Give Me Back My Legions --- by Harry Turtledove --- I have long been a fan of Bernard Cornwell. I’ve read each and every one of his Sharpe Novels not to mention some of the other tomes he’s written. More recently I developed a taste for William Dietrich. I’ve read my share of histories and historical fiction. After finishing Dietrich’s “Hadrian’s Wall” it was only natural (I thought) that I’d try out some of Turtledove’s fiction: “Legions” seemed to be a natural choice. The setting is on the German side of the German Roman frontier as the Romans struggle to bring the Germans into the Empire. And after 150 pages, half of the book, that’s still all I know about the story line. I know that there’s a self-doubting Roman commander who would rather be leading three legions in some other warmer, less barbaric place in the Empire. I know that there’s some half-Roman German who is trying to foment sedition and revolting the Germans. But that’s about all I know: nothing’s happened in “Legions” so far to advance the plot line. What a pity: this book would probably be a good yarn if only Turtledove had done something with the plot to keep me from closing the book on this story half way through. Pity. The story concept has such great potential.
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