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Marathon: Freedom or Death

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The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC was one of history's great turning points - the first time the Greeks managed to defeat the Persians in a pitched battle, it enabled the rise of classical Greek civilization. Christian Cameron's retelling of the battle will bring it alive, with all of its human drama and tragedy, as never before. The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC was one of history's great turning points - the first time the Greeks managed to defeat the Persians in a pitched battle, it enabled the rise of classical Greek civilization. Christian Cameron's retelling of the battle will bring it alive, with all of its human drama and tragedy, as never before.


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The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC was one of history's great turning points - the first time the Greeks managed to defeat the Persians in a pitched battle, it enabled the rise of classical Greek civilization. Christian Cameron's retelling of the battle will bring it alive, with all of its human drama and tragedy, as never before. The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC was one of history's great turning points - the first time the Greeks managed to defeat the Persians in a pitched battle, it enabled the rise of classical Greek civilization. Christian Cameron's retelling of the battle will bring it alive, with all of its human drama and tragedy, as never before.

30 review for Marathon: Freedom or Death

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Arimnestos relates his part in the Battle of Marathon and it is quite a story! As with the previous book in the series, this is simply a father telling his daughter the story of his life as she records it. Unlike the first book, this installment concentrates on the Battle of Marathon. It does start out slow and I had to push through that. There are also a few places where the pacing slows and again I found myself having to push through. But these slow points are well worth the read. There a Arimnestos relates his part in the Battle of Marathon and it is quite a story! As with the previous book in the series, this is simply a father telling his daughter the story of his life as she records it. Unlike the first book, this installment concentrates on the Battle of Marathon. It does start out slow and I had to push through that. There are also a few places where the pacing slows and again I found myself having to push through. But these slow points are well worth the read. There are points in the book where I found myself holding my breathing and reading as fast as I could just to find out what happens next. At other times, I would weep for fallen friends that I'd become attached to from not just this book but the previous one too. Or feel my body get that rush of adrenalin from a particularly great battle. Even though it's just a father telling his daughter about Marathon, the writing draws you in and you forget that. The author really paints a detailed picture of what it would be like to live in ancient Greece. What it would be like to stand with a group of men in a phalanx and feel the terror when you're charged by Persian Calvary. Although I didn't find myself dying to get back to the book to read more it was still worth the read and I am looking forward to more of the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Matt

    At first I was disappointed in the book. It was slower to build than the prior volume, Killer of Men, but at its end, wow, what a great read. It's strange. With historical fiction, you know the outcome, but Christian Cameron brought the battle of Marathon to life. Between the action of the battle itself and the personal dramas surrounding Arimnestos I was on the edge of my seat. Great read. I highly recommend. Dropping to four stars after some reflection. At first I was disappointed in the book. It was slower to build than the prior volume, Killer of Men, but at its end, wow, what a great read. It's strange. With historical fiction, you know the outcome, but Christian Cameron brought the battle of Marathon to life. Between the action of the battle itself and the personal dramas surrounding Arimnestos I was on the edge of my seat. Great read. I highly recommend. Dropping to four stars after some reflection.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Freakout

    ... nothing to see here ... just another five star read from Christian Cameron ...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    A good 4.25 stars overall, if it wasn't for the slow start & the rehash of some parts of the first tale it would be a clear 5 as it finishes in a right rush! As I say..... a slow start.... slow as in our hero revists a lot of characters & places from Killer of Men, some I get, others its almost like he's namedropping them in, jus in case we've forgotten about them & in truth its almost like hes searching for the story or perhaps hes just (in a way) tying up some unloose ends from Killer Of Men... A good 4.25 stars overall, if it wasn't for the slow start & the rehash of some parts of the first tale it would be a clear 5 as it finishes in a right rush! As I say..... a slow start.... slow as in our hero revists a lot of characters & places from Killer of Men, some I get, others its almost like he's namedropping them in, jus in case we've forgotten about them & in truth its almost like hes searching for the story or perhaps hes just (in a way) tying up some unloose ends from Killer Of Men.... either ways I have to mention it BUT dont let it put you off as the remaining 2/3rd's of the book rank very highly & push us towards that top rating. It all kicks on with the formation of the Greek Army & mass for battle at Lade.... A Sea Battle against the Persian fleet & there's.... you know it.... Pirates Arrrrrr.... things go, well, they say... never trust a Greek baring gifts & it would seem they lacked much trust in each other as the battle unfolds which I'll leave to you readers. The story is fast paced from here on & involves Greek Democracy (as it was), politics of marriage/alliances, Seige busting, Skirmishes with other Greek states, war with Persia..... all culminating in the Battle of Marathon which is worth reading alone I tell you. The Battle scenes follow our hero & our excellant in terms of tactics & strategy as well as the sense of being involved in the front rank of a phalanx. All in all very enjoyable & a series I will be sticking with.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ned Lud

