“Life is filled with doing terrible things and those who want to survive definitely have to do the worst of them.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Acheron Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
Ever since my Latin classes and visiting Rome twice (and Pompeii once) during high school I have been in love with Italy and its history. Being lucky enough to have lived in Southern Italy during three months has only deepened that connection… So when I was asked if I wanted to read a historical fiction/fantasy story both written by an Italian author (Livio Gambarini) and set in medieval Florence, I immediately said yes. I was lucky enough to receive an English translation published by Acheron Books, which really enabled me to properly enjoy Eternal War: Armies Of Saints (my Italian unfortunately is less than mediocre). The mix between fantasy and historical fiction is well done and I liked the fact that the story was set in Dante’s Florence. The story keeps switching between the material and spiritual world and this can become a bit confusing in the beginning, but once I got used to it the connection was actually quite interesting. Both Guido and Kabal are intriguing characters and the worldbuilding (especially the fantasy elements) is very imaginative. If you like the genre, I would definitely recommend reading this book.
The war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines has been taking its toll on many families, but still their seems to be no end in sight. The conflict seems to go deeper than the two sides realize, as the spirit world seems to be involved in their war as well… Spirits have been guiding over their respective families during centuries, both protecting them and improving their own status in the spirit world. We follow Guido Cavalcanti and the spirit that guides the family, Kabal, as they both try to save the family from being completely destroyed. Guido is both a warrior and a poet, but due to a trick under the spell of the daughter of his enemy. He is determined to marry the girl he loves, but Kabal knows better and tries to both stop Guido from making a mistake and save the city… Will he be able to succeed before it’s too late?
Eternal War: Armies Of Saints is without doubt a very intriguing read that mixes the historical and fantastical elements perfectly. I admit it takes a while to get used to the constant switches between the material and spiritual world, but once I did I really enjoyed this read. I do wish my Italian would have been good enough to read it in the original language, because I have the feeling Livio Gambarini‘s prose could have been appreciated even better in Italian… But I can’t deny I enjoyed the world he created in his novel and the idea of spirits guiding their families and living lives of their own. Recommended if you want to read an interesting historical fiction story with a fantasy twist.