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Even his lisp worked in Alcibiades' favor. It was a flaw; it made him human. It took the curse off his otherwise godlike self-presentation and made one, despite all misgivings, like the fellow.This tale of arms and the man requires two narrators. One, Jason, is an aging noble who serves as a sort of recording angel of the Athenian golden age. The other, Polymides, was long Alcibiades' right-hand man, yet is now imprisoned for his murder.
As they were in his previous novel, Pressfield's battle scenes are extraordinarily vivid and visceral. This time, however, many of these elemental clashes take place on water. "As far as sight could carry, the sea stood curtained with smoke and paved with warcraft. Immediately left, a battleship had rammed one of the vessels in the wall; all three of her banks were backing water furiously, to extract and ram again, while across the breach screamed storms of stones, darts, and brands of such density that the air appeared solid with steel and flame."
In addition to his gift for rendering patriotic gore, the author excels at quieter but no less deadly forms of combat. As Alcibiades' star rises and falls and rises again, we are escorted directly into the snakepit of Athenian realpolitik. Bathing us in the details of a distant era, Pressfield is largely convincing. But it must be said that his diction exhibits a sometimes comical variegation, sliding from Homeric rhetoric to tough-guy speak to the sort of casual Anglicisms we might expect from Evelyn Waugh's far-from-bright young things. No matter. Tides of War conquers by sheer storytelling prowess, reminding us that war was--and is--a highly addictive version of hell. --Darya Silver --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I found the narrative voice distracting, and the book did not maintain my interest.
I have read several novels of ancient warfare over the past two years, including Pressfields' Gates of Fire, and hands down this is the best.
The characters were fleshed out and, to the extent necessary in this work of fiction, historically accurate.
Not anywhere near as engaging as 'Gates of Fire' or 'Alexander: The Virtues of War'. I didn't know any of the history prior so can't comment on that but unlike the other two Steven... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Komene Cassidy
Parts of this novel were brilliant, fast-paced and hard to put down. Other parts, the more historical and non-warfare parts, were tedious at times. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Molly Ross
It does not make the Greeks into heroes, which is probably very realistic. Certainly there is history I was unacquainted with and the description of battle is realistic.Published 10 months ago by Grandon
Pressfield uses his characters to tell the history of Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian Wars - but as much as I love the historical aspects of a story, there wasn't enough character... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Barbara Stoner
Pressfield writes an engrossing story. You care about what happens to the men at war. At the same time he instills a profound sense of the the tragedy of warfare but,in essence,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Philip Nix
This is an excellent writer of historical fiction, particularly Greek history...his specialty is warfare and the socio-political issues surrounding same. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Gary Seabrook
One of the best books I have ever read, if not the best, was "Gates of Fire" by the same author. I was really excited about this book, but it was really disappointing, too many... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Abba
Posted on Amazon.co.uk on 5 January 2012
Tides Of War was Steven Pressfield's second novel, coming just after the wonderful Gates of Fire. Read more
Thucydides' narrative of the Peloponnesian War from the point of view of a Greek soldier. Engrossing perspective of how the environment, choices, and hardships might have affected... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Null Hypothesis