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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What all historical fantasies should aspire to
Having read many other David Gemmell books and a fair few other 'classical era' historical books, I can confidently say that this absolutely combines the best of both worlds, and in many ways beats the historical stories at their own game. The story focuses on the character of Alexander the Great's general Parmenion, who comes from a poor, but noble, family in Sparta...
Published on 20 July 2004 by Mr. A. Milne

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I would love to read it again now but £5
I read this book some years back and then gave it someone. I would love to read it again now but £5.99 seems a bit hefty compared to £4.99 currently on itunes (18.10.14) ...especially when iTunes manages to give you the cover art too whereas here you don't. I'm positive this could be sold for less and still make profit...and I think cover art should be on all books...
Published 2 months ago by Colin S


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What all historical fantasies should aspire to, 20 July 2004
This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
Having read many other David Gemmell books and a fair few other 'classical era' historical books, I can confidently say that this absolutely combines the best of both worlds, and in many ways beats the historical stories at their own game. The story focuses on the character of Alexander the Great's general Parmenion, who comes from a poor, but noble, family in Sparta where he is the victim of racist abuse and attacks for his foreign mother, to becoming Philip of Macedon's number one general and helping to lay the groundwork for one of the greatest empires of the aincient world.
Unlike the sequel (Dark Prince), Lion of Macedon largely refrains from involving many classical fantasy elements (magic, monsters, etc.) and focuses more on the historical side, which may not please fans of high fantasy, but makes the story that much more captivating. The fantasy element largely manifests itself in fortune-telling and predictions of fate, which don't really play a part in the story until Dark Prince.
Instead, the story is concerned with Parmenion helping Philip's small kingdom - poor, weak and surrounded by powerful enemies - to first survive, and then dominate the rest of Greece in the fascinatingly unstable and war-ravaged world of aincient Greece. Not to mention getting his revenge on the Spartan bigots who bullyed him when he was a child.
Although it isn't Gemmell's best book (everyone has a different favourite, but I would place Bloodstone and Winter Warriors highest), it's certainly up there with his very best, and that makes it one of the best of the best in the genre, and well worth reading if you're a fan of any kind of historical or fantasy fiction.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gemmel's Roaring Success!, 26 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
This novel is quite probably David Gemmell's finest work to date. The tale itself centres around Parmenion: Lion of Macedon, from 389 - 356BC. As with most (if not all) of Gemmell's books, Lion of Macedon has three winning ingredients: a compelling plot, strong characterisation and pace. In the case of the latter, Lion of Macedon is rich in detail, yet, unlike many of his peers Gemmell does not overface the reader with irrelevancies. This means that the novel's pace never flags - holding readers' interest from the first page to the last. As well as this, the narrative is rich and evocative in a not too dissimilar fashion to Bernard Cornwell and Ross Leckie. This provides the book with believability, which is absolutely essential. As you may have guessed I really liked this novel, and as such would have no hesitation in recommending Lion of Macedon to anyone who has or has not sampled Gemmell's other works. It should also be mentioned that Lion of Macedon has a superb (if not quite so good) sequel entitled Dark Prince.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely outstanding and Historically correct., 16 April 2000
By A Customer
Gemmell's expertise in fantasy fiction writing shines through yet again. I first read this book in H/B whilst it was still on the shelf at Smiths. I could not afford it at the time and it was too long to wait for a P/B edition. He has mastered yet another era in Ancient History and tailor made it to his own imagination. Full of Heroic fantasy good V evil scenario, epic battle discriptives and a wealth of characters. Some so deep it was hard not to feel for them when they expired. I have read all of DG's books and have as yet never encountered a poorly written novel. I have only discovered one other book by DG better than this one, it was Morningstar, also written By David Gemmell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I come back to again and again., 28 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
I am one of those people who must have read this book when it first came out quite a few years ago now.In my book case I have hundreds of fantasy fiction books by all the main genre authors. The Lion of Macedon is extremly dog-eared and tattered, half the front cover is missing and a few pages are loose, but I will never get rid of it.This book really gave me a great insight into the history of this time and made me want to read more about the period. If you like a great story, a bit of history and some magic you will love this book!I take this book on holiday with me every year and each time it is just as good. When it finally falls apart I will HAVE to buy a new one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent characters, story and historically based, 1 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
Possibly Gemmell's best novel, 'Lion of Macedon' is the perfect mix of historical fact and fiction. His characterisation is fantastic from Parmenio to Philip and Attalus, while the story flows beautifully from childhood to middle age. Parmenio is not cast as the perfect hero and his weaknesses are all too obvious to us, yet we have an understanding and sympathy with him. If you enjoy this book try some other Gemmell classics such as Waylander, Legend, Morningstar and the sequel to Lion.., Dark Prince; the continuing story of Parmenio and Alexander the Great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force of historical adventure..., 12 Feb 2010
By 
Robbie Swale - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
Other than his final trilogy about Troy, Lion of Macedon is Gemmell's only full soiree into historical fiction. And it is a tour de force.

