Fantasy See The Books. Thriller See The Books. Load More Follow on Instagram. Search This Site Search this website. Close this module. Get a free book on me! The head of the rebellious Albanian governor would fetch a very high price indeed. Translations of his novels have appeared in more than forty countries.
This is the fifth novel by Ismail Kadare that he has translated. By depicting the corruption and whimsical cruelty of the Ottoman Empire, Mr. Kadare smuggles in a damning appraisal of Albanian Communism. Its evocation of the past feels both contemporary tourists flock to Istanbul to gawk at the severed head, and you can almost imagine them taking cellphone photos and outside of time. Kadare has more in common with William Faulkner, a writer who spins mythology out of regional legends.
This, too, is a moral project as well as an artistic one. This unforgettable novel adds to his lifelong work of cultural reclamation. The past is uncannily present in his books—a phantom that walks among the living, or a severed head that seems to lock you in its gaze. Yet the story is also a more encompassing parable of authoritarianism that is relevant far beyond its immediate historical moment. Kadare also shows a unique talent at peering inside the mind of a tyrant.
Tyrants and Traitors - Historical Novel Society
The gift of Kadare as a writer is also not merely in the aesthetics of his language, but in the rudimentary transmission of deft, witty meaning, and deeply satirical commentary. I stumbled into this six-book series by way of one of my favorite recent fantasy series, the Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron. I noticed that, for some unknown reason, Cameron also wrote under the name of Christian Cameron, and had a series set in the time of Alexander the Great.
And as this is a connected series that really need I stumbled into this six-book series by way of one of my favorite recent fantasy series, the Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron. And as this is a connected series that really needs to be read in order to be appreciated, this review is of all six books considered as a whole, rather than a review of each book though parenthetical notes will be appended for each.
Now if you already know who won the Battle of Ipsos, you will be a little too far ahead of the game, for much of the suspense of the series which includes other historical events will be lost — and you will also be surprised by some revisions Cameron makes in order to tell the story the way he wants to.
But the basic premise is this: Cameron inserts fictional, high-ranking characters into the complicated weave of Hellenistic history, and has them participate in events both major and minor. He is also an excellent writer, so the story moves along at a brisk pace, flagging only momentarily in the later volumes. There are issues, of course. Like Star Trek, Kineas and Satyrus, the two main protagonists, are in the front lines way too often to be believed, especially in the later books, and their interactions with the major historical figures seem unnecessary, as if the editors insisted that somehow Kineas and Alexander are in contact, and so are Satyrus and various Hellenistic leaders.
Cameron, though, is perfectly willing to kill off major characters, and in sudden and unexpected ways, which adds a tremendous amount of tension to battle scenes and assassination attempts unlike Star Trek. In those times, it was the place where the steppe nomads and expanding population of farmers and colonizers crossed paths, and it became a crucial part of the Hellenistic game of thrones given its ability to produce grain that the Mediterranean cities desperately needed to feed their people.
So Cameron tosses these characters, their soldiers and their grain into the Hellenistic mix, and in the end, comes up with a wonderful series that I enjoyed from start to finish. But I will say this: If you have even a passing interest in the world of Alexander the Great after his death, the Tyrant series is for you. I just wish there were more than six volumes. His grasp of detail, his strong characters and the sheer pleasure of discovering the series makes it perhaps the best.
Which is a long way of saying if you don't like "Tyrant," go no further.
Jul 09, Jane Halliday rated it it was ok Shelves: unfinished-sagas. This is the first historical fiction novel I've tried in a while. I'm not going to complain about how accurate facts are because not only this is fiction, but I do not have sufficient control of History to do it. I do want to complain about just how bad this plot is. Well, I may have exaggerated a bit.
It's not extremely bad, it's just The book starts off slow. It was constant pain for me to keep reading, until I was more or less a hundred pages in, and only becau This is the first historical fiction novel I've tried in a while. It was constant pain for me to keep reading, until I was more or less a hundred pages in, and only because that's when stuff finally starts getting somewhere.
In other words, the first pages are fillers with a bit of plot because the author presents some characters and describes the setting. When the book takes off, that is to say, when the main character finally gets hired by a tyrant, you'd think the story would move smoother, and in a way, it does, but from that point it's a constant journey through gaping plot holes and ridiculous decisions.
This tyrant, seriously? His character doesn't make sense, it's like he's ruled by the whims of a three-year-old. It unnerves me. At some points of the novel, it feels like the author is forcing stuff to happen in a very tight fit, which makes it feel awkward, unnatural, and breaks immersion. Beyond that, the book focuses heavily on the military side of the story, which isn't a bad thing in my book, but I wish it had a bit more of depth to it. We see the daily side of an army but I'm lacking something to make it come alive for me, maybe this is just personal preference.
The romance depicted in this story is shallow, at best, but still better than some stories I've had the bad luck of reading. Could have been better, but I'm glad it isn't worse. The ending, don't even get me started on that. It's not just the fact that it's predictable to the core, to the last detail, but it's also It did not stir up any emotion, at least for me.
- La Partie de Trictrac (French Edition).
- The Story Teller - A One Act Comedy for Kids.
- La de los tristes destinos (Spanish Edition).
Halfway through the story, the only motivation that kept me going was to find out about the end and then that turned out to be disappointing. Anyway, I'm not going to continue the saga, because it's not going to be pleasant for me. I might check out the sequel eventually if I'm suddenly curious, but it won't be anytime soon.
