Review: Latro in the Mist

Latro in the MistLatro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Latro in the Mist combines two books—Soldier in the Mist and Soldier of Arete—both wonderful reads about an injured soldier named Latro who suddenly finds himself without the use of his short term memory, but blessed with the ability to communicate with gods. In my very limited experience with the author, Gene Wolfe, I would say that his books must come with a strict caveat: Only serious readers need apply. His books are not those a reader can simply sit down with and leisurely turn through. They are, for lack of a better term, and undertaking.

In my own experience with this book, I had to dedicate myself to reading it every day or risk losing track of who everyone was, where they all were, and what they were doing. Perhaps a reader who is better versed in ancient Greek/Roman history and mythology wouldn’t have such a hard time, but for me, stepping away from this book proved to be a problem. The other challenging element to this book was how often I found myself stopping, grabbing my computer, and spending a half hour to an hour on Wikipedia reading about certain mythological or historical references.

This is not a book to read on vacation. It is not a book to read for liesure. But, if you’re willing to put in the effort, it is one of the most rewarding books you will ever come across. This is a book for true lovers of fiction, and I would personally suggest that anyone who fancies themselves a writer should read this book, to see what a true mastery of the craft looks like.

All others need not apply.

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