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This book was a recent pick for our Puffins Young adult book club. It’s a fun little book club- we’ve reread some classics and I’ve been introduced to some new books that the pre-teen would have loved. This one however was one I just couldn’t finish.

I’m not actually sure why it’s classed as young adult. The main character is apart from the first few chapters almost 20 years old. Even the local library has it with the adult fiction books. The first few chapters document young Marcus’ injury during a vicious battle. Except the author doesn’t actually describe anything – all the action seems to be’off screen’. Even his recovery seems to be on fast forward. And for a career ending injury he isn’t depicted as having a great deal of thought over it.

It’s only 50% of the way through the book that we actually get to the point of the story – Marcus is off to find out the truth about his missing father’s battalion taking along his now free slave of indeterminate age (although based on the characters description of his life at least mid-twenties so again not a young adult)

It’s about this point I gave it up. I’ve never been a fan of Roman literature – give me medieval or Victorian any day but sometimes when you read outside of comfort zone you can find some real gems. Sadly for me this wasn’t one of them.