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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gods and Warriors, 29 Aug 2012
This review is from: Gods and Warriors (Hardcover)
I'm a huge fan of Michelle Paver and I loved her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. I was therefore massively excited to have an opportunity to review the first book in her brand new series 'Gods and Warriors'.

The story is set during the Bronze Age and features an unlikely hero called Hylas, a twelve year old boy who finds himself being hunted down by rebels at the start of the book. The beginning is fast paced and incredibly thrilling as Hylas manages to escape but finds himself separated from his younger sister Issi and out in the world on his own.

I thought the setting for the story was wonderful. Michelle Paver always does such thorough and meticulous research and this pays off with fantastically precise details of Hylas's world. I found the beliefs of the people of the Bronze Age hugely interesting and enjoyed reading about their connections to the spirits and their rituals in worshipping a greater power. The descriptions of all the places that Hylas visits in the book are rich and detailed which made them easy to imagine as I was reading.

There are lots of other great characters in the book too, including Pirra who wants to experience freedom but is destined for a marriage she does not want. Her path eventually crosses with that of Hylas as they each face personal struggles.

One of my favourite things about Paver's books is the way she depicts the relationship between people and animals. as well as the chapters from Hylas's point of view, there are also the ones seen through the eyes of the dolphin that comes to his rescue. From the dolphin is conveyed a sense of the vastness and beauty of the ocean and it's hidden depths. Although animal and boy, the two share a special bond which runs extremely deep.

'Gods and Warriors' is a brilliantly written opening to what promises to be an epic adventure. Paver is definitely back even better than ever. This is the first in a five book series, the next of which will be published in 2013, so I'm looking forward immensely to following Hylas on the next stage of his journey.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Icredibly beautiful start to a new series!!, 29 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Gods and Warriors (Hardcover)
As a long term fan of Michelle, this book was always going to be a big deal for me, and the wait for it has been a torturous one. First announced back in December 2010 after the release of the terrifying ghost story, Dark Matter, the last year and a half have been slow. Long days of waiting for something new to read, something new to put on the bookshelf next to her previous books. I'd even left a space just begging to be filled. And now, at last, it's here.

And it was worth every single second that passed. Every moment was worth the wait because what we have here is nothing short of amazing.

I remember saying on Twitter in February when I actually read the book that it's a real world building book and I still stand by that. Gods and Warriors really gives us an insight into the world in which the 5 book series is set. Set in the Mediterranean around the bronze age, we get a glimpse of the way the characters live in the bronze-age, we get a feel for their customs and their ways, their beliefs and their views on those who are not like others. Outsiders.

Hylas is an Outsider. All his life, he and his sister have lived outside of the village with a few others, tending to goats on a mountainside. They are not worthy of life within the confines of the village, but at the same time, they are given a purpose. But then one day, everything changes. The Black Warriors come to slaughter them all. But why? Hylas manages to escape, barely, with his life, but his sister is missing. His beloved sister Issi. She's all he truly has in the world, she can't be dead. Hylas is determined to find her. He has to.

But it's not just the mission to find his sister that has been unlocked by the arrival of the Black Warriors. Something else is stirring, far bigger and far more dangerous.

I will be honest that when I started reading the book, it did take me a few chapters to warm to Hylas. To all of the characters really. I was so used to reading about Torak, and Renn and Wolf, that it felt weird to be reading about all these new characters. The style, although different to that of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, is instantly recognisable as Michelle's, right from the first word, and it was hard to get used to these new characters being here, all of a sudden out of nowhere. And the book really does start all of a sudden. Bang. Right into the action from the first sentence. And the pace doesn't really let up. As is custom with Michelle's work, she's so economical. Every single word counts. Every sentence has fought for it's right to be there and this is evident. Sometimes when reading a book you get a sense that a paragraph or even sometimes whole chapters are just fillers, only there to be there, and not really serving any justice to the story. But with Gods and Warriors, and indeed all of Michelle's work, there is no sense of that here.

We also meet Pirra. Daughter of the High Priestess she has never been her own person. Always told what to do, when to do it and told never to question, she longs to be normal, to live outside of the confines of the temple. She is feisty, strong willed, and defiant.

And as we know Michelle is so passionate about wildlife, we have animals here too. From the blurb we are told to expect dolphins, a lion cub and a falcon, and it is the dolphin we meet first. Michelle caught peoples imagination in Wolf Brother when she wrote from Wolf's point of view, from within his mind and here again she does it with the dolphin, and it is mind-blowing. She really seems to get it. Whatever it is, she knows exactly how to express it, and how to get as much out of it as she can. I often wonder if there is an element of Doctor Dolittle in Michelle. She has captured something so wonderful and captivating.

Again, I'll be honest, this is not at all what I was expecting. As already mentioned, the wait was a long one, and having already known that the series was to be called Gods and Warriors, I let my mind wander many-a-time to think about what the series could have been. I'd imagined Zeus and Hades. I'd imagined storms created by Gods and the Humans of Earth, the Warriors of Earth, rebelling against them. But that's not what we find here. It's something far greater and more original than I'd thought and to be honest, I'm thankful!

To close, as this is nearing 900 words now, oops...

Michelle Paver is back with a colossal bang ladies and gentlemen. You can expect to be late for school, work, appointments, everything, because once you sit down with this book you will not want to get up until you've finished it!

