Tag Archives: Greece

Review: Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler with Dirk Cussler


Cover of "Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Advent...

Cover of Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure)

Crescent Dawn
Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler with Dirk Cussler SATURDAY, 06 AUGUST 2011

I can’t remember when I started to read the novels by Clive Cussler probably sometime in the late 70’s early 80’s and more than likely when I was on my holidays.
I really enjoy a good adventure story and when combined with archaeology and the ancient world they are even better and when Clive Cussler brought us his popular hero Dirk Pitt I was hooked.

The latest in a long line of his stories that I have read is “Crescent Dawn” first I have to say that I am not fond of collaborations between authors, unless they have series stories from the start I sometimes think that joining together in a later book just does not work.

With “Crescent Dawn” it was the first of the Dirk Pitt stories I have read that was written with someone else as a consequence I believe that it didn’t work, I did read the book from start to finish, however I just couldn’t find the pace and excitement of other Dirk Pitt adventures.

What is the book about?
Dirk Pitt returns in the extraordinary new novel from the number one bestselling author. In A.D. 327, a Roman galley with an extraordinary cargo barely escapes a pirate attack. In 1916, a British warship mysteriously explodes in the middle of the North Sea. In the present day, a cluster of important mosques in Turkey and Egypt are wracked by explosions. What ties them all together? NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his team are about to find out, as Roman artefacts discovered in Turkey and Israel unnervingly connect to the rise of a fundamentalist movement determined to restore the glory of the Ottoman Empire. From Washington to London to the treacherous shores of the Near East, dangerous men and desperate acts fill their path, and at the end of it, the most dangerous thing of all: the rumoured existence of a mysterious ‘manifest’, lost long ago, which if discovered again …just might change the history of the world as we know it.

I can’t say I didn’t like the book, I did, it’s just that it wasn’t what I was used to the usual cast were as ever very good however I did find that Dirk, Jr. and his sister Summer came across as second class imitations of their father it maybe that in future stories they mature into more of their own personas.
I also found that some of the geographical research was flawed, I live in London overlooking the Thames and The MI6 Building, I regularly cross Lambeth Bridge to visit St. Thomas’ hospital passing by Lambeth Palace so when we are told that Buckingham Palace can be seen across the river from Lambeth Palace it does disappoint me The Houses of Parliament that can be seen, Buckingham Palace is not by the river!
So after seeing such mistakes as that I was and still am a little wary of the research done for this and future books.

I can only give this story 2 stars it was ok, I did like it as a boy’s own adventure but maybe I’m losing my boyishness?
I will find out when I read the next Clive Cussler Yarn which is on my list.

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Review: Funeral Games by Christian Cameron


Funeral Games
Funeral Games by Christian Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Funeral Games, Book 3 of the Tyrant Series by Christian Cameron

If you read my book reviews, you will have realised by now that one of my favourite genres is historical fiction especially good yarns about ancient world, Rome, Greece and Briton in particular then when I found the books from Christian Cameron he did disappoint me, I was thrilled by his style of story weaving he is an outstanding weaver of tales about the ancient world.
He is one of the top writers in this specific genre and the ancient era, up there with Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell, and Simon Scarrow.
My one gripe is that it is so hard to get hold of his books in the libraries I think they should be made much more available.

Anyway let’s get to the tale;
“Funeral Games”, Satyrus and Melitta, twin heirs to a rich kingdom on the Black Sea, become desperate fugitives when their mother, the Scythian warrior-princess Srayanka, is cut down in a savage act of betrayal. Accompanied by their tutor, the Spartan Philokles, they must make a perilous journey west, pursued by ruthless assassins, to find sanctuary with the army of their father’s closest friend, Diodorus. But Diodorus is caught up in the tangled web of alliances, betrayals and intrigue that followed Alexander the Great’s death, as his generals fought over the huge empire he had created – and soon the twins will have their first taste of real battle as two Macedonian warlords clash. In this violent and unstable world, they must chose sides carefully, as Antigonus One-Eye, and his brilliant son Demetrius, prepare to take on the might of Ptolemy’s Egypt, and the forces gather for the biggest and most spectacular battle the world had ever seen

