I seem to be on a real military historical trip lately. I enjoyed A Winter War a lot, following Kai and his adventures in the Sarmatian army at war with the Roman Empire. Check out my fellow blogger’s posts on the tour as well!
Many thanks to Avneet Bains and Head of Zeus for having me on the blog tour and sending me a review copy of A Winter War – as usual, all opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 05/08/2021
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: AD173. The Danube has frozen. On its far banks gather the clans of Sarmatia. Winter-starved, life ebbing away on a barren plain of ice and snow, to survive they must cross the river’s frozen waters.
There’s just one thing in their way.
Petty feuds have been cast aside, six thousand heavy cavalry marshalled. Will it be enough? For across the ice lies the Roman Empire, and deployed in front of them, one of its legions. The Sarmatians are proud, cast as if from the ice itself. After decades of warfare they are the only tribe still fighting the Romans. They have broken legions in battle before. They will do so again.
Sarmatian warrior Kai awakes on a bloodied battlefield, his only company the dead. The disgrace of his defeat compounded by his survival, Kai must now navigate a course between honour and shame, his people and the Empire, for Rome hasn’t finished with Kai or the Sarmatians yet. (from Head of Zeus)
OPINIONS: A Winter War dives into a part of Ancient history that isn’t as well known. Set parallel to the later Roman Empire, the Sarmatians live on the other side of the river Danube, to the east. As a history nerd, I loved learning more about these people that are less discussed in both traditional history and historical fiction. But of course, this isn’t just a history text book. A Winter War is a compelling work of historical fiction set around military conflict between the Sarmatians and the Roman Empire and centred around the character of Kai, a Sarmatian warrior.
The story is well written, fun and enjoyable. The slightly gloomy and cold setting is a great change to read in these days of sunshine and melting summer temperatures, especially if you’re like me and don’t deal well with the heat. Don’t expect a deep work of literature, but rather a fun, escapist read that will transport you back in time and captivate you in Kai’s world and struggles. I kind of wish there were more female characters, but then, that’s not the kind of book this is, or is trying to be. I think A Winter War is excellent at what it sets out to be, and is exactly what it sets out to be. Recommended for fans of military oriented historical fiction, traditional epic fantasy and generally all those who like to curl up with a good escapist read.