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Tyrant (Tyrant series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 484 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Book 1 of 6 in Tyrant series|
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About the Author
- ASIN : B00GVG02QY
- Publisher : Orion (September 3, 2009)
- Publication date : September 3, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 2365 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 484 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #307,144 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Above-average storytelling with Grade A characters...I look forward to the continuation of this tale.
Kineas has been hired by a tyrant, The Archon of Olbia to come and train his troops ostensibly to defend against the depredations of the horse warriors of the Steppes, The Sakje. Merely bandits in the eyes of Olbia, The Sakje are in reality a highly organized and civilized society. The main plot is concerned with the alliance formed between the Sakje and the Tyrant of Olbia as they are facing an invasion from one of Alexander's generals looking to garner some glory for himself.
The gamut of human emotion and experience are all explored by the author, from greed and avarice to the almost carefree spirit of warriors before a big battle. The ancillary characters are well done and provide Kineas with a well-rounded group of friends, followers and foes. Kineas also has a mystical element to his character as he is haunted by powerful dreams that shape his outlook and actions.
The action is bloody when necessary, the horsemanship is superb, the story is well told. My only real complaint is that it seems to take a while to get to the climactic battle scene with The Macedonians but when it happens, it is intense and satisfying. I look forward to the sequel. I rate this book at 4.1.
Having said that, I felt that the author was in command of his writing style and offers a book that I felt compelled to read to the end (500 pages). Essentially, this is a story wherein our hero, an exiled veteran of the Alexandrian Wars, links up with a band of misfits, mysterious people, and loyal friends, and sets out to become a mercenary for a "Tyrant" far far away. He meets a barbarian princess-warrior, they fall in love, battles ensue, and the stage is set for the second book (coming soon)
It gets three stars because of the writing but the story never grabbed me in the ways that Dando-Collins, Holland, or McCollough has consistantly done through the years. I think that Christian Cameron will grow into a very good writer and I will probably try the next book in this series.
It was filled with the dust and muck of a great campaign- but what made it work for me was the cast of Characters, the comradery of the experienced soldiers, the intrigue of ancient politics and freedom of the people of the grass sea.
Solid 5-star rating.
I would like to provide textual content on that Rating as part of this Review, however am unable to do so. The ACDLT has restricted ability to Comment or Reply (without any prior warning, any specific notification, any identification of specific alleged problems or appeal).
That being so, an inability to respond to Review comments by others (positive, negative, indifferent) would be unfair to myself and others.
But it is a solid 5-star book in this genre.
I look forward eagerly to the next in the series. Well done Mr Cameron
Top reviews from other countries
Just like the "Killer of Men" series the storytelling is of an absolute top-quality, and thus bringing vividly to life the Ancient Greeks within this wonderful book.
As far as possible the book has been thoroughly researched historically, and the details provided in this book are of a very clear definition.
The book starts off in the year 333 BC when Kineas and his Athenian Cavalry comrades are leaving Alexander the Great's army after a hard fought battle against the Persians, and so finally they are going back home to Athens.
Once there Kineas finds out that his father is dead and he himself has been exiled for serving, as an Athenian, Alexander the Great Macedonian army, and he will finally end up along with some of his Athenian veterans on the Euxine, in Olbia to be exact.
In Olbia Kineas and his Athenians are hired by the Tyrant to train the city's elite cavalry, only to find out soon enough that they are being used as pawns in the Tyrant's schemes, and so after first fighting with the Macedonians, Kineas now has to fight with Olbia and their unpredictable Scythian allies against the might of Macedon, for gold and grain.
What will unfold is a thrilling and gripping story which keeps you spellbound from start to finish, and with great interaction and with hard fought battle scenes in which Kineas and his allies have to fight for their lives against the mighty Macedonians in a Greek world in turmoil.
Fully recommended, because this book of this particular series is "A Marvellous Opener"!
Rather than the "usual" book (or series) about and around Alexander's the Great (see Pressfield, among many others), this is about some Greek cavalry who, when dismissed by the victorious young king, turn mercenary and serve a Tyrant in one of the Greek cities (Olbia) around the Black Sea.
