David Drake's work is more subtle than a first reading would suggest. If you were to read just one Hammer story, or one Belisarius, you might think he was rubbing your nose in the blood and gore like so many of today's movies do, just to get a gut reaction and celebrate the carnage. However if you read the books a second, and a third time, and reflect on some of our recent history, you begin to understand that while the characters entertain the background of blood and gore reflects the brutal reality of human conflict the characters must act in, and survive. War is ugly. The characters that evolve and survive are forever affected by this ugliness. A tremendous amount of history is created in conflict. We are a product of that history and that brutality - David Drake wants to make sure we remember that and that we don't forget the human nature of the people who undertake the most brutal of human occupations. I would recommend his books to anyone who wants to serve their country, or who wants to be responsible for sending sons and daughters to war. There is a rough side to that business, and David Drake does an excellent job of reminding us of the ugly, the profound - and most of all the human sides of war. And,
it's a rollicking good read!