Review: Varangian: The Stone of Babylon by Sabine Atkins

Book Blurb

Bound by an ancient oath, Edric is protecting a powerful secret ... Anglo-Saxon Edric is a Varangian, the member of an elite military force in medieval Constantinople. Being part secret service agent, part imperial security detail, he is privy to all kinds of secrets and intrigues in a strategically significant city embroiled in wars as well as internal political turmoil. But Edric is taken by surprise, when he finds out that his friend, an alchemist from Persia, has given him superpowers and wants him to protect the Stone of Babylon - by any means necessary. This task sends Edric on a mind-bending journey of epic proportions, full of exciting clashes with warriors and supernatural beings, dangerous alchemy, time travel, fantastical machines, and the acquaintances of strikingly beautiful members of the opposite sex (and not all of them seem to be concerned with his well-being). A journey that not only will reveal to him the purpose of the Stone of Babylon, but also show him his true strength. (This is the first book in a trilogy.)

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Edrick is the member of an ancient guard that protects the emperor.  However, he has been enhanced by Naheed.  His character is strong and true.  I liked him instantly.  He did his job but knew what was right.  However, the story was a bit lacking.  I wish the author would have developed the characters wore.  Edric was a good guy but his personality seemed a bit stilted.  You weren’t sure what was really going on with him.
The storyline was filled with action and suspense, but it seemed to be different scenarios strung along without a lot of in between depth for characters to process. Carin was pulled in to this ordeal with Edric but was never really allowed by the author to truly react to the situations. Plus, the characters changed to easily.  Renata changed completely later, and it was a total change in an instant.  It was hard to relate to any of these characters in the sense we weren’t allowed to get to know them at all.  I didn’t feel like I was part of the story.  It felt like I was reading a report of details given by another person.  It was too disconnected as I read though the story.

Then the whole idea of the story line was a bit confusing.  The stone of Babylon was the item they sought and were sent of a wild chase to get.  The author could have done a lot with the idea presented and could’ve developed into some complex personalities who participated in the search.  I give this book a 2 out of 5.

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