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Sadly Disappointing Greek Heroes !!
on 5 November 2009
Firstly, I have to say that I bought this book after reading Manfredi's excellent novel `The Last Legion' and started reading this with all the due expectation that it would be another inspiring piece of historical - if what somewhat author licenced - ancient Greek fiction. However, it seems that my own opinions of this book appear to be quite similar to alot of other peoples thoughts on the story.
To be honest, I really wanted to stop reading it after about 120 pages, but stuck with it and it actually got a little better in the middle, before the author decided to kill everyone off in a last few silly paragraphs, which I feel was either the result of the author being extremely lazy, or the publishing company pushing a deadline that hurried the ending on the author. You decide !
I also had some major issues with a book. Introducing characters with no description, history or characteristics that just appear in and out of a novel and the author think that the reader will find this lack of narrative acceptable ? If you want in-depth characters - DO NOT READ THIS BOOK (reminded me of Pressfields Alexander) ! A constant repeating of what one character says being repeated by an second person ! Greek heroes that all decide to commit suicide on the rocks and abandon their wives and children rather than fight a couragous battle to the end like the glorious 300 ? The brief inserts of Greek mythology, soothsayers and creatures just do not work and detract from the storyline. The Greek `heroes' one minute being immensely brave and then the next attacking unarmed and helpless villagers ! Oh you brave Greek conquerors of troy !!!
Lastly, the book is supposed to be about Diomedes and his fight to find and build a new city and civilization, but of the 275 page novel only about 100-125 pages are dedicated to this - the other 150-175 taken up with Menelaus's fight with the Queens of Greece uprising against their husbands to once again control the country. Funny how the people who wrote the back of the book managed to miss that off the back of the book !!
Hugely dissapointing, though I will certainly give the author another chance due to the enjoyment of the The Last Legion. 2 out of 5 (just for the middle !)