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Hearts of Stone: The Ebook Bestseller

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The fierce courage of the men and women of the Greek Resistance is brought to vivid life in Sunday Times bestseller Simon Scarrow's powerful novel of World War II. 'Gripping... [a] moving narrative of friendships broken by war and betrayal' Sunday Times 1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Eu The fierce courage of the men and women of the Greek Resistance is brought to vivid life in Sunday Times bestseller Simon Scarrow's powerful novel of World War II. 'Gripping... [a] moving narrative of friendships broken by war and betrayal' Sunday Times 1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Europe. Peter, visiting from Germany while his father leads an archaeological dig, has become close friends with locals Andreas and Eleni. As the world slides towards conflict and Peter is forced to leave, they swear to meet again.1943: Andreas and Eleni have joined the partisan forces resisting the German invasion. Peter has returned - now a dangerously well-informed enemy intelligence officer. A friendship formed in peace will turn into a desperate battle between enemies sworn to sacrifice everything for the countries that they love...'Simon Scarrow has done it again: another barnstorming book that speaks not only of the horror of war, but the ultimate heroism and self-sacrifice of those caught up in it. The glory of Simon's books is that they can be read on so many levels: yes, they are thrilling in its truest sense, there are characters we care about deeply and they are under constant threat. But alongside this are the vignettes of a life clearly viewed, the threads of sharp social observation that set his historical thrillers apart from the greater mass.' Manda Scott


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The fierce courage of the men and women of the Greek Resistance is brought to vivid life in Sunday Times bestseller Simon Scarrow's powerful novel of World War II. 'Gripping... [a] moving narrative of friendships broken by war and betrayal' Sunday Times 1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Eu The fierce courage of the men and women of the Greek Resistance is brought to vivid life in Sunday Times bestseller Simon Scarrow's powerful novel of World War II. 'Gripping... [a] moving narrative of friendships broken by war and betrayal' Sunday Times 1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Europe. Peter, visiting from Germany while his father leads an archaeological dig, has become close friends with locals Andreas and Eleni. As the world slides towards conflict and Peter is forced to leave, they swear to meet again.1943: Andreas and Eleni have joined the partisan forces resisting the German invasion. Peter has returned - now a dangerously well-informed enemy intelligence officer. A friendship formed in peace will turn into a desperate battle between enemies sworn to sacrifice everything for the countries that they love...'Simon Scarrow has done it again: another barnstorming book that speaks not only of the horror of war, but the ultimate heroism and self-sacrifice of those caught up in it. The glory of Simon's books is that they can be read on so many levels: yes, they are thrilling in its truest sense, there are characters we care about deeply and they are under constant threat. But alongside this are the vignettes of a life clearly viewed, the threads of sharp social observation that set his historical thrillers apart from the greater mass.' Manda Scott

30 review for Hearts of Stone: The Ebook Bestseller

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cold War Conversations Podcast

    A very moving story of friendship, love and loyalty. Simon Scarrow has produced an exceptional work moving from the present day to the past and back again as Anna a history teacher pieces together the story of her grandmothers life prior and during World War 2 on the Greek island of Lefkas. Anyone who reads my reviews will know that I’m a stickler for accuracy in historical fiction and the author has really done his work here. The submarine and the missions involved in the story are real and one a A very moving story of friendship, love and loyalty. Simon Scarrow has produced an exceptional work moving from the present day to the past and back again as Anna a history teacher pieces together the story of her grandmothers life prior and during World War 2 on the Greek island of Lefkas. Anyone who reads my reviews will know that I’m a stickler for accuracy in historical fiction and the author has really done his work here. The submarine and the missions involved in the story are real and one aspect I particularly liked was the mention of the little known Marlin submachine gun, which was only really used by partisans in occupied Europe. There’s even a brief bibliography of the author’s sources at the back. However, the book is not all about guns and ships, there’s a powerful emotional pull, and as the story unfolds the author creates some very credible characters that you really care about. Some may think some aspects of the book are overlong, but the sum of the parts creates an exciting finale where the pre-war relationships ignite a fierce confrontation as the characters are torn between loyalty to their nation or their friends. If this is good example of Scarrow’s work then I will definitely be looking into his other books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    novel based on one of the greek island in the late 1930's and during the war and also in modern day Uk as a story of friendship. loyalty and of conflict of interests between greeks and germans friends. felt though the ending seemed a bit rushed but overall did enjoy the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ozymandias

