Book Review – Libertas

Libertas – An Epic Journey into Roman Hispania

Rating: 5 of 5, TMBOA Recommended!

Author: Alistair Forrest
Format: Paperback, Kindle

High atop the Iberian Peninsula Mountains in the small somewhat forgotten village of Munda, young Melqart struggles in his sword play practice against the much larger and athletic Arsay.  Though boys will be boys, their early conflicts of brain versus brawn escalates as the two boys age.  Arsay becomes increasing jealous of Melqart who along with the help of a young girl – Leandra – ingeniously trap and kill wild bore for their village infuriating Arsay.  As the tension grows between these two, so does the faraway conflict between generals warring for control of the Roman Empire; Munda suddenly finds itself a very strategic location for these generals.  Melqart, Leandra, and Arsay’s lives are never the same as they all struggle to find their way in a rapidly changing dangerous world.

Alistair Forrest’s novel, Libertas, is an epic journey through Roman controlled Hispania in the First Century BC.  Forrest develops the characters, their desires, their motivations, and all that they are forced to give up as a result of the world events that so disrupt their lives.  One wonders what life would have been like in this quite small mountain village had the bloody Roman civil war not occurred.  Clearly their lives would have been much simpler and less painful, but would they have reached their potential for leadership, ingenuity, love, honor, and in some cases evil?  In this way, Forrest subtly explores a truism that it is in the times of genuine hardship and struggle that one’s true self and character comes forward.

I enjoy historical fiction probably for the same reasons I enjoy traveling.  Both immerse one in the local culture, an experience which greatly impacts one’s view of the world and as such broadens the mind.  Libertas was such a journey for me.  For those who enjoy this genre you will not be disappointed!

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Filed under Book review, Reviews, TMBOA recommended

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