Christian Cameron: Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part 4: Rome

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Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice.

Product Description
A young Englishman, Tom Swan, is badly wounded in a desperate sea fight. When he wakes in a hospital, he’s in one of the last towns in Greece holding out against the Turks. And there aren’t any women to be found. Rich men vie to hire him, and they all seem to want the same thing-a fabulous jewel made for Alexander the Great.He’s not a professional soldier. He’s really a thief and a little bit of a scholar looking for remnants of Ancient Greece and Rome – temples, graves, pottery, fabulous animals, unicorn horns. But he also has a real talent for ending up in the midst of violence when he didn’t mean to. Having used his wits to escape execution in part one, he begins a series of adventures that take him to the high seas, bedrooms in Constantinople and street duels in Italy, meetings with remarkable men – Cyriaco of Ancona and Sultan Mehmet II and the whole Sforza family – and from the intrigues of Rome to the Jewish Ghetto in Venice.

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Review:

So the book its self:
Tom Swan now in his fourth outing is a well-rounded, well-formed and amusing character. He is the rebellious youngster we either were or wanted to be. Whilst he is a jack of many trades and a master of none, you get the feeling that as he matures his expertise will blossom and if he survives long enough he will become a master spy, swordsman, linguist, treasure hunter etc.. Will this be too much, will he take on the look of a superman. I don’t personally think so. Christian Cameron builds in enough character flaws and self-doubt to keep the man grounded and real.
As usual Christians attention to historical detail is second to none, his fighting scenes are real, because anyone who has researched the writer knows that he fights in armour himself, he knows how hard it is, what the moves are and what pains occur from long use and the battering of a sword / pike. He has attending sword fighting training and practices archery. he lives the books before he writes them. This gives each and every character a much more real person feel in the book, as only writing from experience can.

The book is short and is over well before you want it to be, 100 pages goes so fast that if you are like me it will be gone in one short evening. but to be honest if it was 1000 pages i would have struggled to put it down.
This series would have made a great series of novels, maybe we can convince Christian to write a full novel on the man… best way is to buy the books (all of them) and review the fact that you love them.

I will be buying them all, that’s for sure.

Cannot recommend highly enough
(Parm)

rest of the series

Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part One: Castillon
Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part Two: Venice
Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part Three: Constantinople

Also on sites like amazon there seems to be a lot of backlash at present on Amazon regarding short stories. Comments like
. It’s too short
. I didn’t know it was a short story
. It stops just as it gets going
and many many more:
These things do not belong in feedback for a book on here: Amazon clearly label all short stories (EG see below for this book)
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 286 KB
Print Length: 100 pages
Publisher: Orion (11 April 2013)

Note where it says 100 pages, dead give away for the length of the book. (that answers the first couple of issues raised above)
Re: it stops just as it gets going! Well look at it in the same way as an episode of a great TV series. It’s a self-contained story, and leave you wanting more at the end so you come back next week… or in this case next month.
For 99p its an utter bargain.

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2 Comments

Filed under Historical Fiction

2 responses to “Christian Cameron: Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part 4: Rome

  1. Pingback: Parmenion Books 2013 in review | parmenionbooks

  2. Pingback: Christian Cameron: Rage of Ares (review) | parmenionbooks

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