Warrior Prince, by J.P. Bowie
Recommended as a good read
Blurb: Set in the early turbulent years of the Roman Empire, and seen through the eyes of three men, Warrior Prince tells the story of a love that will not be denied, of courage in the face of adversity, of political intrigue, betrayal and death. Against this backdrop of death and mayhem, Lucius and Callistus, two estranged lovers, meet at last, but can their love overcome the enormous odds they must face when it seems that every man – and the gods – are determined to tear them apart once more?
About the author: J.P. Bowie hails from Scotland – and has lived in the States for the past 30 years. Originally a singer, J.P. turned to stagecraft, working at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas for the illustrious magicians, Siegfried and Roy.
J.P. began writing seriously in 2000, self publishing a series of books featuring a young artist living in Laguna Beach. The series was successful and since then J.P. has been published by TEB Press, a UK based publishing company, and MLR Press under the auspices of Laura Baumbach.
His recent series of vampire stories, originally only available in ebook form, will now be available in print starting June 2009.
212 pages. Available in Kindle & Nook formats, 298 KB
Review by Gerry Burnie
This is the first J.P. Bowie novel I have read, but judging from “Warrior Prince” [MLR Press, 2009] I conclude that he is an accomplished writer. Certainly his prose is well constructed and also flows along at an easy-to-read pace. Moreover, the characters are quite well developed, and for the most part believable.
Lucius, a middle-class Roman, leads a quite comfortable life except for an unrelenting longing for his departed lover, Callistus. The latter is a former fugitive slave with Spartacus’s defeated uprising, and Lucius is uncertain whether he is alive or dead.
Reminiscent of a decadent, pre-Christian Rome, a vastly wealthy merchant introduces Lucius to a handsome tribune, Flavius Sedonius, who is sexually indifferent between male and female, and after a brief affair with Lucius, Flavius mentions that he is marching back to Gaul to do battle with a Prince Callistus.
Encouraged by evidence that Callistus lives, Lucius signs-up with the army in the hope of finding Callistus, but ends up in another part of Gaul, while Flavius is captured by Callistus in the other. In another twist of fate that Roman Legions free both, and Callistus is taken back to Rome to die in the arena.
I won’t spoil the ending by talking about the outcome, but it does add a touch of drama to a fairly tame romance by imperial Roman standards.
Overall it is a good read with some interesting twists, some drama, and enough sex and romance to satisfy. My strongest quibble, however, is that it takes some unacceptable liberties with the period. This is particularly so regarding such anachronistic phrases as “to tie the knot,” referring to a marriage, which dates from about the 13th century, A.D. Also, “he should make an honest woman of her,” which the Online Etymology Dictionary dates from about the 17th century.Laving said that, I recommend Warrior Prince as a good read. Three and one-half stars.
Read an excerpt from my in-progress novel, The Brit, Kid Cupid, and Petunia, an M/M light comedy & adventure. Comments welcome. Add your comments, or e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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