The New Achilles by Christian Cameron was published by Orion on 18th April 2019. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to read it so I could share an early review on my blog with you. This is a book where if you settle down and put the effort in you will be rewarded with a great read and learn lots too.
About the book
The book is set in 3rd century BC Greece. There is a power struggle between Macedon and Rome which is threatening to tear Greece apart. I have had a long fascination with this period and wish I had studied Ancient History in an academic way earlier in life. Thank goodness for books like this that can give me a little fix.
The characters and plot
Meet the greatest Greek general you’ve never heard of: Philopoemen. In his day, a leader as skilled and as dangerous as Hannibal: a ferocious fighter, a superb general, and credited as the inventor of modern ‘special operations’. More importantly, he was a brilliant political leader.
He commanded Greek forces at the turn of the third century BC, when mighty Rome, fresh from the destruction of Carthage, and Imperial Macedon, the greatest power of the day, chose Greece as their battlefield. In a world of rival empires, slave-taking cartels, piracy, terrorism and failed states, will Philopoemen be able to hold anything together?
What I thought of The New Achilles
This book is action-packed from the start opening with a pirate attack on a ship. The characters are well described and the historical detail is mind-blowing showing that the author carried out some excellent research. I am fascinated by power struggles throughout the ages and this book has plenty of political intrigue with allegiances changing over time. At a stretch that could remind you of Brexit – we learn a lot from history.
It was good to be reminded of my school studies about Sparta, Macedonia and Egypt.
I loved how when the book got challenging there were notes at the back to help you keep up with things.
What I really loved
It was great to see a man in ancient times considering the rights of women and looking into freeing slaves. This shows that yes you can be a man and care about justice and equality without losing your dignity.
My favourite character was Alexanor who has turned his back on war and become a healer.However, when Philopoemen enters his life, he takes on the role of mentor and trainer.
I also love a book that appeals equally to both myself and my husband meaning we can have some interesting debates once he has finished reading it.
It’s a book that will appeal to people who have previously read about Ancient History but also newbies to the theme as it is very accessible and at core just a really good and action-packed story featuring interesting relationships along the way.
I would like to thank Tracy Fenton for sending me this book for review purposes.