Sunday, August 03, 2003

The Ivanhoe Gambit

by Simon Hawke

I've been meaning to reread Simon Hawke's Time Wars series since I reread book 5, The Nautilus Sanction, a few weeks back. I finally got around to it and have decided to not only reread the series, but also attempt to read the original works which inspired each volume. (Stay tuned for my review of Ivanhoe...) Anyhoo, The Ivanhoe Gambit is the book that started it all. The story introduces us to Sgt. Major Lucas Priest, a soldier in the Temporal Corps. In the future, once time travel has been discovered, national conflicts are resolved by sending soldiers to serve among the armies of the past. The scores are tallied and then the winner announced. A bit silly perhaps, but it makes a good backdrop for the tale. Anyway, Sgt. Major Priest has just returned from a hitch in the Punic Wars and decides to volunteer for a hitch with his friend, Sgt. Bobby Johnson. He's in for a surprise, however, since Bobby is assigned to an adjustment mission--one where past events have been messed up by time travelers and need to be restored by the Temporal Corps. In this case, a rogue time referee has assumed the role of King Richard the Lionheart and threatens to alter the history of England. Priest, Johnson and two other soldiers assume the roles of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Robin Hood, Little John and Ivanhoe's squire and attempt to stop the imposter. What follows is an enjoyable adventure tale which vaguely parallels the plot of Ivanhoe. It isn't great literature, but it is entertaining. Mr. Hawke's characters are likable and there's some surprising twists. It's a book to keep on my shelf for those times I want a quick, enjoyable read.

LibraryThing link

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