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 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.
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Fully recommended, because this book of this particular series is "A Marvellous Opener"! Apr 20, Tiberiu Pana rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction.
Being a Romanian, I was very pleasantly surprised to find some of the action in this book taking place near the Romanian Black Sea coast, where the Greek of old founded several colonies. My surprise was short lived though as the main action takes place further North, in today's Ukraine.
Still though, a welcoming change of scenery. My perfect 5-star reference is the Troy trilogy written by Mr. This book doesn't quite come close to that perfection. The first half of the book is rather dull Being a Romanian, I was very pleasantly surprised to find some of the action in this book taking place near the Romanian Black Sea coast, where the Greek of old founded several colonies.
The first half of the book is rather dull and boring due to the fact that I couldn't find any of the characters interesting and neither the dialogues between them The story gets interesting when the scythians are introduced and a love affair begins to evolve between the Greek commander and the barbarian princess. From here onward the story picks up the pace and delivers it's goods by the end It was a good read overall, but honestly I don't know if I want to read the whole saga.
This first book didn't quite convinced me to read another 5 that might be like this one when there are plenty of other choices out there. I like that this one is set in Alexander the Great's era, but doesn't follow the usual retelling of his story which most historical fiction readers likely already know off by heart anyway. Instead, we focus on Kineas, an Athenian by birth, who fought with Alexander only to be sent home abruptly to an Athens which promptly exiles him. He finds employment in a place called Olbia, where the leader seems a bit disreputable, but is willing to pay Kineas to train his forces.
Said forces are mainly s I like that this one is set in Alexander the Great's era, but doesn't follow the usual retelling of his story which most historical fiction readers likely already know off by heart anyway. Said forces are mainly spoilt rich men of the sort who expect their slaves to do everything and don't seriously think they'll ever need to fight. Then rumours start that part of Alexander's army is on it's way I like that we get a good sense of the main characters, we spend plenty of time getting to know their psychology - something Cameron specialises in.
We see the realism of Kineas contrasted with idealistic young Ajax whose knowledge of war comes solely from heroic epic poems. There is also the contrast between the city-dwellers from the Greek states and the nomadic Sakje. The battle scenes are detailed and feel well-researched, or at least as far as ancient battles can be. It would have been nice to have a map to help with locations - perhaps that was added for other editions? This paperback edition does also have a few typos, but overall I enjoyed it and will look for the next in the series. Aug 09, James Casey rated it liked it.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes and No, The characters were good, they were all different, but none of them really stood out. There was lots of talk about what was going to happen and what had happened, that when it came to fights or battle scenes, they were just glibbed over in a few sentences or small paragraphs ie, swords were drawn, spears were thrown, arrows flew, men died, horses were wounded, the enemy fled and they all went back to their tents, nursed their wounds and drank some wine. Not in those words but you get what I mean.
I expected more from an author who I have read before, but there again I read it to the end, gave it a 4 really 3. May 29, Ethan rated it liked it. This is one of the better ancient historical fiction novels I've read in recent years, but it's still pretty rough around the edges. The historicity of the novel is fairly impressive, and the setting on the coast of the Euxine during Alexander's conquests is an excellent choice.
That said, the writing is pretty lacking when it comes to descriptions and transitions, and there are way too many unmemorable ancillary characters. Hints of interesting political intrigue when the main character first This is one of the better ancient historical fiction novels I've read in recent years, but it's still pretty rough around the edges.
Hints of interesting political intrigue when the main character first gets to Olbia prove false as the reader is instead subjected to long scenes of musters and battles--and the problem with that is that Cameron's battle depictions are merely "alright. Between the lack of maps and abrupt transitions, I had no idea which river the final battle was being fought on, for example. That said, this is solid read overall in the genre of ancient historical military fiction. Jan 29, Brent Morrison rated it really liked it. Loved this book. It's also likely true that they did stop Alexander the Butcher from ever going onto the steppes, and that alone makes me like them.
I a Loved this book. I am not a big fan of how History with a capital H has treated the entire human story, turning into heroes so many outright sociopaths and murderers, softening the spin on the mayhem of organized religions and the nuts responsible for them, and so on. It's no secret why you can find pages of quotes about history being nothing but lies. Anyhow, nice to see the Scythians get a major part in a series for a change, looking forward to the other five novels.
Great for a new author Since I'd read Cameron's later worj before starting this series, I wondered what the quality level would be, while still expecting early glimpses of his ebullient writing style. All said, this was a love tome, with all else a mere backdrop to the deep and yet ephemeral emotional tangle of the chief protagonists. I look forward eagerly to the next in the series.
Well done Mr Cameron. Oct 20, Dean rated it it was amazing. Everything this man rites is fantastic.
This book is no different. He reminds me of Vince Flynn's books, easy to read, great characters, lots of action and always gets your attention in the first couple paragraphs. Cant wait to read more in this series! Dec 03, Linda Humberstone rated it really liked it. Good story with interesting characters and lots of intrigue going on. A brilliant description of a battle towards the end of the book, you really feel as if you can see what is going on and you are there.
In my opinion this book was a interested read but not very suspenseful. Mar 21, Zaib Rizvi rated it did not like it. Did not like it..