    The book starts with one of the most hilariously useless military maps in history. It’s of Greece (blank apart from Athens, Thessaloniki, and Lefkas, the only place you ever visit) with big lines coming from the top indicating the German invasion. Gosh, you mean the Germans didn’t invade from the south? How odd. But apart from that amusing mishap the book’s beginning is very strong. We’re fed the story through a traditional framing device: a modern-day woman is told it by her grandmother, who we The book starts with one of the most hilariously useless military maps in history. It’s of Greece (blank apart from Athens, Thessaloniki, and Lefkas, the only place you ever visit) with big lines coming from the top indicating the German invasion. Gosh, you mean the Germans didn’t invade from the south? How odd. But apart from that amusing mishap the book’s beginning is very strong. We’re fed the story through a traditional framing device: a modern-day woman is told it by her grandmother, who we also see as a younger woman. This sort of frame has been done to death and the book is clever enough to provide a certain amount of urgency to the quest. Dieter Muller is the grandson of Peter Muller, who helped his father excavate the island and later served in the German occupying force. He knows that something was found on that expedition and is writing his PhD thesis on it, for which reason he contacts Anna Thesskoudis whose grandmother Eleni was a local who helped with the excavation and later lived through the war. Anna’s curiosity is piqued, and she views this as an opportunity to learn more about her grandmother. The archaeology stuff is a rather more interesting hook than you usually expect from such a story and it provides a certain sense of mystery about the whole thing. In truth, while the frame was what drew me in it gradually became more of an impediment than a draw. The main plot is carried out through a number of POV characters who could not possibly provide their POV. Most notable are Andreas Katarides and Peter Muller, both of whom we’re told early on are dead yet provide the vast majority of narration. Andreas was the real surprise. He’s really the lead character but I had him pegged at the beginning as a side character who dies early on to provide motivation for the other characters. Eleni herself narrates almost nothing and it hardly feels like her story. In short, the framing device never quite lines up with the questions being asked or answered. The parts of the book set during World War 2 are less bound by such issues and feel far less artificial. I was very impressed at the way we see life on a Greek island before and during the Italian/German occupation. There’s hardly a trace of Greek (or German) in their use of language, but oh my do they sound Greek in their way of viewing the world. Feuds abound but everyone is friendly as the devil otherwise. As our main 1940s lead is a Greek officer he’s somewhat less fractious and more disciplined than the rest. But he’s the obvious exception and everyone treats him as such. About the only bit I felt was off was the lack of religion. Greeks are cocooned in religion. I won’t say they come off as atheistic or anything, but they mention it less than any of my Greek friends. But there’s no getting around the fact that these chapters are rather jagged and provide what feels like a narrow view of life and death on the island. I have yet to read any of Scarrow’s other books, but I believe they’re similar to Bernard Cornwell’s in that they follow a narrowly-focused story over a limited period of time. Scarrow (and Cornwell) seems to struggle with telling a story that includes long passages of time. Each section (and the clunky pacing would have been helped dramatically if the book was divided into sections) follows one story over the course of a few days and often only a few hours. This is why the framing device is necessary to give us an impressionistic update between isolated scenes. I enjoyed aspects of this book and the way it shed light on a little seen theater of World War 2. But I also felt that it often shot itself in the foot with the way it was organized and structured. Framing devices are often awkward, but we can get over that if we’re not constantly reminded of the frame. When your “narrator” gets surprisingly angry at the mere mention of a name and her granddaughter asks why, it feels unnatural to have her then narrate her entire wartime experience without mention of the individual in question. He seriously doesn’t reappear in the narrative until almost the end of the book, which in narrative terms is several WEEKS after the narration has begun. This is a problem given the way the situation is presented. If you can ignore that you’re left with a perfectly serviceable WW2 story in an interesting warzone.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Blodeuedd Finland

