The Eternal Mercenary

The Eternal Mercenary

Andrew Powers

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The Casca series follows the life of Casca Rufio Longinus a semi-mythological character from Western lore. The historical truth is that Casca was a member of the Roman legion assigned to stand guard at the crucifixion of a Jew named Jesus, Jesus survived longer then usual so Casca stabbed him in the side with a spear. The myth is that for stabbing Jesus Casca was cursed to live until the second coming, another myth spawned from the crucifixion is that of the Spear of Destiny. According to the legend the armies of whoever possess the spear cannot be defeated in battle, or the owner receives some other supernatural power. the Spear is reoccurring throughout the series in which the Spear is controlled by Casca’s archenemy the Brotherhood of the Lamb.

 

The most prevalent theme in the Casca series is human conflict resulting in violence. There are usually around seven fights or battles described in each book with more mentioned or implied. The battles are usually won by the side Casca is on or often leading. More often then not the battle is won due to a tactical decision or clever trick on the part of Casca. Its also not uncommon for Casca to end up in single combat with the enemy leader either by coincidence or by challenge. One of the things I love about this series is the knowledge that is shown and explained without it feeling like reading a textbook. From Barry Sadler (the author) Ive learned more about ancient arms, lifestyle, tactics, trade, religion, and politics without it feeling like research.

Cover sample of Casca#1: "The Eternal Mer...
Cover sample of Casca#1: “The Eternal Mercenary”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a fun, action-packed series that takes place across dozens of historical settings. The author is a well traveled man with personal experience in combat and has the writing skills to put his experience to good use. The books are relatively short (a fast/determined reader can read one a day) yet once you get hooked you wont run out of reading material because there are currently 41 books with the 42nd coming soon. However, the reader should know only the first 22 books are written by Barry Sadler, several other authors have continued the series, Barry Sadler’s name is usually in large print on the cover as a dedication to him not to say that he is the author. These authors and the fans assist each other in writing and editing the new books. As a community they also make sure only high quality books go into print, that the new books don’t contradict previous books, and that the author didn’t plagiarize. One author of two Casca books was found to have plagiarized parts of his writing, the books were immediately removed from the series and the author banned from writing future books in the series. I would recommend this series to anyone interested action/adventure and/or historical fiction novels.

 

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