Home Literature Stories Movies Games Comics News Discussion Forum
  Science Fiction and Fantasy News
Esslemont's Stonewielder Prologue and Cover (07-26)
Deals and Deliveries (9!!!) (09-12)
Iron Man: Femmes Fatales by Robert Greenberger (09-12)
Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Pe (09-12)

Official sffworld Reviews
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber (05-29 - Book)
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent (05-25 - Book)
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (05-21 - Book)
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith (05-17 - Book)


Site Index

Book Info    Bookmark and Share

Carthage Ascendant by Mary Gentle

  (5 ratings)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Rating (5 ratings)
Rate this book
(5 best - 1 worst)
Book Information  
AuthorMary Gentle
TitleCarthage Ascendant
GenreScience Fiction
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Christopher Ware 
(Dec 03, 2001)

This is the second part of THE BOOK OF ASH (following A SECRET HISTORY), the story of a female mercenary captain in an alternate 15th century Europe. This main alternate history story is framed by the story of a historian in the early 21st century translating a manuscript of this history. He is trying to uncover why we have never heard any of this history as it is being told in the manuscript. This all makes for a very engaging read because, not only does it draw the reader into the mystery, but we also get an extremely well told and realistic tale of a mercenary band in war torn medieval Europe. As in the first book, the reader is again deeply immersed in this reality through the author's use of vivid description, brilliantly imagined characters, and engaging plot devices.

I was tempted to give this book only three stars. The first fifty pages of the book, as well as the last hundred, were exciting and very engaging reading. Unfortunately, the middle two hundred or so pages did not do much to advance the story. The problem was that not much really happened. Sure, we learn some important back story and a lot of the relevant politics, but it was severely bogged down with superfluous scenes and interior monologues that could easily have been cut without losing anything from the story.

The main reason I didn't give it three stars was the fact that there were so many mysteries that were hinted at in the first book that were unearthed in this one that it made for some very interesting reading. We learn about Ash's past, what her voice really is, as well as more of the history of the world in which she lives. In addition, the final hundred pages were so full of action and military operations, that it was impossible to put the book down. This is the type of action that I had been expecting in a book about a mercenary captain that seemed so sorely lacking in the first book. The author also hits us with another revelation and an even bigger mystery in the last portion of the book. I couldn't wait to get to the next one in the series and see if we didn't find out what was truly going on.

Despite the shortcomings of the storytelling in the middle of the book, I still felt that this was a better than average fantasy story and, thus, felt compelled to give it a four star rating. If you enjoyed the first book in the series (and you'd better read it before trying this one), this one should also grab your attention. This is a must read series for any fantasy fan, especially for those who enjoy stories with a military bent.

Sponsor ads



The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize!
05-31 - News
Stephen King's Joyland UK Promotion
05-30 - News
UK Publisher of Stephen King’s New Novel Unusual Promotion
05-30 - News
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber
05-29 - Book Review
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent
05-25 - Book Review
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
05-21 - Book Review
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith
05-17 - Book Review

05-10 - News
The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham
05-04 - Book Review
Galaxy's Edge 1 by Mike Resnick
04-28 - Book Review
Poison by Sarah Pinborough
04-21 - Book Review
Bullington, Beukes and Bacigalupi event
04-19 - News
The City by Stella Gemmell
04-17 - Book Review
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
04-15 - Book Review
Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell
04-09 - Book Review
Frank Hampson: Tomorrow Revisited by Alastair Crompton
04-07 - Book Review
The Forever Knight by John Marco
04-01 - Book Review
Book of Sith - Secrets from the Dark Side by Daniel Wallace
03-31 - Book Review
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
03-25 - Book Review
Fade to Black by Francis Knight
03-13 - Book Review
The Clone Republic by Steven L. Kent
03-12 - Book Review
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker
03-06 - Book Review
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
03-04 - Book Review
Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri
02-28 - Book Review
Excerpt: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
02-27 - Article
Tales of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
02-24 - Book Review
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
02-20 - Book Review
Evie Manieri Guest Post
02-19 - Article
The Grim Company by Luke Scull
02-17 - Book Review
Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein
02-11 - Book Review

New Forum Posts

About - Advertising - Contact us - RSS - For Authors & Publishers - Contribute / Submit - Privacy Policy - Community Login
Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use. The contents of this webpage are copyright © 1997-2011 sffworld.com. All Rights Reserved.