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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 March 2015
Like one other reviewer, I hesitated to read this book because there have been so many other portrayals of Alexander, and the facts of his story can hold no surprises for anyone. My agreeable surprise was to find how original and compelling Christian Cameron's take on the story was, making this - for my money - the best of all his classical-age novels. The key to success is his choice of Ptolemy as the story-teller: someone not only authoritative and close to Alexander, but - unlike Cameron's other hero-narrators - also a wealthy aristocrat with no serious misgivings about his own worth. Further, as an officer frequently responsible for the logistics of Alexander's campaigns, Ptolemy's viewpoint reveals not only a wealth of fascinating practical detail about classical warfare, but also the true craziness of many of Alexander's own decisions.
Indeed, Cameron tried so hard to be different from previous authors - from Renault to Pressfield - who idolized Alexander, that his portrayal of the great man's weaknesses borders on the unconvincing. Since he himself stresses the disloyalty and anarchy ingrained in Macedonian politics, would such turbulent followers have remained loyal for so long for someone whom they as often had to cover up for as to follow? At least, Ptolemy's own internal conflicts over how to view Alexander are fascinating, all the way through to a powerful final twist.
For Cameron's regular readers, another pleasure of the book is how smoothly it locks in with the volumes of the 'Tyrant' series, and how many gaps it fills in the story of Kineas the Athenian and his friends.
One beef: why are Cameron's books so poorly text-edited? Like the others, this has annoying spelling mistakes especially but not only in proper names. At two points, significant deaths are reported of persons whom I simply could not place from the previous narrative. Whether the author actually made a mistake here, or failed to ensure his reader could keep up with the flock of characters, this is the kind of thing a good editor should eliminate at a stroke.
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on 18 January 2012
As an Alexander fan, I had to read this. It's certainly not the worst retelling of the story of history's greatest young general, but for me it comes far short of Mary Renault's trilogy. Alexander's state marriages (to Roxanne and Stateira) are not mentioned, though the narrator must have been aware of them. The battle scenes are excellent -- I quite fell for Ptolemy's style. One thing I HAVE to take issue with is Cameron's comparison of Alexander with Hitler! PLEASE!
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on 15 April 2012
God of War: The Epic Story of Alexander the Great

Felt I had to make this my first amazon review as it was one of the best and most comprehensive (as well as engaging) works of historical fiction that I have read.

Totally engaging perhaps because it didn't portray Alexander as flawless but rather a genius with some very barbaric failings. I certainly wouldn't want to have been considered - however fleetingly - as within his 'close circle' let alone one of his infantry!

I was relatively naive in my knowledge of Alexander it has to be said and I wouldn't normally have chosen this particular subject of period of history; but it was a fascinating read and truly deserving of the high ratings it has received.

All that's left to says if that I do hope Christian will continue with his Ptolemy memoirs! Brilliant narrative.
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on 16 November 2013
Im a massive alexander fan and studied classical history.

The author writes perfectly here and helps create a great sense of knowing ptolemy and the others. Kineas is of course mentioned a lot and it explains much of his time with alexander.

More importantly the character is perfect. He starts of a child who wants to learn and grows to be a great king, but ultimately ends a mad king who killed and alienated his friends.
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on 13 January 2012
Look, I am a fan of Cameron's work. I've reviewed his writing before, and I'm sure I'll do it again. Why? Because more fans of historical fiction need to read his novels. In my opinion there is nobody better in the genre.

Epic hardly describes God of War. It is a complete telling of the glorious and turbulent life of Alexander the Great. Cameron's historical research is phenominal, but it never comes out as a lecture. The history comes alive in the novel. As a former soldier I'll also say that nobody writes about the brotherhood of arms better than Cameron.

I will give you one heads-up. God of War is more Ptolemy's story than Alexander's. Ptolemy is your point of view character, and you will see everything through his eyes, thoughts, and emotions. Ptolemy and Alexander were not together 100% of the time, so you will not see every single moment of Alexander's life. This is not a complaint. Ptolemy is a great character, and a great historical figure in his own right.

On a final note, fans of Cameron's Tyrant series will enjoy seeing many of those characters in God of War. It was great to see Kineas ride again.
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on 22 February 2012
It takes a little time to learn the characters and the geography of the region but once into this book it fairly sings along at a pace. Wonderfully written and researched with the ability to take you along with the unfolding history so that you think you are there on the battlefield with them.
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on 25 July 2013
As an historical novel this must compare with the best, but it must be remembered that this is a novel, not a history and the author takes many liberties with the facts. For example Alexander is portrayed as an unbalanced psychopath, killing his way accross Asia and not caring one jot for any of his friends or allies. Whilst there may some truth in this picture, I believe that Cameron has taken this to the point of caricature.

The most curious thing I found about the whole book was, the last six years of Alexander's thirteen year reign are 'crammed' into the last hundred or so pages (out of nearly eight hundred); almost as though the author originally intended it to be two books & then changed his mind.
Despite these reservations, it is an absorbing read.
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on 18 April 2013
If you are familiar with this authors work, enough said. if you're not familiar with it, then you need to get familiar with it, and soon. A history of Alexander, warts and all, written from the point of view of Ptolomy, successor ruler of Egypt, as he relates thehistory to the son of Kineas of Athens (main character of the initial Tryrant books, also recommended). If ancient history or wargamimng in that period is your thing, then this is for you.
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on 26 April 2012
This is a truly wonderful book make no doubt of that.

The only issue I had was its sheer size. I found it a struggle to keep going to the end. Don't get me wrong I generally love long books, but these often have multiple story lines about different characters. Endlessly reading about Ptomely although enjoyable, started to become an exercise in perserverence.

Haveing said that the story was beautifully written, the descriptions of the settings were superb and the story flowed flawlessly.
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on 19 January 2014
I am a fan of Alexander the Great and know all of the Mary Renault books. This felt like a bit of a rip off at times. I felt let down.
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