Tor, Mar 2003, 17.95, 704 pp.
“Soldier of the Mist”. In 479 BC, Latro a Roman mercenary receives a devastating head injury during battle. The consequences of his wound are loss of short-term memory as his brain erases recent events just over twelve hours old. Latro also appears to have gained the ability to talk with invisible beings, other strange creatures, and the dead. To keep track of all he has done and confronts, Latro keeps a journal that tells of his journey while the Athenians and Persians remain at war.
“Soldier of Arete”. Latro still has amnesia, which erases his memory of the previous day. He still keeps his journal. He has become a Greek slave and fights on the side of the tall strong Amazons as he continues to travel all of Greece. He even has his own “slave” in his quest to regain his memory and perhaps as important his free status. He still talks with other strange creatures including the dead.
This is a reprint of two powerful ancient historical fantasies released separately in the 1980s. LATRO IN THE MIST is actually better as a two in one book because “Soldier of Arete” makes more sense if “Soldier of the Mist” is read first. The story lines are Latro's account of his odyssey, which brings to life much of Ancient Greece during the fifth century BC. Gene Wolfe is at his best with this ironic fantasy that provides a deep historical fiction with mythological elements.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner