ABOUT THE BOOK
Two great empires are about to go to war . . .
The momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems will last for twenty-seven years (431 to 404 BC).
It will end in the fall of a dynasty.
Filled with cunning political scheming and astonishing military prowess, invasions and treacheries, plagues and slaughters, passion and power, Conn Iggulden brings to life one of the most thrilling chapters of the ancient world.
I cannot claim to be a history buff but I enjoy historical stories. I am fascinated by how advanced some of the cultures were in comparison to others. There architectural skills, their politics and the battles that they commanded. This is a book that gets you involved with the characters and no matter how powerful they are they can be brought down so much quicker than they can climb society ladder and politics.
This book tells how history changed course as two giants in Europe come head to head both on land and at sea. Set mainly in Athens, the two main characters in the story were on the same side but had a huge dislike for each other. When an order is disobeyed in battle, which becomes the reason for victory, one of them can’t say he disobeyed his commander without facing dire consequences and the other because he would lose face. The rift between them deepens and both their futures are set.
This author knows how to bring to life the past, as I got a real feel not just for the battles but for the lifestyle, family life and choices that desperate women had to take. It is strange that some problems way back then can still raise their heads today. Somethings just don’t change.
I only have one problem with this story and that was it ended all too quickly. I had been absorbed in the past, transfixed on planning and execution of battle plans and loved to get a taste of the very famous Spartans. Totally wowed!
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in London by the end of that period. I have enormous respect for those who still labour at the chalk-face. In truth, I can’t find it in me to miss the grind of paperwork and initiatives. I do miss the camaraderie of the smokers’ room, as well as the lessons where their faces lit up as they understood what I was wittering on about.
My mother is Irish and from an early age she told me history as an exciting series of stories – with dates. My great-grandfather was a Seannachie, so I suppose story-telling is in the genes somewhere. My father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Perhaps crucially, he also loved poetry and cracking good tales. Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited ‘Vitai Lampada’ with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly.
I’ve always loved historical fiction as a genre and cut my teeth on Hornblower and Tai-Pan, Flashman, Sharpe and Jack Aubrey. I still remember the sheer joy of reading my first Patrick O’Brian book and discovering there were nineteen more in the series. I love just about anything by David Gemmell, or Peter F. Hamilton or Wilbur Smith. I suppose the one thing that links all those is the love of a good tale.
That’s about it for the moment. If you’d like to get in touch with me leave a comment in the forum or you can tweet me @Conn_Iggulden. I’ll leave it there for the moment. If you’ve read my books, you know an awful lot about the way I think already. There’s no point overdoing it.