    Note: During reading this masterpiece of war and love I frequently became dizzy. It was only at the end that I realized I had been holding my breath. Yea, that good!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Interesting concept of Greco-Persian War, following history as far as possible in the decisive Battle on the Marathon Plain and immediate aftermath. Not really outstanding, but a rousing action/adventure as told by the protagonist, Arimnestos of Plataea, as an old man, looking back 40 years or more, as told to a group: his family?Household? Other Plataeans? He doesn't just reminisce and dwell on his triumphs; we see interaction with his audience--at least his remarks are given, odd as some of th Interesting concept of Greco-Persian War, following history as far as possible in the decisive Battle on the Marathon Plain and immediate aftermath. Not really outstanding, but a rousing action/adventure as told by the protagonist, Arimnestos of Plataea, as an old man, looking back 40 years or more, as told to a group: his family?Household? Other Plataeans? He doesn't just reminisce and dwell on his triumphs; we see interaction with his audience--at least his remarks are given, odd as some of them are.... The novel opens with a recap of events in vol. 1: "the first nights of [his] rambling story". I appreciated this as I had not read it, but I can see where others who are following the series in order, were probably bored. Then this novel plunges into nonstop action. Marathon was only a few pages toward the end; this title seemed like a ploy to sell more books, but we are led up to the final conflict although it took a long time to get there. Miltiades, a pirate, is introduced early on and assumes importance. Other famous names from antiquity such as Aristides and the playwright Aeschylus, fight in the war. In the first part of the story, Arimnestos grows as a more experienced fighter: at Lade and Miletus and in Part II, becomes a very effective leader of his Plataean contingent at Marathon and in the last skirmish in the olive grove, factors into the Greek success. I enjoyed the sea warfare. Arimnestos for much for the book seemed too full of himself and I didn't like him much. But he began to change after his apology to someone; he became more engaging. He even begins to admit he has made some mistakes. The other characters seemed two-dimensional. Author's style is rather casual and flippant at times; it left me cold. I don't know whether the other books in the series are the same--if Arimnestos tells his story to a group as in this book, I'd imagine so. The thing that lowered my rating was the author's concept of Arimnestos.

