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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 2 July 2001
The problem with this book, which is, as everyone agrees, inferior to Gates of Fire, is that the structure is clumsy.
You have, ostensibly, three first person narrators, each telling a story in flashback -= all at the same time. As first person narrators, but with a need to pass on some knowledge of the ancient world, you get a bit of the 'I don't need to tell you, Jason, but.....', which sort of reminds me of those old Ernie Wise plays in Morecombe and Wise.
Furthermore you don't care about Alcibiades or Polemides or the rest. Too many long, declamatory speeches and, frankly, if you don't know a bit about Ancient Greece, you wouldn't have a clue.
Having said all that, it is - like the Curate's Egg - good in parts. Some of the descriptions are very strong (like Polemides on the life of a mercenary), though I thought the battle scenes weren't as good as Gates of Fire. They really made me think about how an ancient battle might work.
I will still read the third in the series, though
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