Sunday, January 06, 2008

Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe

Soldier of Sidon is a novel whose purpose is to entertain. It is the third book in a series about a soldier. The story is set in ancient Egypt and the surrounding lands, all of which are filled with divinities. One soldier, called Latro, can see these gods and goddesses. He cannot, however, remember what happened to him even the previous day. In an attempt to preserve his past, he writes down important events on a scroll. The novel is in the form of his entries on the scroll. Throughout the story, there are battles and romantic scenes, but the main conflict in the story is Latro trying to regain his memory.

This novel was a very interesting and entertaining read. Though it was the third in a series, the narrator's poor memory caused many key events in the previous books to be explained. Latro's short memory also makes for an entertaining story. The downside to this is that there are gaps in the story where the narrator did not write down what happened and then forgot and the narrator will repeat or relearn information in several entries. These minor problems actually add to the story overall rather than detract from it, but it can occasionally be frustrating. The ancient deities are an added bonus to the story. All in all, I recommend this book especially to anyone interested in ancient history, mythology, or stories with unreliable narrators, but anyone would enjoy it.

Content: There are some sexual scenes, as well as limited violence. None of this is too explicit or offensive.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Royersford, Pennsylvania United States

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