Monsters of the Earth (Books of the Elements)

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When an author sets off to combine the virtues of a historical novel with the excitement of a fantasy plot involving magic and end-of-the-world scenarios, the problem is always to get the balance right. Why? Well those who want factually accurate history will be offended by the fantasy, and those who want magic will feel the factual stuff is slowing down the action too much.

Monsters of the Earth by David Drake is the third in a fantasy series set in a thinly disguised Roman Empire. If there’s one truth about the author, it’s his obvious love and expertise in all matters concerning the classical world. In this case, I regret to say I think his enthusiasm for accuracy in the setting gets in the way of a dynamic plot. It takes too long to get everyone moving in the right direction and then we keep slowing to tick boxes for encountering different types of mythological beasties. The choice of which aspects of mythology to explore is interesting but, overall, this is not a very exciting book. So if you have already devoured the first two in the series, this is more of the same and you’ll be delighted to find more of the same. Otherwise. . .

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Star Count 2/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Tor Books
Publish Date 2013-Sep-03
ISBN 9780765320803 Buy this Book
Issue April 2014
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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