    The story is told in the present and in the past. In 1938 three teens meet and enjoy life. Eleni, Andreas and Peter. In the present Anna meets an descendant of Peter who wants to meet her grandmother Eleni. Not something Eleni wants, but instead she tells her story to Anna. Though I must say, it was not really Eleni's story we get, it is Andreas' story. Quite the shame, cos yes his story is good, but Eleni's would have been so different. Ok, back to the past. The war starts. Italians and later Germ The story is told in the present and in the past. In 1938 three teens meet and enjoy life. Eleni, Andreas and Peter. In the present Anna meets an descendant of Peter who wants to meet her grandmother Eleni. Not something Eleni wants, but instead she tells her story to Anna. Though I must say, it was not really Eleni's story we get, it is Andreas' story. Quite the shame, cos yes his story is good, but Eleni's would have been so different. Ok, back to the past. The war starts. Italians and later Germans invade Greece. Andreas goes off to fight. Eleni stays at home, and Peter who knows Greek and the island will later be sent there. They will all meet again. And we all know that wont be pretty. It's war. There is hate. There is struggle. They all want to fight for their country, even if their country is not always making the right choices. But there is more. Peter was on the island with his father who was an archaeologist. And later Germans come back to find that which was not found, or was it? And to take it. I do not think I have read a book set in Greece during WWII before. I liked the mix of war and the hunt for that which was hidden. It was also sad to see how the anger still lingered on. Still, more of Elenis' story would have been nice, but that would have made the book too big. Not to mention to see how Peter fared before he came there.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I really enjoyed this story, easy to follow and read even the unfamiliar names that are strange to the english language. It brings to your attention that other than your own country being involved with the atrocities of war, other countries suffered too, just as much in their corner of the world. Definitely one to be recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rob Twinem

    A superior second world war book based around the Greek resistance on the idyllic  Ionian island of Lefkas. It is a story about love, friendship, war, and treachery and brilliantly portrays how the Nazi regime attempted to subjugate all those who opposed it's so called Reich doctrine. I enjoyed the authors style of storytelling by introducing us to an aged Eleni Thesskoudis and through her eyes revealing the courage and sacrifice of the Greek resistance as first the Italians and then the German A superior second world war book based around the Greek resistance on the idyllic  Ionian island of Lefkas. It is a story about love, friendship, war, and treachery and brilliantly portrays how the Nazi regime attempted to subjugate all those who opposed it's so called Reich doctrine. I enjoyed the authors style of storytelling by introducing us to an aged Eleni Thesskoudis and through her eyes revealing the courage and sacrifice of the Greek resistance as first the Italians and then the Germans attempted to crush all opposition to its vision of a new world order..."Perhaps war was the real face of humanity, and peace was little more than a pretence of what human nature could be."...."They were lying in wait to slaughter their enemy, or be killed in turn. Against that reality what did their feelings matter? Feelings had no place in this setting, this moment." This is the second Simon Scarrow book I have recently read and it certainly does not disappoint.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andy Wormald

    I absolutely loved this book from the first to the past page, and that is down to the writers style, the story is well crafted and flows at a pace to keep the pages turning, set at the outbreak of world war 2, which see 3 friends torn apart by the conflict only to be reunited on opposite sides, a story of friendship and passion told from different perspectives, set in the present day and in the past, beautifully crafted into a mesmerising story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    A very entertaining page-turner with a good mix of wartime exploits and emotional involvement with the main characters. A slightly unusual setting on the Greek island of Lefkas gives it an added sense of transforming a typical WW2 novel into something informative and new. There are also a couple of back stories, one about an archaeological dig on the island and the other set in contemporary Britain with the descendants of the characters from the 1940s.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dolf Patijn

