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The Sacred Land Hardcover – December 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (December 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765300370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765300379
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,967,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Turteltaub, better known (as Harry Turtledove) for his alternate-history novels, brings us the third installment in the tales of those Grecian adventurers, Sostratos and Menedemos. The time is 308 B.C.E., not too long after the death of Alexander the Great. Greece is in turmoil, politically and socially, but our heroes are getting away from it all, traveling by sea to Phoenicia, where they intend to spend a few months trading, but things aren't going according to plan. There's the matter of their ship's unwanted cargo, olive oil they are supposed to dispose of (coals to Newcastle). There's the matter of the unwanted guests on the voyage, a band of sailors who are supposed to protect them from various dangers. And, well, the whole adventure is just full of misadventure. Turteltaub keeps things moving at a brisk clip, throwing in just enough period detail to remind us we're in ancient Greece and scattering real historical figures throughout the story (Menedemos himself actually existed). It's a lighthearted, whimsical story, another solid entry in an entertaining series. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“Superlative historical adventure.” –Kirkus Reviews on The Gryphon’s Skull

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JackLifton on February 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was introduced to historical fiction through the works of Mary Renault who I discovered in my teenage years, the 1950's. The first alternate world science fiction story I can remember reading was "Bring the Jubilee" by Ward Moore. I don't believe that there has been a work of classically themed historical fiction or of hard science alternate world science fiction that I haven't read during the last 50 years.
Up until "The Gryphon's Skull," the immediate predecessor to"The Sacred Land" I felt that Harry Turtledove (Turtletaub) was a prolific adventure wtiter whose books were hard to put down but were a bit light on characterization. The bulk of his output has been alternate world hard science science fiction themed on the American Civil War and its aftermath and on World Wars I and II. His characters in these books always interact with "famous" people, so that it becomes difficult to really know them, and, to be honest, "Gettysburg" co-authored by Newt Gingrich is a far better written book than all of Turtledove's alternate history Civil war novels put together.
However, first in "The Gryphon's Skull," and now in "The sacred Land" Turtledove has set a standard for other writers of classically themed historical novels to emulate. Rather than play off of a larger theme that he did not create, such as the American wars, Turtledove has re-created for us the merchant trading world of just-post Alexander's Magna Graecia. The development of the main characters in the two novels is complex and wonderful. I couldn't wait for the book's story to get to fourth century BC Jerusalem after beginning in Rhodes and including sojourns on Cyprus and in Sidon. I was fascinated by the people of Phoenicia and Judea as seen through the eyes of the Hellenes.
Please continue the adventures of Menedemos and his cousin Sosistratos, Mr. Turtledove, I can't wait for the next book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. M Stirling on February 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This series just gets better and better! It's the thinking person's historical adventure. The characters are very human -- but not just modern people in chitons. And the settings...wow!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arthur A. Krzycki on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Truly excellent historical fiction. Accurate to the last, small detail making the series so fun to read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MJR reader on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the third of what I understand is a projected seven book series on two cousins from Rhodes who sale the seas as merhcantmen around 300 B.C. Each book is better than the last and as the cousins grow and mature with each adventure so does our fondness for them.
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