Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review- The Young Carthaginian

For the Alphabet Soup challenge, Hard Core Re-reading, What's in a Name challenge, Author A-Z and Audiobook challenge I re-read (aka listened to the audiobook of) of G.A. Henry's historical novel The Young Carthaginian.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Set in ancient times, during the Punic wars, this story follows the adventures of young Malchus, an officer in Hannibal's army. Henty describes the army's incredible journey through southern Europe and across the Alps in fascinating detail, providing both a lesson in ancient history and an absorbing story. The balance of power in Europe swayed between Rome and Carthage and the outcome of this struggle would determine the course of Western Civilization even until today
I was a Henty fanatic as a child. I read almost all of his books (and he had a lot!) and re-read many of them as well. I will admit I did learn most of my history from his books. Though they are historical novels, they are quite accurate. As an adult(ish) re-reading them is a little different of an experience than reading them as a child. Henry's novels are fairly formulaic. His heroes are always perfect gentlemen with no faults (though sometimes hot headed). Sometimes he does a history dump and you have to wade through some details before getting to the action but it is a historical novel so I guess it isn't fair to complain about that. However, I still love his books. I learn so much for them and I can appreciate the refreshing change of a hero that is actually good as compared to some "heroes" that are portrayed in books nowadays. It's also nice that while Malchus is always willing to "save the girl" the girl is always capable of saving herself. They make a great team. There's plenty of action  mixed in with the history making it a fun adventure novel for boys and even girls alike (I think I read more of them than my brothers!).
Hannibal and the Punic wars were something I new little about so it was fascinating to learn more about them. I'm now interested to read more about the subject.
Overall I enjoyed the re-read and I am looking forward to possibly re-reading more of Henty's novels next year.

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  1. I read some Henty including this one, but I have two on my shelf now I can't seem to get through. My favorite is In Freedom's Cause all about the Scottish War for Independence, I think. I liked this one though. I think it was the one where I figured out Henty's formula: awesome dude saves awesome girl who's usually pretty cool and they go do some cool stuff with important people and get married. There was more to that, but that's pretty much it. I'm glad I'm not the only Henty reader!

    1. In Freedom's Cause is great and it is actually what introduced my family to his books. Henry's formula is pretty much that but they're still awesome! :)


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