  7. 4 out of 5

    S.J.A. Turney

    How does a writer possibly follow the scale and originality of a book like Killer of Men? Well, follow me through this review, and I’ll explain how. The first book of the Long War told of how Arimnestos became a Killer of Men. Through hard labour, unexpected fights, slavery, piracy and brutal war, the young Plataean became a great hero and killer whose name alone made Greeks and Persians quake. But while those events changed Arimnestos the man, they did not change his path. For at the end of them How does a writer possibly follow the scale and originality of a book like Killer of Men? Well, follow me through this review, and I’ll explain how. The first book of the Long War told of how Arimnestos became a Killer of Men. Through hard labour, unexpected fights, slavery, piracy and brutal war, the young Plataean became a great hero and killer whose name alone made Greeks and Persians quake. But while those events changed Arimnestos the man, they did not change his path. For at the end of them, he returned to his home and to his forge, gave up all the trappings of heroism and war and became a simple blacksmith once more. Marathon, while a continuation of the tale, is a whole different story. Marathon is the story of how events changed the life and the path of Arimnestos of Plataea. Our hero has settled in his ancient home. He is a man of name and property. His former comrades live and work nearby, but they still itch for war and glory. Not so, Arimnestos. He is content. But events will never conspire to leave him in peace. No. Soon, our friend finds himself heading to Athens, where he is dragged into legal difficulties and heads out to secure the forgiveness of Gods to clear himself of any shame or impropriety. And so begins his next stage of the Long War. Rushing hither and thither in ships, saving cities, fighting hopeless sea battles, making new friends and re-acquainting himself with old enemies, Arimnestos soon leaves behind the life of a quiet smith and becomes the great Miltiades’ favourite war dog once more. But things are about to change. For what started as the Ionian revolt in the previous book is about to explode. As the Great King of Persia’s most vicious satrap begins to move against Greece to chastise them for their involvement, the Greeks find themselves hard pressed and pushed back. A survivor of one of the worst disasters of the war, Arimnestos returns home only to find old enemies still at work there. He is wed and tries once more to carve out a life in Plataea, but the world will not let him rest. Athens is under threat, and Plataea owes Athens its support. Elected as the military leader for Plataea, Arimnestos joins old friends and new (and even a few enemies) in a great bid to defy Persia – the greatest single power in the world. Persia is coming for Athens. And the focus of their meeting point will be the fields of Marathon. What happens in this book will finally make it clear to Arimnestos that he can no more settle into life as a village smith than a duck could hunt an eagle. War is in his blood and the troubles of the world will leave him with nothing but the need to exercise his great abilities. Enough of ruining the plot for you. There is a terrible danger for any writer in tackling a famous battle. I’ve done it myself with Alesia. Ben Kane has done so time and again in his works. Few people can do a great battle justice. And let’s face it, Marathon is one of the greats. In fact, I’d bet money that if any layperson in the street were asked to name a Greek battle, the few who could would name Marathon. And while this story is about far more than Marathon, that great battle is the climax. And it is treated in a MASTERFUL way. Cameron has hit the sweet spot in this series where he can carry in his story the hubris, glory and almost mythical bravery of ancient Greek warfare. There are elements of the Iliad in here, it is that authentic. But despite that he is able to also make the reader aware of the base level of that war throughout, giving a realistic grounding to the scenes. The hero may be godlike and leaping from wall to wall with shining spearpoint, a hero in every way. But the ground beneath him squelches with blood and filth and shattered bone and crying boys and widows. It is a gift as a writer to be able to carry off such a combination. It is what makes his battle scenes both glorious and horrific in equal measure. The final scenes in this book will leave you exhausted. Arimnestos, the Killer of Men, has led you through one of the darkest hours in Greek history in this second volume. Where will he go next?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matt Heppe