Gemmell has a set of stock characters (all of which I love - I don't see this as a negative) but Parmenion, the hero of the Lion of Macedon, isn't one of them. As a young man, he is abused in Sparta for his Macedonian heritage, and the Macedonians don't trust him either. And as we follow him in this book (and in the sequel, Dark Prince) he is an engrossing and entirely likeable hero. As with Gemmell's best writing, Parmenion is thoroughly believable - both as a man, and in his genius as a general.

The book is fantastic, from the iconic opening at the wargames final, I found Parmenion's story hugely emotional and devastatingly exciting. I would recommend it fully to anyone interested in the history - there was definitely enough to keep me interested as Parmenion helped Philip of Macedon begin the story that will lead to Alexander the Great - or the adventure: short of magic, it has all the ingredients of any of Gemmell's novels.

I can recommend this fully as an introduction to anyone who hasn't come across Gemmell before - even if you aren't normally a "fantasy" fan - and to anyone who is a Gemmell-lover, this is one of his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great reading!, 17 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
This book is wondeful, I simply couldn't put it down and often ended up reading when I should have been sleeping. I always loved books about olden times but this book really hit the nail on the head. The fact that the author keeps to history doesn't mean that the book isn't original. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves fantasy. "Lion of Macedon" and "Dark Moon" are two of the best books I have ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden gem, 14 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
This is a truly excellent novel (the follow-up 'Dark Prince' is not quite as good, but still a great read).
I say 'hidden gem' not because it is unknown, but because a lot of people paint Gemmell with the same brush as Eddings and may overlook it. For the most part this is a valid point - very formulaic and basically re-using the same characters. This two-parter, however, stands head and shoulders above the bulk of his other work (entertaining, but really just money-spinners imo), and indeed most other fantasy novels. Perhaps it is from the historical references (check out the amount of literature he read in order to garner enough knowledge on the subject), but whatever it is you owe it to yourself to give this a read. I've lent this to various people who don't read swords 'n' sorcery and they have all enjoyed it - I'm now on my second copy as the first one wore out!

I thought his other work deserved pointing out - there are a lot of people recommending it on here, just be aware that it isn't really of the same quality. I'd much sooner recommend Robin Hobb or Raymond E Feist (his early stuff in particular). Having said that, 'Echoes of the Great Song' is definitely worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best fantasy novels I've read, 12 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
and probably David Gemmell's best book. Historically accurate, but original. Lots of action, local and historical colour, everything plausible, well structured, well written. It gives a flavour of ancient Greece which is historically correct but free from stereotypes. Highly recommended. (I don't praise all of David Gemmell's books!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing early life of Parmenion, with a dash of fantasy, 22 Jan 2012
By 
Iset (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lion Of Macedon (Paperback)
I went into David Gemmell's The Lion of Macedon off the back of having read his Troy trilogy, eager for more compelling readable, earthy retellings of history that characterise Gemmell's style. In many ways, I enjoyed The Lion of Macedon as much, if not more, than Gemmell's Trojan trilogy, however, there were a couple of points that I didn't enjoy quite so much, but overall in the big picture I would say this was an enjoyable, worthwhile read, that I am probably going to pick up again at some point in the future.

I really enjoyed Gemmell's writing style in the Trojan trilogy, it came across as solid, consistent, and whilst not exactly epic or high-flown, very earthy and grounded and compulsively readable. I liked the style of writing even more so here. It was less of a tale-by-the-fireside and more of a sweeping epic - and I am usually a sucker for books that present me with a well-written sweepingly epic kind of story. Moreover, the writing really sucked me into the story, and engaged me. I felt immersed in this Hellenistic world, and it felt authentic and realistic.

A lot hinged on the portrayal of Parmenion, and Gemmell really got it right. He's just the right mix of identifiably sensible and empathetically good combined with a nice dash of compellingly dark. His character and personality, for me, really seemed to fit believably with the older Parmenion that shows up in the historical record, and as everyone knows that's one of my big ticks in what I look for in historical fiction. It was also a nice bonus that Gemmell tackled Parmenion's early life in this novel, which historically we know virtually nothing about, and I really enjoyed the experience of "uncovering" that tale of the early years. With the other characters too, Gemmell excels. The wonderful thing about Gemmell's characterisations is that nobody seems to be whitewashed or blacklisted, instead we get various shades of grey, and even seemingly unlikable characters are revealed to have their own understandable (albeit not laudable) psychology and logic behind their actions.

What I didn't enjoy so much was the veering off into fantasy. It was just a bit of a head-scratcher really, because the fantastical elements just weren't necessary to the already engrossing and interesting story - it seemed superfluous. However, in the grand scheme of things, this was a minor point.
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Lion Of Macedon
Lion Of Macedon by David Gemmell (Paperback - 5 Mar 1992)
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