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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cameron's Odyssey
Christian Cameron is now starting to emerge as one of the leading historical novelists of the day. I first read 'Tyrant' some 5 years or so ago and loved the deep Hellenic flavour and character depth of the cast list but thought the style too slow to gain mainstream popularity. Then he seemed to swing to far over to the 'action packed' super hero stylee and I felt lost...
Published on 24 Sep 2012 by Mr. A. I. Harrison

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poseidon's Spear Review
As a history of Ancient Greece, it's hard to fault Poseidon's Spear, but as a historical novel it is deeply flawed. Maybe that is what lies at the root of the novel's problems, that the budding academic in Cameron forgot he was writing fiction, when what he really wanted to write was a book on trade in Classical Greece.

Firstly, my big problem was of the...
Published 15 months ago by Dignitas


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cameron's Odyssey, 24 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Poseidon's Spear (Long War 3) (Hardcover)
Christian Cameron is now starting to emerge as one of the leading historical novelists of the day. I first read 'Tyrant' some 5 years or so ago and loved the deep Hellenic flavour and character depth of the cast list but thought the style too slow to gain mainstream popularity. Then he seemed to swing to far over to the 'action packed' super hero stylee and I felt lost something as a result, though he seemed to gain mass appeal. Now he seems to have his writing absolutely spot on! Perfectly balanced between historic detail and action. His character's are flawed and believable, his story lines are random enough to keep you on your toes and his heroes though super tough are now fallible, and don't always get the girl.

All of which means I find myself giving him an unprecedented third 5 star award!

Plot synopsis (as unspoiling as possible)

This was a wonderful little greek Odyssey, seemingly inspired well by THE Odyssey. Arimnestos returns from Marathon to find trajedy waiting for him at home and decides to end it all by throwing himself off a cliff. He is pulled out of the waters and saved from probable death only to be lashed to an oar as a galley slave by his seeming saviours. This marks a two year voyage that will see him escape.. (come on it would have been a damn boring book otherwise) jion a brotherhood, indulge in a bit more piracy, brave the Atlantic, pop to Britian..... Look it's a huge adventure best not spoilt by the likes of me!

What Cameron can do better probably even than Cornwell and Robert Low now, is write a chaotic historical yarn that still gels as a story rather than feeling just like a random series of events. He does this by the very clever 'first person' telling of the tale, so you are sitting on the shoulder of Arimnestos through out, and the human narrative and relationships which gives the story a series of sub 'soap' plots in addition to the action and adventure. This not only adds depth and dimension but gives a real feel of the camaradarie of men at war. Add to this Cameron's own passion for the period and subsequent research and the result is something quite special I think.

I did worry after the brilliant 'God of War' that this would be a bit of a return to Cameron's more 'bread and butter' off the peg style, but not a bit of it, I think he is much better than that now.

Top stuff, just go careful in all that re-enactment malarkey Christian we some more of this.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book you will read this year, 11 Sep 2012
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Poseidon's Spear (Long War 3) (Hardcover)
Review

As a self-confessed addict of Christian Cameron's books I start to worry about the veracity of my reviews and opinions when a new book is due out, but as ever I will attempt, poorly, to describe his latest book.

Poseidon's Spear is not your normal historical fiction title (but none of his books are) this book goes even further. You don't get the steady build to a final battle, you don't even get a final battle, there are many small skirmishes that feel more real for their instant violence and then return to normality. You dont get the standard flawed man does good. You dont get hero and sidekick. You get something much more real, what you get is one persons personal journey through life, and in the case of Poseidon's Spear though hell and back.

Poseidon's Spear is one mans personal journey through a very dark period in his life. His battle against odds that would kill many a person, a journey through the bowels of the ancient world. A view of the depravity that men could inflict on other men in the ancient world (and lets face it still do).

We see this man, Arimnestos's journey back, we see what true friends are worth and how rich a man truly is with real friends.

We see a man who has regrets and deals with them the same as each and every one of us does.

We see the Resurrection of Arimnestos of Plataea.

I have said since it came out that God of War was the book of the year 2012. I have now been proved a liar.

