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Sons of Zeus: A Novel (Nikias of Plataea) af…

Sons of Zeus: A Novel (Nikias of Plataea) (udgave 2013)

af Noble Smith (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
411482,469 (3.75)Ingen
The first entry in an epic series, set during the fifth-century BC war between Athens and Sparta, finds Plataea resident Nikias dreaming of glory in the Olympic games, only to find himself leading a ragtag band of defenders in the wake of a surprise attack.
Titel:Sons of Zeus: A Novel (Nikias of Plataea)
Forfattere:Noble Smith (Forfatter)
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2013), 336 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Sons of Zeus: A Novel af Noble Smith


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More like 2.5. From only an excerpt from Thucydides the author has fashioned an exciting action/adventure novel. The novel tells of the "sneak attack" on the city of Plataea by Thebans, the latter an ally of Sparta. From without, a spy, called here a whisperer, and from within, one of the townspeople, the city is betrayed into Theban hands. Much of the book is taken up with the people's fight for survival and efforts to save their city from both Thebes and Sparta. The last two city states named are allies. Nikias, the protagonist and main character, is a young man who lives with his family on an outlying farm. The likeable Nikias is very courageous through the story and his actions drive much of the action, although the townspeople rally to the town's defense despite their initial shock, confusion. and turning on each other.

..."just at the beginning of spring [ca. March 6, 431 B.C.], a Theban force a little over 300 strong ... about the first watch of the night, made an armed entry into Plataea, a town of Boeotia in alliance with Athens.
The gates were opened to them by a Plataean ..., who, with his party, had invited them in, meaning to put to death the citizens of the opposite party, bring over the city to Thebes, and thus obtain power for themselves. This was arranged through a Theban spy."
The History of the Peloponnesian War

I found a few implausibilities and inconsistencies, also some odd word choices: Nikias characterizes himself as a "hick" at one point. "Heirs" was used at another where I think the author meant "hairs." I did not like this transliteration system from the Greek where it seemed like c's or ch's were transliterated as k's, e.g., Hektor, Syrakuse. [Since I'm from Upstate New York, the spelling of the city surprised me; I'm used to Syracuse, New York.] Spelling of these proper names was jarring until I got used to it.] I wondered if mentioning a crow with one white tail feather so many times [4 or 5, as I remember] was supposed to have some significance. Zeno's wife Xanthippus I believe should have been Xanthippe, the feminine form of the name. A glaring error which I'm surprised the proofreader didn't catch was Games in honor of Lysander, the hero of Thermopylae. There was a famous Spartan admiral in history named Lysander, but the soldier at Thermopylae was Leonidas.

There were some interesting characters, e.g., Chusor, the blacksmith-inventor of a type of Molotov cocktail and of a type of caltrop; Kolax, the Skythian boy; Saeed and Mula, Nikias's family's Persian slaves; General Menesarkos, the grandfather of Nikias. The women were all strong characters. I liked the description of the pottery factory and the steps in making pottery. I totally disliked the worst stereotype of Spartans I've ever read. I regretted not being able to rate the novel any higher. I was disappointed there was no "Author's Note"; I would have liked to see how much was fact, how much was from the author's imagination. My guess is maybe 90% fiction, 10% fact. This was a readable novel, with good story and interesting "cast." ( )
  janerawoof | Aug 28, 2014 |
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The first entry in an epic series, set during the fifth-century BC war between Athens and Sparta, finds Plataea resident Nikias dreaming of glory in the Olympic games, only to find himself leading a ragtag band of defenders in the wake of a surprise attack.

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