Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Dark Eagle book in in the Legionary series by Gordon Doherty!
Here’s the blurb
Genre – Historical Fiction
Winter, 382 AD. The Gothic War is over. After years of bloodshed, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Goths have struck a deal for peace. Imperial heralds crow about the treaty as if it were a triumph. Feasts and celebrations take place across the Eastern provinces. Every hero of the war is honoured and acclaimed… except one.
Tribunus Pavo languishes in exile, haunted by a dark truth: that it was Gratian, Emperor of the West – the most powerful man alive – who caused the war and manipulated its every turn. Tormented by memories of loved ones lost during the great conflict, one word tolls endlessly through Pavo’s mind: Justice!
But in this great game of empire, justice rarely comes without a grave cost…
We are back with Pavo and Sura.. or should I say Urbicus and Mucianus…after the events of the last book and Pavo’s brush with Emperor Gratian our lions are believed dead.. and they need to keep it that way.
While Pavo struggles to deal with being separated from his men of the Claudia they themselves are feeling his loss keenly.. and it’s about to get a hell of a lot worse.
The war with the Goths may be over but tension is bubbling and on top of that the tension between the Eastern and Western emperors that has been growing is about to boil over.
I’m used to Gordon’s work by now but he continues to amaze me with gripping plots and fascinating characters. As the title suggests this instalment is dark.. Probably Pavo’s darkest moment to date and once again not all our lions will live to tell the tale.
One chapter stands out for me as a bone crunching heart fluttering smack in the face.. Chapter 9.. it cemented just how far Gratian’s power can go and shows just how high the climb will be for Pavo to get to him.. it won’t be easy.
Along with way we get a wonderful new cheekiness from Darik..he bounces off Sura’s character brilliantly.. While Sura likes to think he’s the best at everything… to him Darik seems to have it all.. Including the looks.. there’s never animosity.. rather a budding friendship when you can tease but know when to draw the line… to see how they connected was refreshing to explore as I’m so used to it just being Pavo and Sura with a supporting cast.. Darik shines through.
Now to the nitty gritty without giving the game away.. yes there’s battle and Gordon did his usually with pure brilliance in describing the different units and how they are formed/where they are from.. for someone like me who likes the action this extra detail doesn’t distract at all but will really hit the mark for those who like authors going that little bit further. If anything it makes me want to learn more.. do my own research.. I’ve always known the Roman army encompassed many nationalities/groups but it’s amazing to see how far their reach was at one point.
With every chapter I smelt defeat on the cards… followed by hope..only to have it dashed again and again.. but wait.. hope arrives again.. Pavo is not the only one who want’s to see Gratian overthrown after all.. but as always all is not as it seems!
Damn you Gordon with all those marvellous twists!
Another little thing Gordon does that I really like is there’s always little titbits thrown in to remind the reader of those lost and fallen..the series may focus heavily on Pavo but he’s happy to share the limelight.
I felt Libo came into his own in this instalment too.. without Pavo he steps up and along with others like Pulcher show what the Claudia are all about.. they won’t go down without a fight.
I really don’t want to spoil anything but of course the Speculatores show their ugly faces again.. but Pavo is ready for them… if he can figure out who he can trust… one gets a rather gruesome death.. I can’t lie… I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I made one note when reading this book and it simply said… hard hitting gut hurting masterpiece.. and I stand by that.. 5*
Now enough.. go buy the book! 😊