In 60 B.C., ten-year-old Guiamo Durmius Stolo, an exceptionally gifted Roman orphan, is abandoned in Gaul . Left to fend for himself, Guiamo is set onto a path of legend. Recognized by the gods as having world-changing talents, he is given a weapon that changes his destiny and the world’s forever.
Combining legitimate legends with actual historical events, Marshall Best weaves an epic story that portrays the ancient world as it might have been, a world which the ancient historians recorded as fact; a time when gods ruled the earth and strange creatures dominated the land. It is the era of civilized conquerors exploring distant and primitive new lands. Scant recordings left to us today only touch on the fringe of the fantastic and brutal reality that existed in those distant lands of the west. Into this age, young Guiamo enters the world stage as the great game-changer, and by his hand the gods and beasts become destined to disappear into myth and legend.
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Five Star Review on Amazon By Cara
Oh, how I love a well written book with a carefully built plot! And how I love to see the characters grow with every page I turn! I can’t even remember why I wanted to read “Guiamo” so badly. Maybe it reminded me of my passion for Ancient Rome and for the Latin mythology. Maybe the beautiful cover drew my attention, and the book description promised me a well researched historical novel with just enough fantasy elements to keep it interesting. It doesn’t matter now, really, because Marshall Best delivered much more than I expected.
Guiamo is a 10-year-old orphan who is abandoned by his uncle near a fishing village. It turns out this was the best thing his uncle could have ever done for his nephew, because Guiamo is taken into care by an old fisherman who teaches him everything he knows, and then sends him to his friend, Gabinius, a wealthy bladesmith who treats him like his son and offers him all he needs to grow into a strong and intelligent man. It is quite clear from the beginning that Guiamo is special. The Oracle predicted his coming into Gabinius’ house, and he soon finds out his grandfather is a powerful Druid. Moreover, when he visits the temple of Mars, the god of war, the priests give him an ancient, magical spear that is said to have been built by Mars himself.
One of the things I loved about this book is that the main character, Guiamo, needs to learn in order to become a great man. Even though he finds out he is special and he can control the powerful spear of Mars, nothing comes easy to him. He starts low, works, and fulfills his duties towards his protector. He knows there are rules he needs to respect, and steps he needs to take in order to reach his potential. He remains humble at all times, grateful for everything Gabinius has done for him, and simple in his demeanor, never considering that his intelligence, wits, and newfound abilities set him apart from the others. Naturally, I can’t wait to see how this character evolves in the next novels.
I can’t find anything negative to say about this novel. Some readers might find it slow at times, and that is because the author introduces many details about the traditions, society and politics of the period the action is set in. This didn’t bother me at all, because I always had a clear image of the characters’ world. The fact that the author has done such extensive research for this series can only be a plus. It gives consistency to the writing, and everything seems so much more realistic.
I also loved the words of wisdom Guiamo learned from his tutors, and I believe younger readers will find them interesting and worth remembering. Thus, the book doesn’t only prove to be enjoyable, but also quite educational, which is always good when it comes to a YA series. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical novels (especially about the ancient times), mythology, and fantasy.
About the Author
Marshall Best is an avid reader, father of six and business owner. In the past several years he has found his love of writing as well. What began as a desire to write a story for his children has evolved into a nine book series.
Marshall has done extensive research into the history behind the legends, people and places of England, Scotland and Ireland involved in his books. He loves being able to weave real people and legends into his stories making them come alive. He is definitely a writer that tends to the details often mapping out timetables, calendars, genealogies, etc. that pertain to his book to ensure that it is as realistic as possible.
Marshall also enjoys putting real life issues into his books, delving into a bit of philosophy while entertaining with orcs, dragons, magic and battles. He is someone who loves a grand adventure but makes sure it’s not a shallow one.
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