Tuesday, 4 October 2011

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Long War 2: Marathon - Christian Cameron

Release Date: 18/08/11


The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC was one of history's great turning points - the first time the Greeks managed to defeat the Persians in a pitched battle, it enabled the rise of classical Greek civilization. As John Stuart Mill famously put it, 'The Battle of Marathon, even as an event in British history, is more important than the Battle of Hastings.' Without it, the modern world as we know it would not exist. Christian Cameron's epic retelling of the battle will bring it alive, with all of its human drama and tragedy, as never before. The Greeks do not always behave well - in fact, many readers may come to see them as ignorant and bigoted as compared to the multi-cultural Persians, who for some, actually bring greater freedom - at least for a while. The heroic Militiades, who led the Greeks at Marathon and then died in exile, a ruined man, was a fatally flawed character. His opponent, The Persian King Darius, was guilty of vaulting ambition and hubris, but he combined it with personal integrity and vast generosity. And in the middle, torn between two cultures, one of which has already made him a slave, we find Arimnestos - ancestor of the Kineas of the Tyrant books - nicknamed 'Killer of Men', he will lead a decisive contingent of infantry in the thickest of the battle...


I loved the original book in this series by Christian, so when I heard about the sequel I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. What you get from this series is high octane Ancient Greek action with battles (on land and sea) as well as a plot that moves at one hell of a pace which really doesn’t let up from start to finish.

Add to this a writing style that is identifiable as Christian’s, cracking prose and of course a lead character that is both fun to be around as well as someone to help keep things interesting and it’s a series that is nigh impossible to put down. Finally to this, I’d like to recommend it to anyone missing a new book by David Gemmell as for me, this guy is the closest you’ll get, especially if you loved David’s Troy saga.

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