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Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Review: Beyond the Wall
Beyond The Wall
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Britannia. A conquered land.
Running. Weeping. Blood on her lips.
Blood in her mouth.
Blood that is not her own.
After maiming her master, Cassia has no choice but to run. Beyond the river, fair to the north, stands Hadrian's Wall - the furthest limit of the mighty Roman Empire. And beyond the wall? Freedom. With dogs on her trail and a bounty on her head, the journey seems impossible. But then Cassia meets Marcus - slick, slippery, sliver-tongued - a true and perfect son of Rome. And her only hope.
I love a good historical read, and I don't get to read nearly enough of them lately! I was excited to start reading this and it wasn't at all what I was expecting. I had assumed it was for a younger audience but there's some content in here that's definitely YA as we get a first hand look at the violence and general lechy behaviour of men towards women in this book. It's Rome. They had slaves. I shouldn't have been surprised. But I hadn't realised this was a more YA book.
I feel like the book was very authentic, and very well researched. However, the constant violence towards women was uncomfortable to read more than once. Which was certainly the point, but like I said...I was expecting a middle grade book so I wasn't expecting that kind of content.
I rooted for Cassia, and I really liked her. She became a stronger and stronger person throughout the book. I thought her brother was a bit of a brat and then he took a turn for the weird. I liked Marcus too but I wasn't sure whether to trust him and why he was acting a certain way, I know he had his reasons but for most of the book I couldn't quite puzzle him out. The romance was okay.
I enjoyed the different POV's and how it was kind of in three parts. Like the emphasis was on Cassia in part one, and then part two switched to Marcus and then part three wrapped everything up. Sort of. The ending is left kind of open, like did they or didn't they? And endings like that always bug me.
I have to say, the authors note was interesting, I'm always intrigued to see what little tidbits authors have dug up during their research. I did learn that the Romans where just as gross as I thought they where. Like they weren't the best. I remember reading an article about how if they'd carried on we'd be way more technologically advanced, but when you look at some of the things they did you have to ask yourself if it's worth it.
Overall, Beyond the Wall was an okay read. It was authentic and well researched but I'm not entirely sure why I kept reading. There was a point when I contemplated DNFing it and I can't decide if I carried on because I was genuinely curious or if I felt like I had to.