Poseidon's Spear has now taken its place. I'm not a person to live the emotions of a book, I would normally read and enjoy the plot and style, but its impossible not to get sucked into the emotion of this book as well, to not to have to fight back the tears with Arimnestos, not to feel his pain to suffer along side him.

This was by far the most exhausting exhilarating book I have ever read physically and emotionally.

My highest Recommendation

(Parm)

Other new books by this great author

Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part One: CastillonTom Swan and the Head of St George Part Two: Venice
Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part Three: Constantinople

Description

Arimnestos of Plataea is a man who has seen and done things that most men only dream about. Sold into slavery as a boy, he fought his way to freedom - and then to everlasting fame at the Battle of Marathon where the Greeks crushed the invading Persians. Sometimes, however, a man's greatest triumph is followed by his greatest sorrow.Returning to his farm, Arimnestos finds that his wife Euphoria has died in childbirth, and in an instant his laurels turn to dust. But the gods are not finished with Arimnestos yet. With nothing left to live for, he throws himself from a cliff into the sea, only to be pulled by strong arms from death's embrace. When he awakes he finds himself chained to an oar in a Phoenician trireme. And so begins an epic journey that will take Arimnestos and a motley crew of fellow galley slaves to the limits of their courage and beyond the edge of the known world, in a quest for freedom, revenge - and a cargo so precious it is worth dying for.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third time lucky or unlucky?, 11 Feb 2013
By 
Alyson BAILES (Reykjavik) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Poseidon's Spear (Long War 3) (Hardcover)
In the parallel 'Tyrant' series by Christian Cameron I felt that the third volume - while still thoroughly enjoyable - was a touch disappointing because of its shifting focus and seemingly arbitrary string of events. I am tempted to say the same in the case of 'Poseidon's Spear'. At least, in the present series, the ancient Greek hero Arimnestos of Plataea (also the narrator) remains in the centre and continues to knit the series together with his rueful commentaries on life-lessons learned and wilfully ignored. There also seems to be a deliberate effort to make this book fresh and different by taking a 'darker' tone than its predecessors, with a brutal opening sequence and several cases of action for which Arimnestos can only condemn himself. Also on the plus side, the geographical coverage makes a leap into the (almost literally) unknown by taking our hero on a voyage through the Pillars of Hercules, reaching as far as the Isle of Wight and returning through various intriguing Celtic tribes in ancient Gaul. Added to Cameron's gift for bringing everyday details of practice and technology to life, all this justifies the 'thoroughly enjoyable' remark - which should hold good for new readers as well as established fans.
On the other side, the enormous itinerary covered by the book, and the scant time spent in getting to know each location (and the people linked with it), works against a deep feeling of involvement or emotional tension. None of Arimnestos's new relationships seems to match the intensity of his dealings with Briseis and her family, or with his own family come to that. The sheer number of catastrophes, surprises and escapes rather devalues the currency. Even the compelling theme of Arimnestos's hatred for the brutal Dagon is left hanging, as the enemies have still not met again by the end of the book - though a reckoning is promised in some future instalment.
In the end, both the best and worst that could be said about this volume in Arimnestos's autobiography is that it left me wanting the next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent author - Christian Cameron, 17 Feb 2014
By 
Little Bren (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Christian Cameron, - American author living now in Canada. I've read several of his other novels , and they are all very well-written, full of interesting snippets of information, & speculation. His characters are well-drawn, and engaging. If Greek & Roman history is of interest to you, you will really enjoy this series. I just hate getting to the end of each book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good one to carry on the Series, 27 Jan 2014
By 
Nathan Hulme (East Tisted) - See all my reviews
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Another highly addictive great read from the Long War series. I am really enjoying reading these, cant wait for the next one. If you have an interest in Greek History and those Bronze age times then I highly recommend these.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poseidon's Spear Review, 18 Sep 2013
As a history of Ancient Greece, it's hard to fault Poseidon's Spear, but as a historical novel it is deeply flawed. Maybe that is what lies at the root of the novel's problems, that the budding academic in Cameron forgot he was writing fiction, when what he really wanted to write was a book on trade in Classical Greece.

