Friday, April 4, 2014

Sword and Scimitar Novel Review

I saw this historically based novel on sale at a local bookshop so added it to my reading stash. I am glad I did as it is an absolute ripper of a novel. I really enjoyed this read and it hooked me in right from the start. The main focus of the action in this book is the siege of Malta in 1565 with the Ottoman Empire trying to takeover the strategically based Island. The main character however is Sir Thomas. A Knight of the Order of St John. An order that by this period is much diminished.
I am not widely read on this period of conflict and a novel like this is a great way to learn and to find myself getting a point of view of the conflict even though it is a fictional one. It is a typically bloody and brutal account from Simon Scarrow the same bloke who writes the Macro and Cato series of books.
For a wargamer the book and conflict offers a lot of ideas for gaming. Despite the siege an aspect of warfare during that conflict was ship to ship and fleet vs fleet. A variety of gaming scales could cover this. Coastal raiding possibly 28mm skirmish style is another.
Visually the Ottoman Empire perhaps give the gamer a nice range of colours to use on miniatures and tactically the period has a range of weapons to see action on a table. Being part of the Black Powder age canons etc play their parts but armoured warriors are still to be found.
However though this book really does revolve around the critical conflict of Malta holding out for an extended period and as we know from history (not really a spoiler alert here) the Ottoman forces lost that one. You don't get a point of view from the besiegers in this book. But that probably adds to the role they play as an overwhelmingly superior sized force that pound the walls into oblivion.

Anyways I enjoyed the book.

Cheers from Brendon


  1. Great review, I quite fancy this, but worried that I might be tempted to start a crusader army - I am that weak!

  2. Excellent! Thanks. I used to travel to Malta a lot on business so will pick this up!

  3. @Michael....yeah it's easy to be convinced to start a new Army.
    @legatus... Would be very awesome to go to Malta. Especially after reading this novel.
    Cheers and thanks for the comments.