10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Almost as good as the two first episodes,
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This review is from: Tyrant: Funeral Games (Hardcover)
I is rather rare to have a series where book three is (almost) as good as the two previous ones, which, in my view, merit five stars each. This one is a very good read and rather exciting: a real page-turner. The characters are well drawn. The book is well written. The author is generally well documented but here comes the catch: for the purpose of this novel, Chris Cameron has, for once, taken a few liberties with history. This is especially the case in the second half of the book, with the campaign culminating in the battle of Gaza. Some are the author's interpretations, made for the purpose of the novel.
One such is the idea that Antigonos' real intention in 312-311 was to conquer Egypt and that his movement with the larger part of his army towards Europe was just a feint. The opposite seems to have been the case, with Demetrios' role being to hold Syria and Palestine against Ptolemy. As a matter of fact, Ptolemy's army at the battle of Gaza seems to have been LARGER than that of Demetrios who certainly did not have 20000 heavy infantry (only 11000). There was no native egyptian phalanx, whether hoplites or sarissa-armed at the time. This is an anachronism (at least according to the sources): native egyptians (as opposed to Greco-Macedonian colonists or mercenaries) were only sarissa-armed for the battle of Raphia in 217 by one of Ptolemy's sucessors. The battle itself was not a climax. It was mainly a cavalry fight and the phalanxes do not even seem to have engaged with each other. Losses were slight, mainly cavalry (about 500 each side out of 4000 on each side). Demetrios fled the field once his left wing cavalry had been broken and 8000 of his heavy infantry surrendered almost without a fight, once they were surrounded by ennemy cavalry. Ptolemy, short of manpower, took them over (they were not sold off as slaves).
Another comment: what happens to Banugul after Herakles is captured by Stratokles? She seems to vanish from the story...
Despite this (and a few other) minor inaccuracies, Chris Cameron does a very good job in making this rather complex (but fascinating) period come to life. Many of his secondary characters are in fact real, such as Stratokles, the scheeming Athenian, or Herakles, who did present himself as the son of Alexander (and of Barsine, not of Banugul).