Arimnestos is a farm boy when war breaks out between the citizens of his native Plataea and and their overbearing neighbours, Thebes. Standing in the battle line - the wall of bronze - for the first time, alongside his father and brother, he shares in a famous and unlikely victory. But after being knocked unconscious in the melee, he awakes not a hero, but a slave. Betrayed by his jealous and cowardly cousin, the freedom he fought for has now vanished, and he becomes the property of a rich citizen of Ephesus. So begins an epic journey from slavery that takes the young Arimnestos through a world poised on the brink of an epic confrontation, as the emerging civilization of the Greeks starts to flex its muscles against the established empire of the Persians. As he tries to make his fortune and revenge himself on the man who disinherited him, Arimnestos discovers that he has a talent that pays well in this new, violent world, for like his hero, Achilles, he is 'a killer of men'.
The best way to sum this novel up is OMG. Its definitely my must buy recommendation to all fans of the historical fiction genre and one that I’m also recommending to a number of fantasy fans who’ve also enjoyed offerings in the Greek world by people like David Gemmell.
Add to this mix a tale of war, of slavery and of course the events of the ancient world as seen by a warrior in hindsight and its definitely something special. Christian adds great storytelling in an almost campfire tradition backed up with almost unparalleled dialogue and characters that step from the past to the reader of today’s imagination and I suspect that it could inspire many a future classical historian.