It's beautifully written, eerily captivating, totally addictive and blooming brilliant to boot! Please, I implore you, do not miss out on the start of what looks set to be an incredible series. I am gagging for Book Two already! ARGH!

(P.S. Check out that cover! I'm sorry, but I can't help but stare! Bravo Puffin! Bravo!)

Originally posted by me on [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!!, 12 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Gods and Warriors (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my daughter because i liked the look of it and the description of the storyline. My daughter love's myth, magic and heroes. I have already read more than 80 pages when i was only supposed to read the full book description on the inside cover!! I like what i am reading and i think my daughter will love this book. I am 100% going to buy more of Michelle Paver's book's. It is very difficult to find a good author so when you do it is good to try and build a nice collection. I would recommend this book for older children and adult's alike!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful!, 17 Sep 2012
By 
J. Munro "Jae Munro" (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gods and Warriors (Hardcover)
After reading, and absolutely loving, Paver's highly successful Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, I was dubious about how she could top such a fantastic series of stories, but in Gods and warriors, Paver has created another classic. What is special about this book is not the fact that the author researches her work meticulously, but more the way that she uses that research to weave a rich embroidery of a tale out of it. The story feels both ancient and credible. The interactions between the main characters Hylas and Pirra are fresh and interesting and not just another reincarnation of Torak and Renn.

It was also lovely to see Hylas's relationship with Spirit the dolphin. In some ways, his relationship with Spirit seems almost deeper than that of Torak and Wolf. This story feels different to her previous work, but it still has the Michelle Paver hallmark of excellent, exciting, involved and quality storytelling. In two words, its: simply beautiful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of a quintet of novels, 28 Jan 2014
By 
Sussman "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gods and Warriors (Hardcover)
This is the first offering, from what is to be a five-part series that is a mixing of magic with ritual from Michelle Paver. Her new series of books tells the narrative of Hylas, a 12-year-old goatherd, whose adventures take him to Ancient Crete and Ancient Egypt. He also has a potent ally in the form Pirra; the stubborn daughter of an Egyptian priestess, the scene is set during the Bronze Age. Other characters featured in the plot, of non-human variety are a lion cub, a falcon and a dolphin (called Spirit).
Book 1 shows our hero Hylas given a bronze dagger by a dying slave, though he is both mystified and at loss to understand why the dreaded Crows – the warrior clan of Koronos and rulers of Mycenae – will do anything within their power to retrieve it. Hylas finds himself on the run. On his fraught journey Hylas encounters the daughter of the High Priestess, courageous 12-year-old Pirra, who has boldly branded her own cheek and escaped an arranged marriage joins him on his journey. Soon they find themselves marooned on an Island, and here they are caught up in hostile enmities between Lakonians, Mycenaeans and Minoans. They soon find that they must rely on each if they are to survive, and this growing shared dependency drives the story.

While a number of other fashionable children's authors imagine a future regularly described in dystopian terms, Paver’s work looks backwards more with a positive eye to the past. This book illustrates the quality of Paver's research is impeccable and, reading her intense accounts of Bronze Age life really the narrative to the fore. Paver’s brings in well-rounded and stalwart characters that always seem to do the right thing, helped by generous helping of flukes and a succession of eleventh-hour escapes. The authors’ story telling maybe a blend of fantasy and adventure, however, the background to the narrative is facts based archaeology of the Greek Bronze Age and its belief systems of that time frame. It is this attention to detail - innovative storytelling and clean grammatical style as most of written word is written in short, stabbing sentences. The wide ranging success of the first set of books has assured her popularity and success, in my opinion this series will do as well hence my 5 star rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gods and warriors or The outsiders, 3 Sep 2013
By 
K. Exley (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Outsiders (Gods and Warriors Book 1) (Paperback)
This book was previously sold as 'Gods and Warriors' as it's title - it has since been republished under the title 'The Outsiders' . It was bought recently for my son who thought it was the next book in the series only to find he had read it before. The next book is called 'The Burning Shadow' - don't make the same mistake as it doesn't say so on the Amazon page, only on the back of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG, 27 Jun 2013
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BRILLIANT, can't wait for the next book, couldn't put the book down!! A new situation every page!!
MUST READ BOOK!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars his sister is missing, his dog has been killed..., 23 Jun 2013
his sister is missing his dog has been killed, high in the mountains hylas is alone, but his predators are not. the mysterious black warriors are after him and the villages dont take in outsiders.
alone hylas must get away from the black warriors and find his sister. hylas, the goatherder could rise to become a hero, along with pirra, a girl from far away...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars page turner, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: Gods and Warriors (Hardcover)
my eleven year old son devoured this and can't wait for the second in the series, due to be published this summer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 17 April 2013
I really like this book. It is a very good book and it is fun for even adults too read. And Hylas is a very ambitious boy.

The crows attack Hylas in the wild, but he just gets away. His friend telamon then steals his dad's chariot and horses to help Hylas get away.

Hylas is obsessed with finding his little sister Issi who ran in a different direction after the crows had attacked them. That is to give you an idea of how good this book is!
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The Outsiders (Gods and Warriors Book 1)
The Outsiders (Gods and Warriors Book 1) by Michelle Paver (Paperback - 1 Aug 2013)
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