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The Eternal Mercenary (Casca, #1)
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The Eternal Mercenary (Casca #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  595 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Published (first published January 1st 1979)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,071)
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David Dalton
A character living forever is always a special hook. Younger fans would think Barry has ripped off the Highlander TV show, except this book was first written back in 68 or so. Barry wrote this series for quite for a while BEFORE the first Highlander movie came out. I think I might have read a Casca book or two back in the 70's, along with the likes of the Executioner and Destroyer books as well.

I like this concept and how Casca was condemned by Jesus to live "until they meet again". This first b
I could not get enough of this series when I was in younger. For a fifth grade boy, what is cooler than a series about an immortal mercenary killing & sexing his way through the centuries? Yeah, that's right, not much. Alright, for clarification, a fifth grade chunky nerd boy.
Troy Curtis
Casca is the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus on the cross. Well not historically, but in this Barry Sadler novel Casca is the name given to the soldier. This series of books starts off with Jesus condeming Casca to forever be what he is until they meet again. The story line is very interesting. The character is believable. I found this book as a teen and loved it then. The language used in this novel is a little graphic from time to time (more than I should have read as a teen). For some reason ...more
Nov 24, 2009 Justin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Justin by: Alex Korkishko
This story is quite amazing. Casca Rufio Longinus is the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus' side with a spear. For this, he is cursed with immortality. This book spans the first 130 years following his curse, much of it spent in slavery. Part of Casca's curse is that he'll always be a soldier, too. The rest of the series focuses on different points in military history all across the world, from ancient times to the present.

What strikes me about the story is the bittersweetness. He establishes frie
Ah, Casca. I actually read this when I was really young; around the time it came out, so 6, 7 years old. It was alongside my Conans and Destroyers. I've mentioned before my mom didn't like me reading children's books, but I haven't read any of these since then. Thought I'd see how they read to my slightly older than 6-year old mind. Plus I needed something shorter after the time-dilated reading of Battlefield Earth.

This is the first book in the series (which has a *lot* more books in it than I
Busqué este libro por años y esperaba un libro ligero de aventuras, que te apena confesar que lees porque sabes es una historieta para adultos, mi lado snob se manifestaba culpable. Pero llegó el día en que casualmente lo encuentro en Kindle Unlimited. Y lo devoré y quiero leer los 23 de Barry Sadler, como me dio con el Sharpe de Cornwell. Más profundo en su personaje de lo que esperaba, dotado de complejidad de trama y pensamiento, es un clásico para mi. El soldado romano Casca Rufius Longinus ...more
Bravo! What a great idea and finely crafted stoiry. I have prowled internet sites and book stores to collect all the paperbacks in the series written by Barry Sadler. I have 20 of the 22 and will complete them all. If Casca nust wait....I will bide with him.
Jeff Powers
Everything that made pulps bad, (the rampant sexism, the casual racism, etc.) makes this book hard to read. But everything that made pulp great, make this book hard to put down. It can be hard to get past some of the characters despicable views on other characters (as to whether these are the views of the author as well, I don't know) but they also lend some credence to the character of Casca. He isn't likable and yet he makes for an intriguing protagonist. Cursed to live until Christ's return, ...more
The synopsis opens with a description of a religious connection that might offend some. It is too brief and does not describe the theme of regret and repentance that this legionnaire follows through history for his actions as simply a foot soldier following orders without thinking. Cursed to the life of a foot soldier forever the theme of a foot soldier confronted with choices about right or wrong and making choices about following orders to do wrong or not repeats.

This book and its successors
Jim A
I first read this series back in the early 80's. It was right in line with the action thrillers of the time, Don Pendleton et al type novels.

My tastes have changed quite a bit since then. While I have enjoyed going back to the action thrillers of the past, this was not one of them.

The only redeeming feature of this read was it was a Prime Borrow For Free from Amazon. I would not have been happy with myself if I had paid the $10 to buy it just to reminisce.
Timothy Boyd
So you just a soldier doing your job. You shove a spear tip into the side of this supposed messiah, except he is the real thing. He curses you to wander the earth till his return. Not bad right, immortality and all. Oh but he also curses you to be a soldier forever at war, never to know peace. This is the story of Casca the Roman legionnaire that stabbed Christ. Forever wandering the earth fighting one war after another. Great adventure series. Very recommended
This was my first "Missed my flight home" book. Coming off of reading "The Dogs of War" I was totally fascinated with the concept of a doomed to live Mercenary. I enjoyed the book for its insight in to what its like to be an "immortal" The battles in the arena were done ok. I ended up reading four more of the series. No new ones in at least 15 years I'd still recommend for a quick Sunday afternoon/evening read.
This book is what it is... The hyperbole is over the top (as one reader/reviewer noted below regarding women at the Coliseum "losing control"). It was certainly not written as high art, and is not the least bit subtle.
However, as a warrior book, dealing with issues of combat, war, betrayal and loyalty, this book succeeds. This is especially true due to its excellent premise: That of the Roman soldier who is sentenced (for spearing Jesus while he was on the cross) to remain alive until Christ ret
In these tales, Casca Longinus was or rather IS the centurion who speared Christ on Golgotha, mainly as a gesture of pity to spare Jesus the long agonizing death which was the typical fate of those who were crucified. And for this act Christ "condemned" Casca to effectively eternal life, saying "as you are content to be a soldier, so shall you remain ... until the time of my return" on Judgement Day.

