions are (a splendid & subtle literary device that Wolfe is careful not to misuse). Accompanied by the poet Pindaros, the slave girl Io & a black soldier from Nysa, Latro consults an oracle &, via a riddling response, learns the reason for his condition: he has offended a powerful goddess, the Earth Mother. So, at Advent (Eleusis) he makes obeisance &, after an eerie portent, is permitted to descend into a cave to chat with the goddess' Maiden aspect. Relenting somewhat, she offers him a choice: he may have his memory restored, he may return to his home city or he may rejoin his friends. Latro chooses the latter. In due course, then, Latro comes to Sestos, a Persian city beseiged by Thought & Rope armies; at last, Latro is addressed--in Latin--by a soldier who recognizes him, as "Lucius"; ironically, the soldier is on the point of expiring. Glowing, fascinating, intricate work, full of gods & ghosts & magical metamorphoses, set forth in a modern prose that agreeably captures the rhythm & spirit of the period. Those who prefer neat endings may be a trifle disappointed--but historical regulars & Wolfe fans will plunge fight in.--Kirkus
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