Today's review is The Skystone by Jack Whyte. This is the first book in the A Dream of Eagles series. It's basically a retelling of the legend of King Arthur from before Camelot even existed. The first book begins with Publius Varrus, a Roman soldier, looking back on his life and telling the reader events that happened when he was younger.
The beginning was slightly confusing because it kept jumping back and forth in time, and not to Publius' present but to different times within his timeline. This really set up his relationship with Caius Brittanicus, but it would have been easier to follow if it had been more straightforward. Now saying that, I think Whyte really imitated the way the human mind truly works with this narrative telling. The human mind doesn't necessarily follow any linear patterns and moves in its own way. This is how the plot moves in the novel.
The characters were really well-rounded. Publius was set up as a model Roman soldier, but also as someone who has his own flaws as well. This can be seen at the end when he does something out of pure vengeance against a bad man, but isn't particularly proud of it. Caius was also really well done and didn't seem too perfect. Luceiia felt a little set up however. Her love story with Publius seemed a little too improbable, even though I liked that they ended up together. I felt like Whyte wanted them to end up together and wanted it to happen as quickly as possible.
The novel itself takes place over a span of many years. It covers a lot within 620 pages, so be prepared for a lot to happen. It's great that the plot has a lot of intense things that happen, while there are also periods of peace; again, imitating real life since it covers so many years.
There's also a lot that doesn't happen in this novel that I expected to happen. I feel like this is almost an extended prologue to the real story, which would happen in the later novels.
Overall, I would give this book a three out of five stars. It was very interesting to read since there is a lot of Roman history involved and King Arthur stories are always intriguing, but I felt that there wasn't enough to draw me in to continue reading for the rest of the series.
Have you guys read any of the books in the A Dream of Eagles series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
Quote of the day: Magic, after all, is no more than the product of knowledge others don't share. - Jack Whyte