17 September 2007

Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe

Wolfe's books Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete are amongst my favorites of his work, so I was pleased to see that he's written a third volume.

The stories follow Latro, a Roman mercenary, who suffered a head injury that makes him forget everything after a day or so. He also gained the ability to see gods and monsters. The conceit of the books is that he wrote down the events of each day to remember them, and that Wolfe is merely translating the found scrolls.

The first two books deal with his travels in Greece during the Persian War, as he seeks both a cure and his home.

This one deals with another journey he made, after finding his home but still not able to remember from day to day. He has come to Egypt to attempt to find a cure there, and he gets involved in a journey up the Nile.

In style, the story is much as the others, with Latro perhaps the ultimate in unreliable narrators. The depiction of ancient Egypt complete with the supernatural beings as believed in at the time is fantastic.

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