My third novel by Steven Pressfield on this tour of Ancient Greece through Historical Fiction, Tides of War takes place well after the events of The Last Amazon and Gates of Fire, but as with those previous novels, gets deep into the world of Ancient Greece and gives the reader a rare taste of the values and thoughts in world.
Taking place during the Peloponnesian War, Tides of War follows Alcibiades, the nephew of Pericles and one of the greatest generals of the Ancient World. The story is told through two layers; our narrator is interviewing the man responsible for Alcibiades death, who in turn is narrating his life alongside the general over this many campaigns.
What I found most interesting about the story was how little I knew about the general going in; when I've read previous works about Theseus or Sappho or Leonidas, I was at least a little familiar with their lives (Minotaur, Poetress, Spartan King), so when I started reading about a general who switched sides from Athenian to Spartan and even to Persian, I was quite surprised by just how unfamiliar I was with the historical figure. It did lead me to more than a couple quick stops at wikipedia to get a better grasp on the character, but as these books often do, I found it was well worth the distraction.
An intriguing introduction to the Peloponnesian War, and one that leaves me looking forward to the next book off of the list, Isle of Stone by Nicholas Nicastro, with more than a little excitement.
1 month ago