    Killer of Men and Marathon Review Characters: Killer of Men and Marathon are both first person accounts of the life of Arimnestos, the son of a Greek blacksmith who grows up to be a fearsome warrior-- a killer of men. The book takes the form of a story being recited to Arimnestos’ daughter by him. As such, we know that 1) he survives and 2) he becomes a great man. What we are left to discover are the trials and tribulations of his strife-torn life. I’ll leave it to say Arimnestos does not have an Killer of Men and Marathon Review Characters: Killer of Men and Marathon are both first person accounts of the life of Arimnestos, the son of a Greek blacksmith who grows up to be a fearsome warrior-- a killer of men. The book takes the form of a story being recited to Arimnestos’ daughter by him. As such, we know that 1) he survives and 2) he becomes a great man. What we are left to discover are the trials and tribulations of his strife-torn life. I’ll leave it to say Arimnestos does not have an easy life. There are many other characters in the books, many with similar sounding names. It is sometimes a challenge to keep the many other characters straight, but the book wouldn’t be the same without the large cast. The novels are too epic in scope to have a small cast. World building: Cameron completely captures the feel of the ancient world. The novel is filled with rich descriptions of geography, economics, technology, religion, arts, and government. This is not done in the form of info-dumping. The culture comes through the story in a very natural manner. Cameron has a scholar’s mastery of the ancient Greek world. Engagement (Willing suspension of disbelief): Killer of Men and Marathon both utterly absorbed me. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put the books down. There were no jarring or unrealistic elements that pulled me out of the story and into the real world. When you read one of Cameron’s books, you are IN his world. Writing/Mechanics/Editing: I found both novels to be error free. This seems to be increasingly rare, even with professionally edited novels. Cameron perfectly balances a fast-paced, engrossing read, while also getting across important philosophical and political concepts. Cameron also writes action scenes as well as any author I have ever read. Cameron does use a lot of Greek vocabulary in his writing as opposed to using modern alternatives, however the meaning of the Greek terms is easy to pick up in context. To me it enriched the novels. Impact: Cameron’s novels stay with me long after I have finished reading them. One of my favorite elements of his novels (including his Tyrant series) is how well he captures the spirit of the soldier and the profound importance of the “brotherhood of arms”. Arimnestos might be a killer of men, but he is still a human being who feels loss and knows the impact of his actions. The killing in Cameron’s novels is not there for mindless entertainment, it always serves a deeper purpose. I highly recommend these books and eagerly look forward to the next one in the series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    When you see a book with a title ‘Marathon’ set in ancient Greece, only one thing comes to mind, and that is the Battle of Marathon. The battle that ended the first Persian invasion of Greece under the great king Darius in 490 B.C. Sadly, the author gave – if there was any – justice to what might have been an amazing novel about an epic battle in history. Only on that last quarter did I see a hint about Marathon and only on that last chapter did the actual battle happened. The author made his char When you see a book with a title ‘Marathon’ set in ancient Greece, only one thing comes to mind, and that is the Battle of Marathon. The battle that ended the first Persian invasion of Greece under the great king Darius in 490 B.C. Sadly, the author gave – if there was any – justice to what might have been an amazing novel about an epic battle in history. Only on that last quarter did I see a hint about Marathon and only on that last chapter did the actual battle happened. The author made his character almost a perfect hero in every way and in every situation which is very annoying especially when it is in a storytelling style from old age, making him look vain. The author’s research about ancient Greece is outstanding, but there are still some words inappropriate for the timeline like the word ‘boss’, which I believe wasn’t being used yet two and a half thousand years ago. There’s no element of surprise that when an important character dies, I just felt like ‘meh’ or ‘okay, and then?’ And there is this major flaw of a character name badly placed for being in two places at the same time. What’s holding me to DNF the series is that it is the only series I know about the Greco-Persian war. Although I know some stand alones, they’re just not enough for me. I’m also aware that these are the author’s early works and compared to the Tyrant series and The Traitor Son’s Cycle, these first two of the Long War series are mediocre. So I hope that the last two books to be released for this series will live up to their titles – Salamis and Plataea.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Clemens Schoonderwoert

    This 2nd volume of the "Killer of Men" series by Christian Cameron is an absolutely fantastic book. Again this book contains a lot of great historical details, along with a very informative glossary and a wonderful general note on Names and Personages, and not to forget maps. The storytelling is bloody marvellous, and all the characters come vividly to life within this story, and the famous battle scenes a greatly pictured in this fantastic book. The book tells us the story of two great ancient bat This 2nd volume of the "Killer of Men" series by Christian Cameron is an absolutely fantastic book. Again this book contains a lot of great historical details, along with a very informative glossary and a wonderful general note on Names and Personages, and not to forget maps. The storytelling is bloody marvellous, and all the characters come vividly to life within this story, and the famous battle scenes a greatly pictured in this fantastic book. The book tells us the story of two great ancient battles between the Greeks and the Persians, and these battles are, the Battle of Lade of 494 BC and of course the monumental and unforgettable Battle of Marathon of 490 BC. Our main character Arimnestos of Plataea has to face these battles along with his fellow countrymen with the hope of defeating the Persians at Marathon, after the Greeks suffered defeat at Lade at the hands of these same Persians. The story of this book is, apart from the bloody battles between the Greeks and the Persians, also full of plotting, backstabbing, tragedy and heroism within these Greek/Persian wars. I would like to recommend this book to anyone for this is truly a "Magnificent Mighty Marathon"!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This instalment in Christian Cameron’s ‘Long war’ series, was filled with as much heart pounding, character driven action, historical world building and adventure as the previous novel. In ‘Marathon; Freedom or death’ I felt like I was brought into contact with those larger than life people I’d learned about at school when growing up: Miltiades, Aristides, even Themistocles. All the threads culminating with a battle that changed the course of history. Christian Cameron was able to instil that se This instalment in Christian Cameron’s ‘Long war’ series, was filled with as much heart pounding, character driven action, historical world building and adventure as the previous novel. In ‘Marathon; Freedom or death’ I felt like I was brought into contact with those larger than life people I’d learned about at school when growing up: Miltiades, Aristides, even Themistocles. All the threads culminating with a battle that changed the course of history. Christian Cameron was able to instil that sense of looming disaster and urgency and as the story progressed I found that although I knew what waited at the end, as well as the outcome of the battle, I still felt like maybe this time things might not go the way they did. Thrown right in the middle of the action, As a reader, I was right in, with the blood sweat and gut churning fear, the confusion and tumult. the eventual defeat of the Persian seemingly vast army, almost came as a surprise. This was a 4 stars for me, I really liked it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patremagne