    A nicely written and also nicely paced, engaging historical novel that moves from present day London to Greece in the Second World War and back.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Hearts of Stone By Simon Scarrow  Beautiful. Simply Beautiful.  Whenever I pick up any book based on war, it is me wanting my conscious self to have a realisation of what has happened in the world, what has been happening in the world, and what could still happen in this world. How the war changes things, changes people, changes your priorities.  And this book did not disappoint me regarding that at all.  The war based books which I've read so far, the setting was either in France or Russia or Poland Hearts of Stone By Simon Scarrow  Beautiful. Simply Beautiful.  Whenever I pick up any book based on war, it is me wanting my conscious self to have a realisation of what has happened in the world, what has been happening in the world, and what could still happen in this world. How the war changes things, changes people, changes your priorities.  And this book did not disappoint me regarding that at all.  The war based books which I've read so far, the setting was either in France or Russia or Poland or Germany. And the brutal, horrifying things which occurred were pretty much the same. But the Greece's account in this book was a new insight to my existing knowledge. A complete new picture of how this war was dealt with. The fights in the hills, near the cliff, and amazing account of the submarine battle under the water, was beautifully described. Though I am not sure if I should be using that adjective, but I want to convey how I really lived through it all while reading.  So three friends, from two different countries, separate while vowing they'd meet each other again. But the fate had something different in mind for them. The bitter irony is that they do meet, although not as friends, but as enemies. And so much had changed since then. Even before the war Andreas Katarides was devoted to do something for the country. Fight, live and die for the country. When the war started, Eleini Thesskoudis joins in the resistance for the same cause, fight and live to see your country free.  Their patriotism was commendable, but Peter Muller's was not. I'll be brutally honest here, I do not understand how can you support your own country, when your sensible brain cells can clearly detect whatever your country is doing, is wrong.  They are invading other's land. Stealing from them, starving them, killing them. Heck, filtered out an entire race and put them in camps to eventually put them to their death.  So, just, how and why do you want to support them? For what? The least you could do is let your own country's people realize this and inturn help them raise awareness, so that something can be done about it. So that your country improves. Prevents it from being the bad guy. And that's exactly what Dr Miller did, or tried doing before he was executed for being a " traitor ". But Peter never knew until it was too late. And, (if any Peter fans are reading this, they can stop reading the review right here and now), Peter is pathetic.  Yes, you heard me, pathetic.  He meets Eleini's parents, Inspector and Rosa Thesskoudis. Them despite knowing Peter is an enemy now, belongs to a country which is giving them a very hard time, they give him a warm welcome, ask him how he is, as they used to do when they were still friends. And while doing that, they also let him realise they cannot meet him like this anymore, as they serve their country as much as he does, and wouldn't wanna be called as a traitor by calling him inside, and politely ask him to leave.  How does he react?  " Eleini wouldn't have wanted me be treated this way "  " GrEeKs ArE sO pRoUd "  Those were not the exact lines, it's almost close to it. Anyway,  the point is, from that moment Peter lost whatever respect I had for him. Not only did he seem to me as some sort of Jingoistic being, but also an insensitive human.  Although, yes, I agree he couldn't shake off the image of the boy getting shot by the heinous person Heinrich Steiner, but he also didn't bat an eye when Eleini's parents were being executed in broad daylight. He simply looked on. Would he have watched in the same manner if Eleini were in their place? Would he?  And regarding her parent's execution, I cannot imagine what Eleini had to go through that moment. While reading I was wondering what all could have happened with the options Eleini had: > Stay in the cave and never surrender, be a devoted resistance fighter and make this decision for the greater good > Surrender, while maybe poisoning yourself so that you don't give anything away  > Surrender, let them break you until you die > Surrender, let them break you, until you actually compromise the resistance bands and then die In any of these cases, it was sure that neither Eleini nor her parents would have survived this. It was Eleini's call to make when she was in that square, to give herself away or not. And she almost did, had Andreas not prevented her from doing so. And this would never have happened, had Heinrich not been the commanding officer for them that time.  And one thing I've noticed in this book is, the very topic Simon started the book with, that same topic was used to end the trio's story for us.  Deiter Muller, grandson of Peter, meets Anna Thesskoudis, grand daughter of Eleini, as he wants to uncover the cave which Dr Muller discovered all those years ago. The cave which could have the tomb of Odysseus in its possession.  And the very same place ended up being the resting place of Andreas. The place where the trio meet, as they had vowed to do so, and they part for the last ever time.  It was heartbreaking in a poetic way.  Also, (Peter's fans AND history lovers can stop reading at this point - you've been warned!), I will never understand the obsession with the tomb of Odysseus in a middle of war, and post that for that matter.  I agree it is ancient. I agree they just uncovered something which was alive 30k years ago.  I agree with this people will come all over the world to look at its civilisation and all that. I very much agree.  But, which people are you talking about? The same ones who are being slaughtered in this war as you speak?  People are being starved, killed, tortured and you are here caring about protecting the tomb of Odysseus? Yes, I'm referring to Peter here, as Heinrich was anyway a lost case.  One moment he plans to conceal the cave forever if found, so that Heinrich doesn't gets his hand on it.  And another moment he's reasoning with his dying childhood friend for not blowing up the cave because then tHe AnCiEnT CiViLiSaTiOn WiLl bE lOsT.  After carrying Eleini to a safe place, I wasn't expecting him to return for Andreas anyway. But when Andreas did blow up to the cave, what is Peter most disappointed for? Not for his dead friend but losing the tomb of a person who has been dead thousands of year ago.  You're freakingly impossible, Peter!  And from this even Deiter was no better. Anna here is trying to tell him she wouldn't allow him to take Eleini back to Greece to point out the location of cave, because that's the resting place of Andreas and it shouldn't be wise to disturb it, AT LEAST when Eleini is alive. And how does he respond?  "You are being sentimental Anna"  No doubt Peter's blood runs in his veins.  If Eleini wanted, in all these years she could have easily took some people to that place, asked them to dig the site, so that they can have their precious tomb of odysseus, and she can give Andreas's remains a proper burial. But did she do that? In all the years that she lived even after war, did she do that? No!  So how wise will it be to ask a frail old women to come along and point to that very place where she lost everything?  Be a little empathetic, Deiter. Prove you aren't like your grandfather.  At the end of the book, I almost skipped reading the author's notes, but then gave a second thought. I'm glad I did.  Simon Scarrow tells how exactly he got the ideas to write this book. How he justified WWII based books come under historical fiction, unlike how people claim otherwise.  He tells how he deliberately made the story such that Anna, in her present,  learns the events of her grandmother's horrifying past. Anna used to see her grandmother as a frail, weak and old woman, but on learning her past, she sees how behind this old woman, there once lived a vibrant, energetic young woman, who fought for her country by risking her life at many points in her life. This makes the younger generation realise what the older generation went through.  And that is what history is for, as Simon himself explained to his students and made Anna explain to her students as well, history might not fetch you a great job (trust me, I disliked this subject in my school too), but it is very much necessary to learn whatever happened in the past, so that you don't ever repeat the mistakes of the past in your future.  This point is something to take home.  One of my favourite quotes in this book: Age withered all people, and perhaps recorded history was the saving grace of those who became old. A reminder that they too were once young and vibrant and making their mark on the world around them.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Simon Scarrow brings to life the horrors of World War II in his latest novel Hearts of Stone. In 2013, Anna Thesskoudiss, a history teacher is contacted by a German research student, Dieter Muller who is interested in talking to her grandmother Eleni. He explains that he is the grandson of Peter Muller who was friends with her grandmother whilst staying on the Greek island of Lefkas until the war made them enemies. Dieter Muller’s introd I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Simon Scarrow brings to life the horrors of World War II in his latest novel Hearts of Stone. In 2013, Anna Thesskoudiss, a history teacher is contacted by a German research student, Dieter Muller who is interested in talking to her grandmother Eleni. He explains that he is the grandson of Peter Muller who was friends with her grandmother whilst staying on the Greek island of Lefkas until the war made them enemies. Dieter Muller’s introduction implies that the story is going to be about the relationship between Eleni and Peter, which gets destroyed when Peter returns to the island as an enemy intelligence officer. The blurb for Hearts of Stone also implies this. However, the majority of the book focuses on their friend Andreas’ experience of the Navy and his role in the resistance. Scarrow goes into detail of every dangerous situation Andreas finds himself in, but this is not what the reader was expecting to learn about. Eventually the final chapters turn to Peter’s role in the war and the reason Eleni and he could no longer consider themselves friends. Despite being full of action and war horrors, it gets a little boring reading about Andreas’ life. Although this narrative leads to what happens with Peter, it occasionally felt unnecessary, as it was the final stages that appeared to be the most important. From an historical point of view it is refreshing to read a war story that is not focused on either Britain or Germany. Hearts of Stone reveals how Greece was affected even though they were not one of the main fighting bodies. It is shocking how many innocent people were killed purely for the Nazi’s to invoke fear in the hopes the natives would submit to their rule. Hopefully the vast amount of mistakes and grammatical errors would have been corrected before the final – I read an uncorrected proof – publication. Admittedly Hearts of Stone was a bit of a disappointment as it was not exactly what it appeared to be. However it has educational value as well as entertainment for readers who enjoy war stories. Scarrow has also included maps of the Greek island of Lefkas and the Mediterranean during WWII as well as a character list to benefit readers as they take in the story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Clemens Schoonderwoert

