A story of Athens by Conn Iggulden
I love historical fiction, and have read many of the ‘big’ series released over the years including Sharpe, Hornblower, and Master & Commander. So, I was very happy to receive Protector as a Christmas present as I was in the middle of Gates of Athens at the time and thoroughly enjoying it.
From the book:
Themistocles stands as the battle-scarred leader of Athens. Yet he is no nobleman and is distrusted by many. But those who stand against him cannot argue with two things: his victories as a warrior, and the vast Persian army heading their way . . .
And so Themistocles must fight. Fight the invaders. Fight the allies who despise him. Fight for his city. As the Persians draw close, he must prove himself again and again in battle. Because history belongs to the courageous . .
The Gates of Athens was led by Xanthippus, and – whilst Xanthippus is still a main character – the lead here is Themistocles. The Persians have burned Athens and , and this time they aim to burn Athens to the ground under the leadership of Xerxes. The Athenians have retreated to the island of Salamis and there is a huge naval battle, where the Persians outnumber the Greeks (including Spartans, Corinthians and others). It is a battle that would make the western civilization possible.
Conn Iggulden brings the events and people to life from both the Greek and Persian sides. It is a book written from the views of the Greeks with the the Persian’s being the ‘others’ in the stories – as the ancient sources from Greek did so before him. His descriptions of the battles are as good as in his other books, but it is the building of the era and the atmosphere that makes the book so good. Iggulden has clearly visited the modern Greek locations and describes them in vivid detail… including those aspects no longer there such as the Spartan wall across the Peloponnese behind which they hid.
It’s definitely different from the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k universes that we normally inhabit here on Woehammer, but if you fancy a bit of a change or inspiration for an historic era to get involved in… you can do a lot worse than reading Iggulden’s books.