Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

The Fall of Sparta

User avatar
parthianbow
Compulsive Reader
Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
Contact:

Postby parthianbow » Tue September 11th, 2012, 8:02 pm

Sorry, my bad - you didn't recommend them, just mentioned them and because they were about Rome, I took the bait.
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed September 12th, 2012, 8:37 am

@Ben: Hey, at least you didn't actually buy the disappointing Pyrrhic Victory book so you're doing better than me :) My copy will no doubt be making its way to a charity shop sometime soon.

@ Chiliarch: The Fox was, on the other hand, a pleasant surprise. It's a real mystery book, but well worth tracking down.

I have Road to Sardis in my TBR pile. Encouraged by enthusiastic comments from readers on another forum I did buy a couple of Plowman's books, but made the mistake of starting with To Spare the Conquered which rather underwhelmed me - review here - because I can't resist anything set in Roman Britain (probably Rosemary Sutcliff's fault :) ) Must try again with RTS, as it is Plowman's best-known novel.

Interesting to get your thoughts on Hanson's novel. Unfortunately extensive knowledge of a historical period doesn't necessarily equate to the sense of story required for fiction writing, as per my comments on Plowman's To Spare the Conquered.. Apparently Hanson's non-fiction work is very readable, though.
Last edited by annis on Wed September 12th, 2012, 8:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
parthianbow
Compulsive Reader
Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
Contact:

Postby parthianbow » Wed September 12th, 2012, 1:27 pm

"annis" wrote: Unfortunately extensive knowledge of a historical period doesn't necessarily equate to the sense of story required for fiction writing, as per my comments on Plowman's To Spare the Conquered.


I can think of at least one author who falls into that category! ;)
Ben Kane

Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.

Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.



http://www.benkane.net

Twitter: @benkaneauthor

User avatar
Chiliarch
Scribbler
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby Chiliarch » Mon September 24th, 2012, 8:45 am

"annis" wrote:@ Chiliarch: The Fox was, on the other hand, a pleasant surprise. It's a real mystery book, but well worth tracking down.

I have Road to Sardis in my TBR pile. Encouraged by enthusiastic comments from readers on another forum I did buy a couple of Plowman's books, but made the mistake of starting with To Spare the Conquered which rather underwhelmed me - review here - because I can't resist anything set in Roman Britain (probably Rosemary Sutcliff's fault :) ) Must try again with RTS, as it is Plowman's best-known novel.


I have only read Plowman's two books set in ancient Greece - The Road to Sardis and The Leaping Song (about a young Athenian at Thermopylae and Salamis) - and though they are both listed as YA, I have to say that I enjoyed them both tremendously. Her writing has the feel of ancient Greece as well as a lot of humour. Highly recommended!

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Sat October 6th, 2012, 12:36 am

Still haven't got round to reading The Road to Sardis, but I have just started another evocative novel which intersects with Butler’s Fox, though it covers a shorter period. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Naomi Mitchison (pub. 1925) begins with the Battle of Notium, first of the two Spartan naval victories which effectively ended the Peloponnesian War and resulted in Athens’ submission to Sparta. It ends just as the story's hero, Alxenor, is about to set off for Persia with the Greek mercenaries in support of Cyrus the Younger, an expedition made famous by Xenophon's Anabasis.
Last edited by annis on Mon October 15th, 2012, 6:36 pm, edited 38 times in total.

User avatar
Chiliarch
Scribbler
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby Chiliarch » Tue October 16th, 2012, 8:42 am

I have just finished 'Leonidas of Sparta : A Heroic King' by Helena P. Schrader and have given it five stars. It is absolutely fantastic, like all Helena's books on ancient Sparta. Well researched, well written and peopled with wonderful characters, whom you come to love. I have to admit to dragging my feet through the last bit of it not wanting it to end. Helena's description of the battle of Thermopylae is the best I have read about this famous battle. It was an overwhelming read. Highly recommended!

User avatar
parthianbow
Compulsive Reader
Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
Contact:

Postby parthianbow » Tue October 16th, 2012, 7:43 pm

"Chiliarch" wrote:Helena's description of the battle of Thermopylae is the best I have read about this famous battle. It was an overwhelming read.


Better than Pressfield's Gates of Fire?
Ben Kane

Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.

Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.



http://www.benkane.net

Twitter: @benkaneauthor

User avatar
Chiliarch
Scribbler
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby Chiliarch » Thu October 18th, 2012, 1:18 pm

In my opinion, yes. You feel you are there with Leonidas and the other Greeks. The action is described in a way that makes you able to follow the developments over the three days without it either sounding like a history lesson or a military manual. I love Pressfield's novels, but he does sound too modern at times and you don't get the feel of ancient Greece as in Schrader's books or Mary Renault's. With Schrader and Renault you come away feeling that this might just be how ancient Greece really was. You don't get that feeling with Pressfield's books. And Schrader really writes some very good battles, both on land and at see. Every bit as good as Pressfield or, say, Christian Cameron.

Cuchulain
Scribbler

Postby Cuchulain » Tue July 8th, 2014, 4:52 pm

"annis" wrote:
Yes, M N J Butler is a puzzle, and without even a Christian name to go by, I'm stumped.


I think I have found someone who may be the author. His first name is Malcolm, and he currently lives at 20 Moorland Road, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1NH. He is Irish, although he seems to have been born in Dublin rather than Kenya. So far I have been unable to get a response from him.


Return to “Ancient”