Updated: Jan 20
The story follows a young Marcus, the son of a farmer. It begins with he and his father taking a trip to Greece to meet with his uncle, but the journey ends in tragedy. Captured by pirates, his father slain, the event is one that will shape Marcus' life.
He meets his uncle, his soon to be step father, and together they travel back to Italy where Marcus resolves to learn the art of sword play, and take his revenge on his father's murderer. Working for his step father, his life will take him to Tarentum, where he meets Titus Flamininus, the man who will one day defeat Philip of Macedon.
This is no story of war, though there is the odd splash of blood. It is a tale of friendship and love, of relationships and their complexities.
The historical detail is incredible, as a reader you are immersed in the ancient worlds of Rome and Greece. Their different cultures and points of views come to life on the page. That coupled with the superb building of characters, makes this a real absorbing read.
Although very different from the usual 'sword and sandals' book I would normally reach for, I found this compelling and delightful, highly recommend.