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Lion of Macedon Paperback – September 8, 1992

43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This enjoyable historical fantasy set in ancient Greece spans three decades in the career of Parmenion, a Spartan of mixed ancestry whose life is being shaped and monitored by an aging seeress. Scorned as a half-breed by the Spartans, he leaves vowing to wreak vengeance--which he does, at the head of a victorious Theban ar- my. Parmenion goes on to become Greece's preeminent soldier of fortune, a brilliant military strategist and tactician. Eventually, he hires on to Philip, the beleaguered king of Macedonia. Parmenion provides the young king with military help but, more importantly, intervenes in a ceremony meant to secure the siring of a child whose birth might signal the ultimate triumph of evil. Parmenion's final--and most meaningful--battle takes place not in this world but in Hades, where the forces of evil are held at bay long enough to deny the Dark God dominion over the newly born soul of Alexander the Great. Particularly enchanting in Gemmell's ( Legend ) ambitious book is the appearance of Aristotle as a wizard and guide through the underworld, a Greek combination of Arthur's Merlin and Dante's Virgil.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An ancient seeress foresees the rise of a dark god whose rule will mean destruction and whose future is linked, for good or ill, with a half-Spartan, half-Macedonian warrior named Parmenion. Pre-Alexandrian Greece provides a rich background for Gemmell's novel of magic and destiny as Parmenion defies the fates to become the right-hand man of Philip of Macedon and plays his part in the struggle against the forces of chaos. Fans of ancient history will enjoy this mythic adventure.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (September 8, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034537911X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345379115
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,293,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Gemmell was born in London, England, in the summer of 1948. Expelled from school at sixteen, he became a bouncer, working nightclubs in Soho. Born with a silver tongue, Gemmell rarely needed to bounce customers, relying instead on his gift of gab to talk his way out of trouble. This talent eventually led him to jobs as a freelancer for the London Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Express. His first novel, Legend, was published in 1984 and has remained in print ever since. He became a full-time writer in 1986. His books consistently top the London Times bestseller list.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dan on January 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here we have another masterpiece of the fantasy genre. This David Gemmell book is arguably his greatest to date. A book filled of action, passion, betrayal, and love, Lion of Macedon has become, without doubt, a jewel worth reading for all Gemmell, and fantasy fans. The book portraits the life of Parmenion "The Death of Nations", a man who is constantly manipulated by Fate and the seeress Tamis. Hated by all others because he is "mix-blooded"-half Spartan, and half Macedonian- who will raise among all the Spartiates, developing "strategos" capabilities never seeing before, showing the world no mercy in battle, and becoming the nightmares of his enemies.
The book is breathtaking in its ambition; it is a marvelous precursor to the second novel of the series entitled Dark Prince. This is a splendid read and should not be missed.
Pros: Very detailed and researched novel.
Cons: Not for somebody who is new to David Gemmell's style of writing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mason Sorgdrager on August 3, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gemmell's ambitious book takes an intimate look at a name that is associated with Alexander the Great, but not much else is known about him.

He is Parmenion, called the Death of Nations.

This is a very underrated book within David Gemmell's ever-increasing back catalouge. As guessed, it is situated in ancient Greece, several decades before the emergence of the great conqueror Alexander the Great.

We get to meet the main character, Parmenion, when he is just a young boy. He is a half-Spartan who is victimised, bullied, and despised by the Spartans. The Spartans are a warrior race who value military skills above all others. Their prejudice towards outsiders is just as legendary as their prowess on the battlefield.

Will Parmenion be able to rise above this, will he become bitter and twisted, will there be any joy in the life of this sorrowful, but brilliant boy? These are the kind of questions you will ask yourself as you read through the novel. I couldn't put it down! In the best of Greek tradition, the story is essentially a tragedy. Just when you thik good things will happen for our character, they will be just as quickly snatched away.

I think anybody who had a rough childhood would really relate to Parmenion. David Gemmell gives him life through the pages without descending into maudlin sentimentality. The reader can appreciate the motives for his actions, you are swept into his world and will cheer his triumphs against the odds, and you may shed a tear or two when things just don't work out for him.

I loved this book. Read it if you enjoyed the new Troy novel, or the films Alexander or Troy. Or just read it if you want to read about a boy rising past the abuse of his peers to become one of the greatest generals yet known.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mike Reho on December 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a 15-year-old freshmen in high school, and an avid sci-fi and fantasy reader. I have read a myriad of classic science fiction and fantasy, Lord of the Rings for example, and this book ranks right up there with these classics. I went through this book in about 10 hours... straight. I am about to order the second of this series, the book intrigued me so much. I recomend this book to any fantasy, sci-fi readers, or any people who love ancient greece, I know I fall into all these catagories, and I loved it. Happy Reading!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Maybe my title seems a little bit Greek to all of you but if you have studied ancient Greek as I did you wouldn't be so surprised ( In ancient Sparta the mothers when they were talking to their sons just before they left for war they were giving them their shield and they were saying to their sons the exact phrase that I used as my title which meant that they would prefer to see their sons dead than alive and beaten). The book is one of the best I' ve read for long time. The interesting notion that Parmenion was half Spartan and half Macedon is one of the Gemmell's innovations. I especially liked the mixing of the classic Greece with fantasy and of course I liked the idea of the Dark Childs identity... I won't say more because I will reveal the hole plot of the book and spoil all the fun.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the Best Epic Fantasy Novels of all time.

Story:
This is a mix of history and fantasy, taking place in 350 BC Sparta. The book tells the story of a brilliant Mercenary General named Parmenian and his glorious rise to power.

World:
It's war-torn Ancient Greece, with some magic in the form of 'Seeing' the future, and battling foul creatures from Hades on the Astral Plane. The world has enough detail to make it feel real, but not too much detail where it bogs down the story.

Writing Style:
There's enough content crammed into this book to warrant a trilogy that rivals the scope of Lord of the Rings. The pace is fast and everything is epic. The world is gritty, heroes have virtues, villains have vices... The battles are grand and bloody. This is heroic fantasy at its best!

Characters:
Like most books by David Gemmell, this is an excellent character study of what makes a man great. Parmenian begins as a boy who his forged by the fires of his hardships. As a half blood, he is scorned by almost everyone in Sparta. Nothing comes easy for Permenian, but these trials and tribulations shape him into a man worthy of changing history. There are many main characters in this book and they're all believable, gritty, and fairly complex.

Action:
This book is loaded with epic battles, battle strategies, wars, assassinations, brawls, skirmishes, magic, sword fights, etc... This could be the most action packed book of all time.

Maturity:
There's some graphic sex and tons of graphic violence. It's not for kids.

Overall:
After reading almost 300 fantasy novels, this is one of my favorites. If you're looking for epic fantasy, this is a must read.
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