    This stand alone novel by Simon Scarrow is a great novel about the Greek Resistance on the Island of Lefkas in Greece during WW II as well as its aftermath that's situated years later in England. The storytelling of this tale is absolutely wonderful and all the characters come really vividly to life, because of the feelings and emotions of the people involved, which are love as well as hate and forgiveness as well as unforgiveness, are incredibly well pictured within this historical story. The mai This stand alone novel by Simon Scarrow is a great novel about the Greek Resistance on the Island of Lefkas in Greece during WW II as well as its aftermath that's situated years later in England. The storytelling of this tale is absolutely wonderful and all the characters come really vividly to life, because of the feelings and emotions of the people involved, which are love as well as hate and forgiveness as well as unforgiveness, are incredibly well pictured within this historical story. The main characters between 1938 and 1943 are Peter Muller, son of Dr Karl Muller, who's head of an archaeological group on Lefkas, and two local children Andreas Katarides and Eleni Thesskoudis. In 1938 they form a close friendship until Peter is forced to go home due to political conflicts in Europe that will eventually lead to the further outbreak of WW II. But in 1943 this friendship has turned into a bitter hateful battle between the Greek Partisans Resistance, which include Andreas and Eleni, and the German occupier with Peter in their midst as a German intelligence officer. The eventual outcome of this War and the casualties that will fall within the Resistance movement on Lefkas will leave a permanent scar on the lives of the people involved, especially so on Eleni Thesskoudis. This story tells us exactly where there have been love and friendship once, these can turn into hatred due to circumstances beyond our control, and that hatred will turn into a believe of never forgive and forget, iow into Hearts of Stone. Really recommended, for Hearts of Stone deserves "Words of Praise"!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    2 and a half really. A second world war story set in occupied Greece, with a short bit of present day narration picking up with one of the characters and her granddaughter. I think the latter was to give Scarrow that rarest of opportunities with the sort of military historical fiction he writes, to have some of those actual women things in the book as actual real characters! The adventure story clips along nicely from pre-war And thankfully the silly 'what ancient treasure could the archeologists 2 and a half really. A second world war story set in occupied Greece, with a short bit of present day narration picking up with one of the characters and her granddaughter. I think the latter was to give Scarrow that rarest of opportunities with the sort of military historical fiction he writes, to have some of those actual women things in the book as actual real characters! The adventure story clips along nicely from pre-war And thankfully the silly 'what ancient treasure could the archeologists have found?" plot line that seems to be building at the beginning is kept minimal (I've gone right off those type of books after a glut a few years ago) - indeed practically forgotten. The multi narrative is good, and as you'd expect, the fighting and actions scenes are particularly good. But one of the reasons I don't read much WW2 fiction is the reality was usually far more fascinating - as a brief cameo by Patrick Leigh Fermour, he of "Ill met by midnight" highlighted. I was hoping he'd have more of a role, but he doesn't - and that was even more the boys own derring do stuff. While it's unlikely to be accused of being literature, it's not meant to be, it's a bit of beach reading, and you can while away easy hours rattling through this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bev Taylor

