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Spartans At The Gates (2014)

by Noble Smith(Favorite Author)
4.17 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
1250025583 (ISBN13: 9781250025586)
languge
English
publisher
Thomas Dunne Books
series
The Warrior Trilogy
review 1: I was a bit afraid of a let down after the literary high that Noble Smith put me on in Sons Of Zeus, book one of his historical fiction trilogy set in ancient Greece. Spartans at the Gates delivers and in astonishing ways. Smith paints an amazingly detailed picture of the intricate politics, military drum beating and alliances among the Greek states at the start of the Peloponnesian War. At the heart, however, is a truly human story of the nobility of his central characters' struggle against adversity and love (perhaps) conquering all. Smith's characters are at once believable and surprising. There are twists, bloody clashes, and political intrigue aplenty for this to be considered an action spy/thriller that renders the Jason Bourne series dull and slow. True to history, ... morethe ancients – good and bad guys – are merciless with their enemies and have few qualms about using extreme methods to extract information. Suffice to say, waterboarding isn't among their techniques.It was tough for me to get over my admiration of ancient Spartans and to view them as bad guys but Smith had me rooting every time a red cape went down.I'm a stickler about neat endings and, again, Spartans at the Gates concludes in a smart and satisfying way. I'm reminded of James Clavell's clever and possibly best writing coming at the end of his best-selling historical fiction adventures. There are lots of places to go with the third and final part of the series but for now Smith has shown he respects the reader's need to keep things today before allowing all hell to break loose in the next adventure. Well done.
review 2: When I was a kid we used to go to the movies on Saturday. One of the features were the Saturday morning serials with a hero like Flash Gordon. These were cliffhangers where, at the end of each episode, Flash found himself in a predicament that seemed inescapable. Yet, he would always escape in imaginative and surprising ways.Nikias, the hero of The Warrior Trilogy (Sons of Zeus was part one and Spartans at the Gates is part two) takes cliffhangers to a new level and does it in an historical setting that rivals science fiction. Ancient Greece with it’s myriad city-states and unique cultures and tribes is stranger than the planet Dune. You will marvel at the weirdness of Spartans, Megarians and Skythians and other strange peoples who aid or obstruct Nikias’s quest to Athens to raise a troop of warriors to return with him to fight against the Spartans and their mercenaries who are marshaling a scary army at the gates of Platea, (Nikias’s home city) ready to lay siege as part of the Spartans’ war with Athens.Nikias, trained almost from birth as a pankrator (martial artist), is waylaid, tricked, chased, duped, seduced, imprisoned, tortured and nearly drowned as he makes his way through the capital. Somehow he manages to wriggle out of every dilemma but not without a great deal of suffering and agony and even, shockingly, the loss of a …You won’t find any spoilers in this review but I will predict you will be anxious for the third installment due out in June of 2015—The Sword of Apollo.Spartans at the Gates is a wild and breathless ride through Ancient Greece which will leave you gasping and slapping your forehead in amazement of the ways Nikias is able to dodge the bullet (or, in this case the sword, dagger or arrow) and make his way toward his end goal. Spartans at the Gates is a page turner. less
Reviews (see all)
Bana
The story was okay, but it was predictable and the characters needed more depth.
Britknee
Nice follow up to Sons of Zeus. Very excited to see how this turns out.
abgel
very good book very quick read cant wait for the third one to come out
gorde1ja
Fantastic continuation of the Warrior Trilogy. Brilliantly written!
kathrynjenal
Review forthcoming...
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