Firstly, my big problem was of the literary flavour. The jacket carries the tag 'an epic quest for revenge,' which would give the reader the idea that this book is going to be a story driven by a revenge plot, a storyline that is not resolved in this volume. It is nothing of the sort, rather a travelogue of trading in the Mediterranean and Iron Age Spain, France and Britain (which bizarrely jumps between the Greek and Roman names of places), leaving the story drifting along, and lacking the plot to thrust it forward. The novel really struggles to get going, and I struggled to get excited about it, nothing really gripping happened until page 150, but even then it was like a beached-whale. The book did improve near the end, but it could have really ended twenty pages earlier, which would have left it with a much stronger conclusion. Plot wise, it repeated the same motifs of previous Cameron books (even the same turn of phrase), and its starting to make the author predictable. What was most disappointing is the brief slavery storyline, I had enjoyed this in Killer of Men, and thought that Cameron's return to the theme would have been a deeper exploration of slavery and the exploitation of human life in Ancient Greece, but disappointingly it turns out it was just a plot device. And this is what I finished the book feeling, that this was not a novel in its own right, just a way for Cameron to manoeuvre Arimnestos into position for Artemesium and Thermopylae. But to be honest, you can skip this book and pick up where you left off with The Great King.

What I loved most about Cameron's previous books is his ability to world-build, and bring Ancient Greece to life, but was sadly lacking in this book. His portrayal of the still tribal Romans was a bit too knowing, and the Estrucians should have been the powerful Italic tribes (and I'm doubtful Roman culture was as developed as it is here.) Disappointingly, the Britons are described pretty much as the Keltoi, instead as a separate peoples, which they where; and Cameron falls back on cliché and doesn't seem to have researched as in depth as he would have. Ultimately, leaving this reader feeling he had bitten off more than he could chew.

Three stars, which may seem harsh, but I am judging this book against the standards of Cameron's previous work, and find it wanting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, 1 Mar 2013
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Another fine book from Christian Cameron.

I have never failed to be absorbed by his writing of the ancient Hellenic world and this book is no different.

Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 26 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Poseidon's Spear (Long War 3) (Hardcover)
This time Ari is not only a killer of men but also a Killer on the seas as well. This trip takes Ari to face new fears and make new enemies and friends. To go on a Adventure to find riches on the far away place called Alba. With a band of brothers through hardships and near certain deaths events and places where they find each other, this book will give you a story which can tell you more about how Christian Cameron see's and tells his story of Arimnestos of Plataea, a Killer of Men and
Warrior of the Seas!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 14 Feb 2013
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Once again Christian Cameron has produced an extremely entertaining read from start to finish. It was differ cult to put the book down as the story flows from one action to another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sails Slightly Off Course, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Poseidon's Spear (Long War 3) (Hardcover)
While the first two books in the series - 'Killer Of Men' & 'Marathon' - are excellent reading, 'Poseidon's Spear' starts off in the same vein, with the added ingredient of Dagon thrown into the mix, and we do get to see a different side of Arimnestos through out most of the book.

But, there are just a few too many trips on the ocean waves, like driving up and down the motorway and stopping at every service station, too many stops to really keep track of the journey.

As far as historical accuracy goes, the tin trade was obviously pivotal to the survival of the different cultures, ports, and those who risked life and limb extracting it from the mines. This is very well researched, and plays a large part in the book.

While the story flows along at a good pace, several times we re-read the all too familiar stranded at sea with no food or water, which gets a little repetitive, along with the ships battles.

Towards the end of the book some of the old characters reappear, and remind you of the first two books, and you wish the story continued on dry land with some of the familiar characters from the battle of marathon.

This third book in the series is slightly disappointing, and some previous reviews seem a bit 'author biased', regardless of the actual content. Even some of the best authors can have a bad day at the office.

We will have to wait for the next installment of the tale of Arimnestos, and hope he gets back on dry land more often, hopefully back in the direction of Plataea.

For me, just four stars this time round.
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Poseidon's Spear (Long War 3)
Poseidon's Spear (Long War 3) by Christian Cameron (Hardcover - 13 Sep 2012)
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