The military research on the Greeks, Macedonians and Scythes is excellent. The praise, however, goes well beyond that because Christian has also taken care to make the characters come alive, even secondary ones, and taken the trouble to describe features of everyday life at the time (for instance, the athletic contests or the dinners). He has also attempted (and in my allegedly biaised view succeeded) to recreate the mentality among educated Greek elites - the Hippeis (whatever you might want to call them nobles, gentry etc...). I admit that some readers may have been put off by this and believed he was trying to be pedantic and showing off his knowledge. However, it seems that they did quote the Classics to each other during dinners. You may find this kind of behaviour pedantic and snobbish, but it is somewhat unfair to blame the author for it. In fact, this has happened through the Ages with all elites in all countries or regions in one form or another (think of the lords and ladies in the Middle Ages, the Aristocrats in the 18th century or the British gentleman in the next one, to limit oneself to Western Europe).
Some commentators also got a bit tired of the mystic pieces - the dreams of Kineas who seems to have some kind of foresight of the future and foresees what he believes to be his own death. Well, whatever personal opinions we may have have, Greeks and Macedonians, despite the wars, slaughters and brutality, were rather religious, superstitous and even mystic and professional soldiers (or even killers if you will) obviously do not necessarily have to be dumb brutes. For me, characters like Kineas, Philokles or Nikeas, and there are many others, illustrate that point.
Another strong point is that Christian has chosen a geographical region - the Western part of the Great Steppe - (from the Danube to the Caucasus) covering parts of modern Ukraine and Southern Russia within a period were we mainly know about the events that happened south of this region. This may give him a somewhat greater degree of liberty than being constrained by specific historical events.
Two final points:
I loved all of the battle scenes - and especially the cavalry fights - because they felt so real. No "blue-eyed hero" slaughtering half of the ennemies with the back of the hand. Rather, it's more like blood, sweat anf tears, with Kineas (and others) being wounded at almost each encounter. This seems to be quite realistic, in part because many leaders (with Alexander as the most obvious example) tended to lead from the front and in part also because, at the time, cavalry had no shields and little protection for legs and arms (nothing to do with the chainmail armour of our medieval knights, for instance). Each time there was close combat and a melee, they would suffer multiple cuts even if these were very often not fatal.
We do not know exactly what happened north of Macedon while Alexander was busy conquering and enlarging the Persian Empire, although we do know about one Zopryon, a Macedonian governor of Thrace, being defeated and killed in battleby Scythians. We also do know that both Alexander's father (Philip II King of Macedon) and one of the Persian Emperor's (Darius the Great, if I remember correctly) tried, and failed, to subdue the nomad tribes north of the Danube. Although the contemporary Greeco-Macedonian and Persian secondary sources are rather discreet (and they would be, of course!) on these episodes, it seems that both were defeated although managing to extricate at least part of their forces and pull back across the Danube. It is very possible that another attempt by the Macedonians to conquer the rich cities of the Pont Euxin could have happened again while Alexander was in Asia. As described in the book, it would have made perfect strategic and political sense (for instance to better control Athens who - quite literally - depended on the wheat from the north for it's daily bread.
Well worth five stars, in my view. I hope you will enjoy it at least as much as I did.
Cameron is a reenactor, and has therefore spent many an hour, and day, wearing and using the kit of a Greek soldier of the 4th century BC. He's also spent considerable time learning ancient Greek, and reading all the sources that he can lay his hands on. Boy, does it show. Kineas, the main character, reeks of authenticity. So too do the people he encounters: his friends and enemies, and the world that they all inhabit.
Rarely have I been so transported to another place, another world. I lived with Kineas and his comrades for every moment that I read this book. I could not wait to buy the sequel, and over the last 12 months, I have read three of the four others in the series. It's a benefit of not having read them as they were published, I suppose, but I will be sorry to come to the end of Tyrant: Destroyer of Cities . At least I will have the Long War series to read then, however!
If you haven't read any of Cameron's books, I suggest that you start now. He stands head and shoulders above most authors out there, and is now one of my favourite writers. If I could award this book more than five stars, I would.
Ben Kane, author of the Spartacus and Hannibal novels.