Monday, January 29, 2007

Usipi: A Quest for Home

Picked this up on one of the noticeboards:

Drafted into the Roman army and forced to campaign in northern Britannia against their will, German warriors of the Usipi tribe decide to mutiny. With an island full of angry Romans to the south of them and hostile Britons to the north they capture three warships and embark upon a daring voyage to their homeland and freedom. Their path will not be easy, as they confront their own inexperience, dissension amongst their ranks, the forces of nature, hostile action from both the Britons and Romans, and finally the twin spectres of disease and starvation. Based on a true story recounted by the Roman historian Tacitus (whose father-in-law Agricola commanded the army from which they mutinied), this is the story of a quest for home.

The book can be downloaded here. However, it's being released at three PDFs a week, or you can buy it via Amazon. It's being done on a Creative Commons Licence, so the downloads are free. See what you think of the prologue and first couple of chapters.


At 4:34 pm GMT, Blogger Carla said...

Very timely - I was reading about them in Tacitus the other day and thinking they must have had a story worth telling! Have you read it?

At 8:11 pm GMT, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

I read the first chapter but unfortunately found the story dragging along. The writer tries to get all that cool little info about Roman army life he's read about in but without really connecting it to the characters. The style's a bit wordy, too, though I admit, I'm a less patient reader onscreen than I'm with a book. I'd have perhaps read the second chapter as well in that case.

But the main problem was the fact the characters left me cold and I couldn't identify with any of them. This Duros (?) guy sounds like a whiny brat in the first scene: I'm bored, I don't want to do guard duty, I want to hunt, I want to get out of this Roman thing because it's so boring. It takes the impact away from the reasons a reader could sympathise with, like witnessing the punishment of that one soldier which shows that most of the Romans see the Usipi as second rate people.

It's a pity, because the subject is very interesting. I'd have wished for a better execution. But it's me, others may find it less overwritten and boring.

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