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Ancient Mediterranean

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Nefret
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Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
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Ancient Mediterranean

Post by Nefret » Sun August 18th, 2013, 11:17 pm

I was looking for a novel set in the Greek civilization, but not on the mainland. Something in the Aegean islands or Eastern Mediterranean.
Crete is a preferable location.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"
{Ensiferum}

JenniferLovesRoxi
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Post by JenniferLovesRoxi » Sun August 18th, 2013, 11:51 pm

I will look through my Calibre list more in depth in a while, but I did a tag search for Crete and these two books popped up:

The Year-God's Daughter- Rebecca Lochlann
Crete: A place of magic, of mystery, where violence and sacrifice meet courage and hope.

Aridela: Wrapped in legend, beloved of the people. An extraordinary woman who dances with bulls.

The north wind brings a swift ship and two brothers who plot Crete’s overthrow. Desire for this woman will propel their long rivalry into hatred so murderous it hurtles all three into an unimaginable future, and sparks the immortal rage of the Erinyes. A woman of keen instinct and unshakeable loyalty. A proud warrior prince and his wounded half-brother. Glory, passion, treachery and conspiracy on the grandest scale.

What seems the end is only the beginning.


The Grain God- Susan Shepherd
The Grain God is the first book in a trilogy that follows Rush the Assassin and the boy-god, Rah across three kingdoms: Minoa, The Land of The Hatti, and finally, ancient Babylon. It is an adventure that is utterly unique and told as if by an eyewitness, recreating a forgotten time in such vivid detail that the reader will wonder why this rich period of human history has been neglected by fiction writers until now.

A Warning! If you have a weak stomach, or grow faint at the sight of blood, read no further.

In the Ancient world of the Minoans, the most feared man alive is Rush the Assassin. When his victims are found, dead or alive, they wear The Tear of the Bull, a mark carved under their left eye signifying that they are his for eternity.

Having learned the arts of war and murder as a highly successful Hittite soldier and commander, Rush uses that knowledge as an assassin and then multiplies his riches through trade under the guise of Ameg the Merchant, a foppish Mycenaean businessman. As Ameg his travels and dealings with the seats of power and wealth throughout the Mediterranean enable him to gather the intelligence he needs as an assassin.

Rush is the master of his world until, in the spring of 1620 B.C., he is hired by the King of Cyrus, the Southern Kingdom of Minoan Crete, to kill the sixteen year old slave boy newly proclaimed the Grain God of Knossos, the rival Northern Kingdom.

He considers it an easy contract. But when he attempts to take the boy’s life he finds himself captivated by the lad's animal beauty, grace and oddity. This momentary faltering allows the boy, a fantastic athlete himself, to escape. But Rush is hounded by his sudden, solitary failure and he becomes obsessed with it, and tortured by the knowledge that if not he, another assassin wil be hired to kill him, before the boy is sacrificed, like his predecessors, to Rah. To further complicate matters the volcano on the Island of Thera, ninety miles north of the Minoan Empire, has begun to steam. Rush alone knows Crete itself is doomed. What he does not know is that the eruption of Thera will be the greatest natural catastrophy in known human history.


Keep in mind that I haven't read either of these and so I cannot say whether they are good reads or not, but both got good reviews on LibraryThing, GoodReads, Amazon, etc.

If I find more that fit what you're looking for I will post them later.

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Mon August 19th, 2013, 5:29 am

A large part of Mary Renault's The King Must Die is set in Crete.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Mon August 19th, 2013, 4:39 pm

[quote=""sweetpotatoboy""]A large part of Mary Renault's The King Must Die is set in Crete.[/quote]

I would recommend anything by Mary Renault. She also has a trilogy about Alexander the Great set in the eastern Mediterranean. Enjoy!
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annis
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Post by annis » Mon August 19th, 2013, 5:14 pm

I thought The Year God's Daughter was quite good, though don't know if I'd follow up the rest of the series - it's meant to carry on through different periods of time.

I'd also recommend Christian Cameron's Tyrant series, which is set around the Euxine (today's Black Sea) during Alexander's reign and the Wars of the Successors following his death. H N Turteltaub's 4 book series Hellentistic Traders is also good - takes the reader on on a tour with a couple of Rhodian merchant cousins who bicker and dicker their way all around the Mediterranean in the 3rd century BC, visiting a different area with each book.

And if you don't mind your HF mixed with a helping of mythic fantasy, Naomi Mitchison's classic Corn King, Spring Queen is worth a read. The nominal settings are the Scythian town of Marob on the west shores of the Black Sea; Sparta, Greece; and Alexandria, Egypt, some 2000 years ago.
Last edited by annis on Tue August 20th, 2013, 2:03 am, edited 7 times in total.

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lauragill
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Post by lauragill » Wed August 21st, 2013, 12:24 am

Yikes! Give me another 6 months or so, and Knossos should be out.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Wed August 21st, 2013, 1:36 pm

[quote=""annis""]
And if you don't mind your HF mixed with a helping of mythic fantasy, Naomi Mitchison's classic Corn King, Spring Queen is worth a read. The nominal settings are the Scythian town of Marob on the west shores of the Black Sea; Sparta, Greece; and Alexandria, Egypt, some 2000 years ago.[/quote]

It's also available as an ebook now.

Another book that might be worth mentioning is Mika Waltari's The Egyptian. One section of it actually takes place in Crete (which was for me the most memorable part of the book).

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Nefret
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Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
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Post by Nefret » Wed August 21st, 2013, 7:35 pm

The Egyptian already lives on my bookshelf and TBR pile.


I should mention, I have no ebook device.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"
{Ensiferum}

Carla
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Post by Carla » Sun August 25th, 2013, 4:19 pm

I second (or third) the recommendation of Mary Renault's The King Must Die. Wonderful book.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

annis
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Post by annis » Sun August 25th, 2013, 5:34 pm

Not in Renault's class, but still a reasonable read - Les Cole's Sea Kings trilogy set during end of the 18th century BC, during the Late Bronze Age, among the vast trading network of the Cretans and their associates in Egypt and the Mesopotamia. The main character is a young Minoan trader.

There is also another novel around based on the legend about Ariadne and Theseus called The Bulldancers of Knossos, by Pam & John Raggatt, but as it was only published in Australasia, it would probably be a hard find. I see an Amazon reviewer rubbished it, but I didn't think it that bad.
Last edited by annis on Sun August 25th, 2013, 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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