I must confess I hadn't heard of this long-running series before reading this twenty fifth entry in the saga of Casca, the Eternal Mercenary. The original books were written by Barry Sadler, a Green Beret medic, author and musician, and the author of the "Ballad of the Green Berets", and tell the story of Casca Rufio Longinius, the Roman soldier who killed Jesus on the cross, and was cursed to wander the earth until the second coming. This allowed Sadler to place his character in any war of the last 2,000 years, and the series ran to 22 entries before Sadler's death.
After a false start with volumes 23 and 24, the series has now been revived by Tony Roberts (also the author of the casca.net website). His first entry in the series sees Casca arrive in Virginia, where he falls foul of an ancient order dedicated to tracking him down, before taking part in the Mexican War, fighting with the Marine Corps.
This is an thoroughly entertaining novel, and has been well received by fans of the series. Roberts has created a convincing version of mid-nineteenth century Virginia, and of the American armies that invaded Mexico in 1846-8, while Casca himself makes for an unusual hero. With a second book already out and a third on the way, the series seems to be in safe hands.
The books can be obtained via the Casca.net website.
Author: Tony Roberts
Publisher: 1st Impression Publishing