This is the third in the series and they simply get more exciting, in this tale we learn more about the characters who are as I have come to expect from this story-weaver very colourful, the story moves along at such a pace that I felt I needed a seatbelt and a crash-helmet just to get to the end.
The research that has gone into this story is clearly seen and so is Christian’s passion for an era long gone but not forgotten,

This is a brilliant example of story-weaving it is full of action and at times poignant and beyond all doubt compelling, read the book, take pleasure in the journey, live through times gone by, It really bloody fantastic.

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Review: Tyrant: Storm of Arrows by Christian Cameron


Tyrant: Storm of Arrows
Tyrant: Storm of Arrows by Christian Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Storm of Arrows, Book 2 of the Tyrant Series by Christian Cameron
After reading Tyrant the first book in this series I was eagerly looking forward to reading this the second in the series, I had quite a long wait though as Pimlico library had to order it in from another of Westminster’s libraries, it was well worth waiting for and I’ll say right now you have just got to read this story from a master story-weaver.
The Book;
Kineas, the Athenian cavalry commander, has come a long way since being dismissed from the army of Alexander and vengefully exiled by his own city. Together, his mercenary force and their Scythian allies have defeated a mighty Macedonian army at the Ford of the River God, and his adopted city of Olbia is now free once more. But his destiny will not allow him to enjoy the fruits of victory for long. Far to the east, at the farthest edge of the Sea of Grass, Alexander is threatening to crush the Scythian hordes once and for all. The Lady Srayanka of the Cruel Hands, the Scythian warrior-princess who spurned a king’s love to be at Kineas’ side, is pledged to take her tribe east to help stop ‘the monster’ – and Kineas knows he has no choice but to follow, even if it means embracing the violent death in battle that he has seen prefigured in countless dreams. But long before he can confront the might of Alexander’s army alongside his beloved Srayanka, he must undertake an epic journey, of breathtaking daring, taking an army through hundreds of miles of hostile terrain – towards his own appointment with fate.
Christian Cameron takes up for the second time his story of Kineas, the battle-scarred cavalryman and his band of brothers in “Storm of Arrows”.
And if Kineas’ earlier trial and tribulations were not hard enough, he now has to march his little band of soldiers from the Black sea to the Caspian sea, and then to sail across the Caspian sea, furthermore they travel further to the Oxus river, all this to help the Scythians fight against Alexander of Macedon, who he once served.
Christian Cameron has met the difficulties that a venture like this involves and integrates it into his story with no effort at all. He also manages to chronicle quite a few of the characters in Kineas’ band of brothers.
He draws attention to the perils of life in the ancient world of Greece and Asia, a true historian he uses his knowledge of this period to emphasise how life was and bring us closer to his characters especially those of Kineas and Srayanka.
The images of the sea of grass are intense; and he illustrates that this is not just an embellished experience for Kineas, but also for me and all who read this story.
This story is a grand continuation to Tyrant we find out more about the characters and we are encouraged to feel at home in their story, a story powerful and colourful, so once again I find myself telling you that if It’s an absorbing read one in which you rapidly lose track of time, full of intrigue, war, love, and the struggle of men and women to survive against all odds, then read it I promise you won’ be disappointed

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Review: Tyrant, Book 1 of the Tyrant Series by Christian Cameron