    friendship and betrayal - either at their best or worst, during a war set on lefkas just prior to WW!!, a german professor is working on an archeological dig with his son, peter, and some locals, including andreas and eleni. a friendship developing into more. also has the professor discovered some great treasure nearby? then in 1942 the war comes to lefkas. andreas and eleni join the resistance whilst peter has returned as an enemy intelligence officer told from the war years and present day by friendship and betrayal - either at their best or worst, during a war set on lefkas just prior to WW!!, a german professor is working on an archeological dig with his son, peter, and some locals, including andreas and eleni. a friendship developing into more. also has the professor discovered some great treasure nearby? then in 1942 the war comes to lefkas. andreas and eleni join the resistance whilst peter has returned as an enemy intelligence officer told from the war years and present day by one of eleni's ancestors, this will grip u. scarrow has certainly done his homework just one question - did the go ahead and try and excavate the tomb? note to author - u should shoot the proof reader. full of gramatical and spelling errors bev

  15. 5 out of 5

    Georgina Moon

    I bought this book as it is about the Greek island of Lefkas, which I know well. It is a good story, and I could relate to the characters, although I didn't particularly like the style of writing. The story was believable, and I enjoyed the descriptions of some of the places I have visited on the island. It was a good mix between historical facts of events that happened during the war, and a fictional story about the search for archaeological treasure. I liked how it jumped back and forward over I bought this book as it is about the Greek island of Lefkas, which I know well. It is a good story, and I could relate to the characters, although I didn't particularly like the style of writing. The story was believable, and I enjoyed the descriptions of some of the places I have visited on the island. It was a good mix between historical facts of events that happened during the war, and a fictional story about the search for archaeological treasure. I liked how it jumped back and forward over two time periods.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gillian Ashton

    The story of a history teacher who by chance comes accriss her grans past. Its a tale of friendship,love and loss through the second world war,focusing on the Greek islands. Its a poignant and moving tale,well researched and it makes me feel there's possibly a real life story hidden within this novel. It transports you back in time,I was able to feel.like I was on the island with the friends, I loved the different views and personalities of the characters. A well written novel.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    brilliant! this was another of my quick choice books when i went to my local library. i dont recall having read any of Simon Scarrow before. As always, i do like books that shift in between different time frames and this one was a really good story

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda Franklin

    What an amazing book! I have been to Lefkada and through Simon Scarrow's superb story telling I can now imagine the horrors of living on this island during Word War II. The characters were brilliant and I loved, (or hated), every single one of them! A brilliant read......