A good start to a satisfyingly brutal series of stories, in this case "satisfyingly" is actually
Kim Vasconez
I am very selective about what I read. I read 3/4 and just lost interest. There is some value in the unique slant, but the writing was poor, the storyline the same and repetitive. I just cannot see investing more time in the book, let alone series. On to Voices of Stone and Olivia Diamond!
Matt Lee Sharp
This book is not without its faults. Pretty blatant racism/sexism. A pretty terrible plot device here or there. But its premise (immortal cursed-by-jesus warrior travels the world being immortal and being a warrior) just clicks with my inner pubescent history nerd so hard. I had this same connection with H. Rider Haggard, though HRH can occasionally write pretty beautiful prose. Sometimes you just have to enjoy books for how much fun you have reading them. If the premise appeals to you, the writ ...more
A fun, short novel that tells an excellent story. Casca is a great character. Will read the second in the series when Amazon brings the price down to a more suitable level.
Edward Rosenfeld
A re-read after many decades...holds up well....even if historically somewhat inaccurate....
Brad T.
I keep coming back to this book about every 15 years. I'm not sure why I keep coming back but I do.
Good detail and period historically satisfied
Robert Mills
It was quite enjoyable and I can't wait to read the rest
Jeff Feltman
Great book to start a great series
David Duprey
Very interesting and engaging read. It was very hard to put down, and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series.
Tom Haynes
This is a long series of maybe, twenty book episodes, by Sgt Barry Sadler of "Green Beret" song fame. Quite a unique slant on this story which is in a few other reviews. I enjoyed this and may read some of the sequals.
Frank Pinelander
Have read five in the series.

A light, quick read, hard to put down as they move quickly.

I like the premise, and find the motif interesting - sort of a Forrest Gump that goes through history, making significant changes by who he is and what he does.

A former Navy Diver friend turned me onto these. He and his det mates even used to read them underwater, on those long boring rides in a SDV.
Unique story line-- a Roman soldier who is "cursed" by Jesus on the cross to live as a soldier until Jesus' second coming. But...terrible writing. However, like a poorly made mega-action flick, I was entertained nonetheless. :) There's like a million books in the series, though-- and I'm not sure I'll bother to read another one.
David L.
Great book, great series.
I've read this series front to back many times. Some of the latter books are not as strong as this one, but still worth it. Sadler creates a compelling immortal/cursed character. The sights & sounds of the ancient world spring to life.
I would highly recommend this book.
Probably more like 3.5. Loved the premise, but the writing was just so-so. Some of the scenes dragged with not enough action. Apparently this is a very long series, but I was disappointed at a couple of the loose ends. Not sure if I'll get around to reading any more of these...
Robert T.  Garcia
A nice swift read. Barry Sadler, a Patriot, Veteran, and an American Soldier who knew to create something special with the Casca series. Great concept and the flow of the story is brisk and very much enjoyable. This 1st novel sets the stage for all other novels in the series.
Nicole Brainard
A very interesting read! I really enjoyed the author's take on the Crucifixion. Those that are very religious may not appreciate Sadler's creativity regarding Christ. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and others in the series when I can find them!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

American author, musician and former green beret.

To the general public he is most known for the hit single "Ballad of the green berets"

After his musical career he decided to write a series of novels centered around the character "Casca Rufio Longinius" Who is cursed for pi
More about Barry Sadler...

Other Books in the Series

Casca (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • God of Death (Casca, #2)
  • The War Lord (Casca, #3)
  • Panzer Soldier (Casca, #4)
  • The Barbarian (Casca, #5)
  • The Persian (Casca, #6)
  • The Damned (Casca, #7)
  • Soldier of Fortune (Casca, #8)
  • The Sentinel (Casca, #9)
  • The Conquistador (Casca, #10)
  • The Legionnaire (Casca, #11)
God of Death (Casca, #2) The War Lord (Casca, #3) Panzer Soldier (Casca, #4) The Barbarian (Casca, #5) The Persian (Casca, #6)

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