Top critical review
on 18 April 2014
I was rather disappointed by the second volume of this trilogy because it felt like a Filler. The heroes and “the nasty usurper” (who is in fact the legitimate heir, except that he has killed his father to seize the throne) galloping around the steppe and chasing each other for more than 350 pages before the “day of reckoning” and its somewhat predictable outcome.
The book was slow-paced, and filled up with lots of rather unnecessary dialogues between the characters, to the extent that it took me much longer than usual to finish (a week instead of a couple of days). The plot has some features that I found rather implausible, such as having the high priestess (who is supposed to remain a virgin) eloping with Nikometros, our shinning hero, and getting away with it because this is shown to be “the will of the Goddess” by some of the other priestesses.
I also wondered about the book’s title, which seems to be unrelated to the story itself and refers to Alexander, although he does not make the slightest appearance in this volume. Finally, they are still some of the glitches and mistakes that can be found in the first volume. For instance, neither the Greco-Macedonian cavalry nor the Scythians had shields at the time. Also, and contrary to what the book seems to suggest, given the prominence that it gives to them, swords were very much a secondary weapon, both on horseback and for infantry.
I neither need nor want to write about more since by now it should be clear that I did not like this second episode, mostly for the reasons listed above. I will, however, read the third episode, hoping that I will appreciate it more than this one. Two stars.