At 600 pages, this epic story is not for the faint-hearted, but for those who venture into the fantastic world of ancient gods, wars and battles, “The Sacred Band” is immensely rewarding. The writing style is meant to pace the reader, but by doing so, I found that the images of people and events were deeply impressed on my mind, particularly the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE, which is the central theme of this story. For those familiar with classic history, this Fantasy version would be particularly exciting, but even for those of us who just like to enjoy a good book, The Sacred Band won’t disappoint. The writing style epitomizes true literature of high quality, making it a very rewarding reading experience on its own merit, regardless of historic basis or the fantasy genre.
The ancient world relied heavily on its belief in gods and how those gods controlled or interacted with mortal man, and this makes an excellent platform for a special kind of Fantasy novel. The characters, gods, avatar of gods, and other beings in between the heavenly and earthly realm are gradually introduced and developed, and near the end of the book I found myself feeling well acquainted and even fond of the main characters; Tempus, Niko, Strat, Crit, the Theban goddess Harmony, among others, and was anxious to read the outcome of the climactic battle, hoping they would all survive unscathed. Getting involved with the characters, their lives and destinies in such a way is always a sign of a good story and a well-written book, and for me personally, “The Sacred Band” has made a part of obscure history come to life in my mind and thereby also changed my perception of this part of history.