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Epic Awesomeness in Ancient Greece! (Spoiler Free Review)
on May 17, 2010
One of the Best Epic Fantasy Novels of all time.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
There's some graphic sex and tons of graphic violence. It's not for kids.
After reading almost 300 fantasy novels, this is one of my favorites. If you're looking for epic fantasy, this is a must read.
Read it if you are a fan of David Gemmell.
Read it if you love heroic or epic fantasy.
Read it if you love gritty characters.
Read it if you liked the movie 300 or are interested in Sparta!
Read it if you love action.
Read it if you like shows like Battles BC or Deadliest Warrior.
Read it if you want to be inspired!
Avoid it if you don't like violence.
Avoid it if you like happy fantasy with elves, dragons, dwarves...
Avoid it if you like very simple stories with simple characters.
If you enjoyed this book, you should read Gemmell's Legend, Winter Warriors, Waylander, or Robert E. Howard's Conan Stories.