2.5 stars Although I like darker stories, I cannot say I enjoyed this one. I knew from the start what to expect, but even so it's hard to believe the f...more2.5 stars Although I like darker stories, I cannot say I enjoyed this one. I knew from the start what to expect, but even so it's hard to believe the feelings of the characters seeing them act as they did. Lust between Brant and Wilber - yes so much, love - didn't feel it. Brant was more like a conditioned pet as himself put it at one time, and Wilber is a master who educates his pets and eventually develops an attachment towards one of them. The positive note is that I appreciate the author's effort for using the organized crime as the setting of this story, and for combining such difficult and controversial themes. (less)
4.25 stars This was such a difficult read! An emotional, sad, angsty and depressing, but nonetheless a hopeful story. Shyro, a boy born in slavery, is...more4.25 stars This was such a difficult read! An emotional, sad, angsty and depressing, but nonetheless a hopeful story. Shyro, a boy born in slavery, is uprooted from everything that is familiar to him, and thrown into the harsh reality of the Roman Empire. It's about his life, or at least the most defining part of it. His hope for a Someday is all that keeps him from not giving up. It's about the survival of a boy who is slowly forced to become a man.
At the end we're left with a few words from the authors that clearly describe best this book's essential message:
Does not the life of one such as he [i.e. Shyro] carry forever a testament to the human spirit? Were not his struggles and his survival, even the depths of his joy in the face of adversity... and his courage... the telling of a larger tale? A tale from a time past that in many ways just keeps repeating and is mirrored in our own world today. Is his story not also our story?
Shyro will not be remembered, but nevertheless, now his story is told, and perhaps, dear reader, during difficult time, you put others before yourself and strive to do what is right, you'll be reminded, for that spirit lives in the heart of all of us. Think then, for a moment, of the past, as tribute to all such as he, for although Shyro may or may not have been real, there were many like him who were.
And perhaps, Someday, somewhere in the great expanse of time before us when those of us here now are nothing but dust, a strangers heart may give thanks for ours. (less)
I've read many reviews that said they were expecting more. I feel the same about it. Not enough world-building and especially I'm troubled by the char...moreI've read many reviews that said they were expecting more. I feel the same about it. Not enough world-building and especially I'm troubled by the character development that is reduced to Bran only, and that too is not really well done. The ideas behind this story, though, are interesting enough to give it such a rating. I'm thinking here on the slaves trainers in a institutionalized background that unfortunately is not explored seriously in order to obtain a better understanding. Training or re-training implies an important dose of psychological input, but here we see nothing of it. I guess this wasn't one of the author's intentions, but it would've been nice to have an image of the training techniques from different perspectives. I haven't read many slavefics, but I came across two titles that are very good in portraying the life of a slave and the challenges this status offers for him: Hidden Boundaries by C.S. McClellan and The Violet and the Tom by Ocotillo.(less)