Scorpion by Aleksandr Voinov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm not a big fan of historical work, but sometimes I can't help but pick up one that sounds sooo good. Scorpion lived up to my expectations too! There were many elements of this story that made it read more like a fantasy than a historical book, likely because the time was set so far into the past.
The contrast of the gritty soldier's POV to the far reaching and political landscape that made up the plot was refreshing. A simple person myself, I appreciated seeing it from the outside. I'd not have been nearly as involved in the story had I been reading it from another viewpoint, the Leader's, for example.
I've recently found myself enjoying MM military stories outside of contemporary fiction plots, and this story fit right into that. We saw all the orders, special missions, rank maneuvering, FUBAR moments and victories. Kendras' role in so many vastly important moments intrigued me. The author managed to make it all plausible that this one person, this ex-street rat turned soldier on the eve of his death, could do everything he did.
I will say this, if gritty scenes of pain, sex, or pain and sex, bother you, don't pick up this book. There are many instances of non-con and dub-con that show up. It fits with the time period and the character's lives though, so if you're not easily spooked by dark content matter, I would definitely recommend Scorpion. It has put Aleksandr Voinov onto my radar, and I will certainly be looking for more of his eBooks to read in the future.
Edit to add: I just exchanged some comments with the author and was told... nope, fantasy not historical. Perhaps it was the 'real' feel to the story that made me put this in the wrong genre, but either style you like, fantasy or history, this story could work for you.