  19. 5 out of 5

    Phil Hodgkiss

    Simon Scarrow at his best - WWII rather than Roman Empire this time - great holiday read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Easy read - great book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    extremely well written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Donald

    Brilliant read

  23. 5 out of 5

    Richard West

    Only 3 stars?!?! It would have gotten more, but the book was rife with typographical errors, such as words repeated, or left out altogether - was it ever proofread? Simon Scarrow who is better known for writing about the ancient Roman Empire jumps ahead a couple of thousand years for this World War II novel set on the Greek island of Lefkas. Since it is a war novel, people die, including characters you've grown to like. However, it is also - in some respects - a romance novel without it being so Only 3 stars?!?! It would have gotten more, but the book was rife with typographical errors, such as words repeated, or left out altogether - was it ever proofread? Simon Scarrow who is better known for writing about the ancient Roman Empire jumps ahead a couple of thousand years for this World War II novel set on the Greek island of Lefkas. Since it is a war novel, people die, including characters you've grown to like. However, it is also - in some respects - a romance novel without it being something that is aimed at a largely female audience. And since it is set in wartime, the romance doesn't always work out. It is also about friendship and the friendship between several of the Greek islanders and the son of a German archeologist. Since it's a war novel, you know the German youth will eventually wind up serving in the German army during World War II. And, you don't have to be a genius to figure out the three young people will come together again during the war, two of them as members of the Greek resistance and the young German in uniform. Jumping back and forth between contemporary times where one of the young people, now in their 90's, is telling the story and the war timeline could be confusing, but it surprisingly flows well. Since the early part of the story concerned a German archeological dig, something was discovered and then hidden and because he had been there, the young German (now a Nazi officer) is sent to Lefkas to find the hidden treasure. Fairly simple story line if you stop and think about it, but it moves along well and keeps the reader interested. If you're a fan of Scarrow and are waiting for the next Roman adventure and haven't read this yet (it came out in 2015), you can probably pick up a copy at a closeout price on a book website (I found mine at BookDepository.com so it's the British edition where trucks are called "lorries" and so on). Interesting read and it does give you pause to wonder, what would have happened if.....?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adam Lofthouse

    I felt a little let down by this book, if I am being honest. I am a huge Scarrow fan, his early books were a massive influence on me and are one of the reasons I went on to be a writer. I love his Macro and Cato books, but my favourite books of his are the ones when he has a break from Rome and steps away. The quartet on Napoleon/Wellington was a masterpiece, as was the stand alone Sword and Scimitar. This, I found to be quite slow. The story is incredible, set in Greece both pre and during WWII I felt a little let down by this book, if I am being honest. I am a huge Scarrow fan, his early books were a massive influence on me and are one of the reasons I went on to be a writer. I love his Macro and Cato books, but my favourite books of his are the ones when he has a break from Rome and steps away. The quartet on Napoleon/Wellington was a masterpiece, as was the stand alone Sword and Scimitar. This, I found to be quite slow. The story is incredible, set in Greece both pre and during WWII, the atrocities those poor people had to live though are disgusting and Simon really paints a vivid picture. I just found the plot moves very slowly at times, pages and pages with nothing much happening, and then a burst of action or a huge plot development, once more followed by nothing much. It just felt to me it could have been condensed, given a good trim, and it would romp along and would have kept me reading to the small hours. As it is, it's a good book, telling a story that deserves to be read. Just not quite up to the standard one has come to expect from such a brilliant author

