Rome, AD 34. While the Emperor Tiberius indulges himself in Capri, his cruel and self-serving regent Sejanus rules in his place. It is a time of tyranny and terror. Once a charioteer but now a hunter providing wild animals for Rome's voracious Games, Serpicus longs for a quiet life. But Sejanus' uncle has made him an offer he cannot refuse. He must journey north, over theRome, AD 34. While the Emperor Tiberius indulges himself in Capri, his cruel and self-serving regent Sejanus rules in his place. It is a time of tyranny and terror. Once a charioteer but now a hunter providing wild animals for Rome's voracious Games, Serpicus longs for a quiet life. But Sejanus' uncle has made him an offer he cannot refuse. He must journey north, over the Aips, deep into Germany where the tribes are in revolt against their Imperial oppressors, and there take possession of an exceptionally rare but dangerous beast. To his companions, the mission is suicide. To make matters worse, it seems Serpicus has made a deadly enemy of the man who now leads the legions against the tribes and that there are others who will stop at nothing to ensure he and his colleagues fall. Not least the traitor in their midst. Now, inside a village a long way from home and facing a Roman army set on revenge, Serpicus is trapped. The family he adores is held hostage in Rome but the first woman he ever loved stands, sword drawn, ready to fight and, should the gods will it, die by his side. He has choices to make, but no time to make them... Ringing with the cacophony of battle, of steel against steel and the cries of men, this enthralling historical adventure recounts one man's struggle to protect those he loves, whatever the cost....
|Number of Pages||:||419 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Hawk is the story of Serpicus, a German captured by Rome and integrated into the Roman society. Once, a former charioteer, he earns his living as an animal trapper together with his friends and business partners – Galba, Brutus and Decius. Unfortunately for our hero, he caught the eyes of Rome’s finest and dangerous citizens – the Sejanus family and its spies. Under imminent threat, he is forced to lead an expedition in the tumultuous regions of Germania with the sole goal of capturing a unique animal (view spoiler)[white bear(hide spoiler)], to fight in the arena – political purposes. From that point on a series of events unfold that eventually lead to our hero’s old life, to war and fighting. The beginning of the book confused me a bit since the author decided to give us a glimpse into our hero’s previous life: how he became Romanized, a charioteer, animal trapper and a family man. Sincerely, I was expecting a straightforward introduction and not General Varus… and his oysters. Haha! You guessed that right, the 9th AD Teutoburg Forest encounter that led to the total annihilation of three Roman legions. Next off, a chapter that describes the flooding operation, preparations for a mock sea battle, of the Circus Maximus – no name is given, but later on in another memory, the bronze dolphin-shaped lap counters are mentioned. And finally, after 40 pages in, we meet Serpicus, the animal trapper. The wheels in my head had to spin a couple of times to get the bigger picture – the background, history of Serpicus’ life.Religiously speaking, I had to make a sacrifice to the Gods, myself, since they have been more or less neglected in this book. My guess is that the author decided not to involve ritualism and other nuisances that the spiritual world brings to the table. No sacrifices, no overzealous rituals or descriptions of superior beings – just us mortals. Of course, I did not imply that I do not like such things, for me it is like… whatever. However, for the sake of the Gods, Mr. Green, decided to add a bit of supernatural after all – deity in question Wodan. (view spoiler)[ The “magic” unveils with the help of a druid, in a dark cave, where a dialogue between Serpicus and the God himself takes place(hide spoiler)]the result: a fortune that may or may not happen! When are the Gods, ever, straightforward? If I’m not mistaking, the author made references only of three deities: Hermes (Greek), Mercury (Roman) and Wodan (Germanic). Subtle move. I mean I like these “mind games”, three in one. Maybe it is of no consequence, but I enjoyed this act of correspondence/ similarity. Hermes = Mercury = Wodan ! I have been reading about the Gods and Goddesses for the last couple of days, just because of this small occurrence that the author did. One question I often end up asking myself every time I pick up a book, a curiosity of mine, what is the connection between the title and the book. Hawk... the hawk in this case is the messenger or so I had been led to believe based on the book’s events. (view spoiler)[ it is involved in the only supernatural event – the God’s dialogue with Serpicus, where the hawk disappeared right afterwards.(hide spoiler)] I like symbolic representation, it always gives you some food for thought. The book, as I said earlier, involves several members of the Sejanus family – including the notorious Aelius Sejanus, indirectly involved (view spoiler)[ letter correspondence with Cato – the best of Sejanus’s spies(hide spoiler)]. I have particularly liked the fact that Green used Sejanus’s appellative “Partner of his Labors” when the “offer” had been put on the table for Serpicus. It gave a certain touch of authenticity and also, you could smell the threat in the air. Love these small details! As for the other characters, the intertwinement between them is well done. Serpicus is the main cannon, but to be honest I didn’t really connect with him. If I were to put him as a standalone, he just does not fit the bill. Therefore, forget the cannon, all characters act as a complement to each other, bringing the story to life with their humor and diversity. My favorite is Brutus – a very well-built German, tactless, heavy drinker and a joker. The only inconvenience for me was that some parts seemed too rushed and some of the characters disappeared and emerged once again, out of the blue, in unexpected moments with futile explanations given. This is what I felt, maybe it isn't so. Also, I believe that the ending was too overstretched in terms of events, as well as too many (view spoiler)[ deaths – I like tragedy, but don’t kill everyone (hide spoiler)]. Long story short, I really liked this book. I connected with the characters, writing and story. No strong language, vivid battles, lots of twists, good overall descriptions. I have nothing really to complain about ,a right on my alley type of lecture. Too bad that Mr. Green hasn’t written anything else, except Hound.
I enjoyed this novel, but I'd rate it closer to 3.5. Set in the time of Tiberius, the story opens with the aftermath of the Teutoberg Forest battle, in which three Roman legions were annihilated. We are introduced to the protagonist, a German lad Alraic. Then we go to Rome a few years later where he has been taken and is Romanized, taking the name Serpicus, becoming a charioteer and marrying, with two children. He gives up racing and becomes a bestiarius for the arena, getting and transporting wild animals. He has two friends, also Romanized Germans, Brutus and Decius. The powerful Sejanus hears of him and his background. Serpius is ordered to go to Germany to his old village and to bring back an certain unusual animal for the Games. He is told if he doesn't fulfil Sejanus's orders, his family will suffer. So begin the preparations for the expedition. Among hardships on his journey including an ambush, and his almost losing his life they reach his old village. Although he is travelling with a trained group of soldiers and some others with explicit talents, A spy for Sejanus has infiltrated their ranks unbeknownst to them. There is a very exciting skirmish between the village and Romans. The chief is a woman, a former childhood sweetheart of Serpicus. Then the story, although exciting, becomes somewhat muddled and some events are unrealistic. People disappear and pop into the story, with no explanation. The deus ex machina trope is used over and over for thrilling last minute rescues. From the first Teutoberg scene, there are gaps in time in the next few chapters, where I saw no continuity. Things start to make sense after Serpicus is in an exciting chariot race. I liked Serpicus himself, but it is the ensemble of him, his friends and an old centurion that stand out. I enjoyed the author's often sardonic humor and the bantering and teasing among the group and I often found myself chuckling. I deducted half a point for the confusion between different subplots and the unbelievability of most of the last half of the book. This was light escapist reading, with nothing graphic.