Salamis by Christian Cameron

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The big, bad bully of the East is back and he has most of the world coming with him.  Not a good situation for the Greeks as Arimnestos continues the narrative of his life.  With Leonidas dead, Xerxes has an open road to Athens so most of the population abandon their homes and converge on Salamis to await their doom.  Xerxes has hundreds more ships than what the Greeks can muster, not to mention the size of his ground force.  The Greeks are riven with strife as to how to defeat The Great King or even to survive the onslaught to come.  The author has given us a treat in the manner he portrays the important figures in this drama, the prim and proper Aristides, Cimon, Artemesia, Themistocles, etc, etc.  And being an avid re-enactor, Mr. Cameron knows what it’s like to stand in a shield wall and I suspect that if his group had the funds, they would fit out enough warships to fight the battle at Salamis.  However, we’ll have to make do with the author’s seaworthy, descriptive powers  as he puts on a dazzling display of sea-battle prowess.  Another given is that Arimnestos will have a huge role in that battle but he will also have other things on his mind besides Xerxes.  Masterful story telling awaits you, dear reader.  Hoover Book Reviews says, “Bring on the finale!”  5 Stars

 

 

Wraecca -Sword of Woden II by C.R. May

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The adventures of Beowulf continue.  He is now an exile and finds himself in the land of his enemies while he plans to take revenge on the men who usurped the Geat throne.  A short historical note for the unwashed masses (I was once one of them)…there were many groups/nations/peoples that have come under the term viking….viking was an activity (raiding for instance) that was practiced by Jutes, Danes, Norse, Geats, Swedes…etc etc…  The author does the reader a service in that regard while he brings to life the times and practices of the differing groups.  Beowulf is portrayed as a warrior of great ability; a leader who honors and values his men and his gods.  It has been a treat watching him grow into his position among not only the Geats but with his hosts(I will not say who they are…kind of a spoiler)…  Given that this story is about warriors, there are battles and skirmishes…there are heroic deeds performed…there are visitations form the gods…but most of all there is Beowulf; growing steadily in battle skills and learning how to be an honorable man in a time of deadly uncertainty.  Kudos to C.R. May for his lively and entertaining interpretation of the Beowulf saga.  4.3 stars   Book 3, Monsters, is already on my Kindle.  🙂