  25. 5 out of 5

    Declan Waters

    Simon Scarrow delves into the world of the Greek resistance in this stand alone novel. Better known for his Roman Legionairres, Scarrow uses a modern story of a young woman talking with her grandmother about the war, and a wish to know more about the era. This follows the story of three friends from just before the outbrake of WWII to 1943. As the entry into the world is via the story of her Grandmother - Eleni - it would have been good to have the story more about her, but Scarrow choses to set Simon Scarrow delves into the world of the Greek resistance in this stand alone novel. Better known for his Roman Legionairres, Scarrow uses a modern story of a young woman talking with her grandmother about the war, and a wish to know more about the era. This follows the story of three friends from just before the outbrake of WWII to 1943. As the entry into the world is via the story of her Grandmother - Eleni - it would have been good to have the story more about her, but Scarrow choses to set most of the novel around the action of Andreas (Greek) and Peter (German) and thei interactions and conflicts in the war. Well written as one would expect from Scarrow and an interesting view of a reasonably recent piece of history... and one that has ramifications today in the two countries relationships with each other.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anita Dow

    A very readable story set on a Greek island during the German occupation of WW2 featuring Greek resistance groups. Three teenagers who are friends before the war (two islanders and one German) find that life is no longer straightforward and hard choices have to be made as they become adults and war breaks out. Entwined with the archaeological remains of what could be the tomb of the ancient Greek hero Odysseus, the story also links to the present day and the living descendants of those teenagers A very readable story set on a Greek island during the German occupation of WW2 featuring Greek resistance groups. Three teenagers who are friends before the war (two islanders and one German) find that life is no longer straightforward and hard choices have to be made as they become adults and war breaks out. Entwined with the archaeological remains of what could be the tomb of the ancient Greek hero Odysseus, the story also links to the present day and the living descendants of those teenagers. There is some swearing - relevant to the story, and particularly by soldiers and resistance fighters.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Larry Epp

    Pre WW2 Greek teenagers Andreas and Eleni become friends with German Peter Muller, son of archeologist looking for Odysseus' grave. Mullers recalled home for war. Andreas and Eleni become leaders against first Italians, then Germans. Peter posted to Lefkas since knows Greek and area. Obvious conflict. Mixed in -- present day Dieter exploring grandfather Peter's story comes across Eleni's granddaughter teaching in Norwich, England. Interesting bits of WW2 history in Mediterranean I didn't know. L Pre WW2 Greek teenagers Andreas and Eleni become friends with German Peter Muller, son of archeologist looking for Odysseus' grave. Mullers recalled home for war. Andreas and Eleni become leaders against first Italians, then Germans. Peter posted to Lefkas since knows Greek and area. Obvious conflict. Mixed in -- present day Dieter exploring grandfather Peter's story comes across Eleni's granddaughter teaching in Norwich, England. Interesting bits of WW2 history in Mediterranean I didn't know. Love story kind of echo of story in Lefkas. Story of how friend becomes enemy through no fault and how that continues through years.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Set on the Greek island of Lefkas before and during world war II, this is the story of a friendship that is destroyed by war. It is also a story of the Greek resistance and the Italian and German invasion of Greece during that conflict. This is an enjoyable read with a good story line. But the story is a bit predictable. It isn't anywhere near as good as Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin. If you want to read a good book set in the Greek islands during World War II I'd recommend that Set on the Greek island of Lefkas before and during world war II, this is the story of a friendship that is destroyed by war. It is also a story of the Greek resistance and the Italian and German invasion of Greece during that conflict. This is an enjoyable read with a good story line. But the story is a bit predictable. It isn't anywhere near as good as Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin. If you want to read a good book set in the Greek islands during World War II I'd recommend that one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren White

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this, brilliant story about a part of the Second World War largely unexplored by authors. The only flaw is the slight lack of development of characters. The three protagonists are meant to be the best of friends, but then turn immediately to enemies, with Peter apparently the only one who cares about this. I’m glad the love triangle didn’t get too tricky but it would be nice if Andreas and Eleni cared about their friend just a little bit. I didn’t shed any tears and I feel like I ought t I loved this, brilliant story about a part of the Second World War largely unexplored by authors. The only flaw is the slight lack of development of characters. The three protagonists are meant to be the best of friends, but then turn immediately to enemies, with Peter apparently the only one who cares about this. I’m glad the love triangle didn’t get too tricky but it would be nice if Andreas and Eleni cared about their friend just a little bit. I didn’t shed any tears and I feel like I ought to have.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    An excellent read from a brilliant author who is also a history teacher. Simon Scarrow's tale highlights the resistance of the Greeks during the 2nd World War. I couldn't agree more with Manda Scott's review on the back of the book's jacket which states: "What an amazing roller-coaster of a ride... Draws in threads from the ancient Greece of Homer and the Odyssey, and weaves them seamlessly with the present day and a corner of the War in Europe that is hardly ever touched upon."

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