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The Ionia Sanction (Mysteries of Ancient Greece) Hardcover – November 8, 2011
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Praise for Gary Corby:
"Full of real historical figures and fascinating insights into Greek and Persian culture, The Ionia Sanction is a delightful romp."
"Corby has not only made Greek history accessible—he's made it first-rate entertainment."
—Kelli Stanley, award-winning author of Nox Dormienda and City of Dragons
"Those who like their historicals with a touch of humor will welcome Australian author Corby's promising debut... Corby displays a real gift for pacing and plotting."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Details of culture, politics and history are so deftly woven into the threads of the story that life in ancient Athens comes vividly alive."
—Historical Novel Review
"Energetic.... Very entertaining."
About the Author
Gary Corby has long been fascinated by ancient history, finding it more exciting and bizarre than any modern thriller. He's combined the ancient world with his love of whodunits, to create an historical mystery series set in classical Greece. Gary lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. He blogs at A Dead Man Fell from the Sky, on all things ancient, Athenian, and mysterious.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have read more ancient Roman mystery series than I can count, but ancient Greece doesn't really seem to come up on the radar that often. Sometimes I wonder if the historical mystery genre is played out, but then I read something like "The Ionia Sanction" and change my mind. "The Ionia Sanction" is the second book in the Nicolaos series- "The Pericles Commission" was the first- and it bounces from incident to incident with an almost effervescent glee.
In "Sanction," Nicolaos is off to the Persian-occupied Asia Minor to find out who was behind the murder of Thorion, the proxenos for Athens (the local ambassadorial host). When he gets there, chasing after the debonair hitman who offed the luckless proxenos, he gets to know Themistocles, the hero of the Battle of Marathon who was later exiled for treachery; and he locks horns with the avidly religious Persian agent Barzanes. He also rescues Themistocles' daughter from a fate worse than death, continues to romance the virginal priestess Diotima, and discovers some truly horrifying methods of execution. It's really more of a spy drama action/adventure than your traditional gumshoe mystery story- it actually reminded me a bit of "Burn Notice" with its emphasis on action and Byzantine international intrigue (and also in some of the dialogue, when Nicolaos keeps saying that Diotima "is not my girlfriend")- but this is not a bad thing.Read more ›
Gary Corby's "The Ionia Sanction" is even more intriguing, more gruesome and more hilarious than his debut, "The Pericles Commission" (The Pericles Commission). Nicolaos has led a relatively sheltered life in Athens where "a man is a child in the eyes of the law so long as his father lives." He still yearns to be an investigator and to marry his girlfriend Diotima despite his father's objections to both. Now, in order to solve the murder of Thorion, a type of modern consul who received correspondence from Ephesus, Nicolaos must travel to Ephesus where he experiences quite a culture shock. First, he sails aboard the fastest ship in the world, the Salaminia, equivalent to our Air Force One. He rides a horse for the first time.Read more ›
A wily ride ensues as Nico careens down the Long Walls of Piraeus and travels to Ephesus where he is reunited with Diotima, priestess to Artemis. Unfortunately, Nico is lugging a rather young, very pretty slave named Asia, a girl he rescued from the slave market and is determined to return to her father, the Satrap of Ephesus.
The book keeps the reader guessing the identity of the murderer to the very end, with the added bonus of being laugh-out-loud hilarious, and chock-full of strange facts about the Ancient Greek world. I'm a history teacher, but I always learn something new when I read Corby's books.
An all-around excellent read--I'm already looking forward to the third installment!
The style is light and quick, much like a P.G. Wodehouse novel. All of the characters--good guys and bad girls alike--are either clever, philosophical, charming, sexy, or funny enough to be likeable. Nicolaos reminded me a lot of the Marcus Didius Falco character in the books by Lindsey Davis, only I have not yet finished one of the four novels I have of hers. This book moved quickly, kept me informed and entertained, and kept me guessing as to what would come next or how the hero would find a way out of his latest conundrum.
There were a few anachronistic phrases that bothered me at the beginning, but not enough to make me stop reading. An interesting device Corby used was to make Nicolaos the older brother of a precocious teen named Socrates, a philosopher. Socrates plays a minor role in this story, and I'm wondering if Corby intends to develop this character's involvement in future stories or just keep him as a curio. Overall, however, anyone who enjoys mysteries combined with past-paced excitement and droll humor will definitely enjoy this series. I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a great new writer Corby is. His research and knowledge of the period are most enlightening and are competently woven into the story to make it a 'must' read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mystery Lover
Sometimes it is a bit wordy , an interesting story, sometimes there are to many people to keep track of.Published 7 months ago by ROBERT L HARRIS
I'm new to consuming the mystery genre (my mom reads them compulsively). I loved the two Gary Corby mysteries I have read so far, however. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Hoofstep
While the plot is interesting and well developed, I did not like Corby's use of modern slang. When the characters say things like "this is fantastic", it doesn't seem to ring true... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Zeff Wolf
I really enjoyed this book. funny with interesting people and lots of info about the era. the only thing I found wrong is toward the reveal it gets contrived.Published 18 months ago by Kindle Customer
Trouble is afoot in Athens and Nico, the aspiring 21 year old investigator, is called upon to get to the bottom of it! Read morePublished on January 17, 2014 by Randee Baty
I love this series. The characters are engaging and the author gives you a glimpse of what life was like in ancient Greece. Read morePublished on July 28, 2013 by S. Nagao
This series is not great literature or the best books I've ever read (hence 4 instead of 5 stars), but they are well written and the story lines are good: not too simple or... Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by Diane Auslander