An informed Hellenic archaeologist from Cyprus has enjoyed Sword of Marathon. Despite a slight reserve at some of the more what you might call ‘primeval’ scenes, he’s still given it a decent rating. Here’s his review:
Jack has written an imaginative, fantasy tale with some interesting theories relating to historical events as we understand them.
The story is based on the historical background and enlivens the period pretty well. One can forgive the warped timeline which puts Norsemen, Archaic and Classical Greeks and Roman artifacts co-existing in this area at the same time -for the sake of a good yarn. Myths have been woven into the yarn (pardon the attempted joke), but I was glad to see that Jack had not fallen for the old chestnut which has Pheidippedes running from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory and dropping dead – although he does put tongue in cheek to have some other messenger do it elsewhere. (Pheidippedes, in fact, did more than a marathon (24 miles) – he ran 130 miles from Athens to Sparta with an urgent message in 24 hours – and then ran back with the answer. It was the Athenian army as a body which ran from Marathon back to Athens – as the author so rightly relates it.)
It is an intriguing novel. I look forward to Jack’s interpretation of Thermopylae and Plataea, but a little less medical detail and titillation would suit my personal taste, much as other readers might enjoy them.
G.F.H., Archaeologist, Cyprus
Thank you, G.F.H., for your tolerance at my inner psyche’s outer abandon! 🙂