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Poseidon's Spear (The Long War) Paperback – 14 Mar 2013
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[Arimnestos of Plataea] is transferred from land to water as he travels to Sicily, Rome, Etruria, Spain and even Britain, to come full circle as he prepares to return to Plataea and the never-ending war. The ending is as exciting as it is unexpected (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)
An epic novel from the master of historical fiction, author of ALEXANDER: GOD OF WAR 'Brilliantly evoked' Sunday TimesSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The story-telling is again of a very high quality, and the author has the ability to bring all his characters, whether real or fictional, vividly to life.
Like it predecessors the book contains a lot of quality historical details, including an informative glossary and also notes on Names and Personages.
The main character of the book and also the narrator of these stories is Arimnestos of Plataea, who after the famous Battle of Marathon of 490 BC, which brought him fame and glory, returns home only to find that his wife Euphoria has died in childbirth.
Out of desperation he throws himself of a cliff into the sea, only to be pulled up and to be placed as a slave to an oar of a Phoenician trireme.
And so a journey begins for Arimnestos which will take him beyond the edge of the known world in a quest for freedom and revenge.
A really great book, one I would like to recommend to anyone, because its a "Fantastic Ancient Greek Tale"!
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.
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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