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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. I hope you find it helpful and entertaining.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Strategos: Born in the Borderlands

Strategos - Born in the Borderlands

My latest fiction read has been Gordon Docherty's, Strategos.

It is set in the borderlands of the Byzantine Empire in 1046. The Seljuk's are threatening with raids and full blown invasion. Our hero Apion has been orphaned and brought up by a former Seljuk commander turned farmer. He joins the Thema forces and with remarkable speed is promoted to command positions. In between there are several sub-plots involving agents of the Emperor.
This book had a number of good reviews that attracted me including, "The author does seem to choose periods of Imperial history which are not obvious choices for the setting of heroic fiction. Similarly his heroes tend to be disadvantaged, almost fatally flawed, when we first encounter them, but they come through in the end."

I think this is fair comment. It certainly does make a change from Imperial Rome as the setting. However, I did struggle at times with this book. The characters were perhaps a little too well developed and I was left wondering if he was going to get on with the story. I put it down several times, to read other books, a sign that I was not totally enthralled.

It is good value on the Kindle at £1.99, so please don't let me put you off if this is your period.

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