Tyrant
Tyrant by Christian Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tyrant, Book 1 of the Tyrant Series by Christian Cameron
If you read my book reviews, you will have realised by now that one of my favourite genres is historical fiction especially good yarns about ancient world, Rome, Greece and Briton in particular then when I found the books from Christian Cameron he did disappoint me, I was thrilled by his style of story weaving he is an outstanding weaver of tales about the ancient world.
He is going to become one of the top writers in this specific genre and the ancient era, up there with Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell, and Simon Scarrow.
Anyway let’s get to the story;
“Tyrant”; a well-born officer of Athenian cavalry, Kineas fought shoulder to shoulder with Alexander in his epic battles against the Persian hordes. But when he returns to his native city, he finds not glory but ignominy, as all veterans of the Boy King’s campaigns are sent into exile. With nothing to his name but his military skills, Kineas has no choice but to become a mercenary, and soon accepts a commission to soldier for the Tyrant of Olbia, a wealthy city on the Black Sea. But when he reaches Olbia he finds he and his tight-knit band of Athenians have stumbled into a deadly maze of intrigue and conspiracy as the Tyrant plots to use them as a pawn in the increasingly complex power games between his own citizens, the so-called barbarians of the encroaching Scythian plains, and the dread military might of Macedon. Caught between his duty to the Tyrant, his loyalty to his men and a forbidden love affair with a charismatic Scythian noblewoman, Kineas must call on all his Athenian guile, his flair on the battlefield, and even – he is convinced – the intervention of the gods, to survive.
This is the first story I have read from Christian Cameron and I knew straight away that I was reading a story from someone who has a passion for the ancient world and it is his debut book in a series that I firmly believe will become very popular.
Undoubtedly the backdrop of the story and the dramatis personae (cast) a mixture of Greeks, local tribesmen, and others are original and believable.
The historical facts are quite correct and there is an adequate amount of action to keep you going with a sensation of exhilaration.
You know, I don’t know about other readers but with a good story I picture it in my head, almost cinematically, in fact with some books I can even see which actors should play a certain character anyhow, this is what I got from this story so I believe we know have a story-weaver of the same calibre as Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden, and Harry Sidebottom.
It is, as a rule easier said than done to create a believable story of an actual well documented era and culture, to do it whilst trying to keep to established historical facts and also entertain a reader who might find real history uninteresting is the mark of a superb story-weaver and in Christian Cameron with his first outing as a weaver of tales I think we have found a real treasure.
What did I like about this story?
Well the persona are plausible and as I have said before the descriptions of the battles soar into your mind really well.
It’s an absorbing read one in which you rapidly lose track of time, I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about intrigue, war, love, and the battle of good against evil.

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Review: Killer of Men, Book 1 of the Long War Series by Christian Cameron


Killer of Men
Killer of Men by Christian Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Killer of Men, Book 1 of the Long War Series by Christian Cameron
If you read my book reviews, you will have realised by now that one of my favourite genres is historical fiction especially good yarns about ancient world, Rome, Greece and Briton in particular then when I found the books from Christian Cameron he did disappoint me, I was thrilled by his style of story weaving he is an outstanding weaver of tales about the ancient world.
He is going to become one of the top writers in this specific genre and the ancient era, up there with Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell, and Simon Scarrow.
Anyway this is the first book of a brand new heroic story from the Christian Cameron author of the ‘Tyrant’ series I have sort of written some reviews of the “Tyrant” stories I just have to publish them.
Anyhow to “Killer of Men”, Greeks and Persians are poised on the edge of conflict, Arimnestos has been betrayed by his cousin and found himself a slave, and this is his journey out of bondage to seek his revenge.
This story-weaver impressed me with the amount of historical detail, moody battle scenes, and believable characters along with a fast and furious story it’s the beginning of another fantastic series of yarns from the ancient world.
Totally gripping, and here is something a little different it is told in the first person as Arimnestos now an old man narrates his life to a daughter, and what a life story to tell, I’m still picturing it in my minds eye!
As I said It’s a fast book with lots intrigue and several of the characters have imperfections of character just like in real life, Christian Cameron makes many of Arimnestos’ enemies also his friends and some of his allies his enemies just as I would expect it would have been at that time in the ancient world of Greece and Asia, just think of the Spartans and the Greek city states.

For me “Killer of Men” stands out from the crowd and I cannot highly recommend this book enough, if you like historical novels read it, if you like war stories read it, if you like intrigue, romance and an outright rollicking good story then you must read it.

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