A Man At Arms, by Steven Pressfield, is an historical fiction novel about a former Roman legionnaire who becomes involved with a messenger carrying a letter from the apostle Paul to a group of Corinthian Christians. Steven Pressfield is one of my favorite authors, and Gates of Fire and Tides of War continue to be among my favorite books to read and re-read. A Man At Arms follows in the footsteps of these great novels and adds an extra depth of humanity that Pressfield’s other novels hint at, but don’t quite achieve.
Though this novel is very graphic in describing the violence that takes place throughout the trek, it has a very real feel for how these conflicts take place. Battles and actions are described so vividly that no motion picture interpretation is necessary, rather, the reader finds themselves viewing the battle through the portal of imagination. Pressfield’s feel for the politics, geography, arms and equipment, and lifestyle of the characters in the novel is well-researched, and feels spot on.
This novel is a gripping read and the ending does not disappoint. I found myself on edge during numerous parts of the story, hoping for the best, but fearing the worst. It is a rare book that pulls the reader through so many emotional ups and downs, and finishing the book brought a sense of completion and catharsis that gave it an experience of value and worth.https://bookshop.org/a/18960/9780393540970