    Cameron is easily one of the best in modern historical fiction.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Gwynne

    Excellent - an emotionally gripping telling of the events leading up to and including the battle of Marathon. Fast paced, action packed with an emotional punch. I'm ordering book 3 immediately! Excellent - an emotionally gripping telling of the events leading up to and including the battle of Marathon. Fast paced, action packed with an emotional punch. I'm ordering book 3 immediately!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This book didn't really work for me but I can't put my finger on exactly why, so take all my criticisms with a grain of salt. The book just didn't jive with me and I can't say how much was my reception of the book or any poor writing, etc on the author's part. It's very hard for me to put into words exactly what I didn't like. It started off strong, with the main character's time at home and then the time in Athens with the trial, but then there were a lot of boring chapters on boats and unintere This book didn't really work for me but I can't put my finger on exactly why, so take all my criticisms with a grain of salt. The book just didn't jive with me and I can't say how much was my reception of the book or any poor writing, etc on the author's part. It's very hard for me to put into words exactly what I didn't like. It started off strong, with the main character's time at home and then the time in Athens with the trial, but then there were a lot of boring chapters on boats and uninteresting fighting, and I found my focus on the book slipping more and more often. I would be reading along with no distractions around me, and before I knew it, I would realize I hadn't been paying attention for several minutes and my eyes had gone over several pages but my mind hadn't been "listening," as it were. There just was nothing to care about. There was no plot that was teased in the beginning so I knew what was going to happen. For example, I just read Follow the River and even though I didn't know exactly what was going to happen, I knew by the end of the book the main character was going to be trying to get home. I didn't know when this journey would start or when it would end, but I knew it was coming. In this book, I simply never knew where things were going. I call these types of books "they be living" which just means the book is all about a character going about their daily life without an overarching plot. There's no clearly-defined story line that we as readers know the book will generally follow. It's like how sled dogs won't pull unless there is someone or something in front of them for the dogs to aim at. All that blank whiteness is disorienting. I felt like a sled dog this whole book. I knew Marathon would happen at some point, but it seemed to take forever to get to. Just when I was thinking the book didn't deal enough with the war with Persia in general or the battle of Marathon in particular, it became all about the Persian war and boring with all the fighting. There were so many random battles that the story didn't move forward enough. It's not until about halfway that we get back to any actual story. The initial story line gets picked up again and it's like the previous 40% of the book didn't happen or just didn't matter. It was disconcerting, to say the least. Perhaps it was meant to make the battles feel more fresh, interspersing them with some boring scenes, but it didn't work well for me. Mindless battle scenes are boring enough without taking away some of their purpose. I was hoping for more politics, less boat riding and stabbing with spears. He be living, and that was it. As I'm sure many other readers have mentioned, I also really didn't care for the constant breaking of the fourth wall. There was so much of the narrator talking to his daughter (whom he refers to by the word daughter in Greek but he has no problems using totally modern English swear words that drag you completely out of the book). It was the phrases like "I see no consternation on your faces" and "close your ears, girls" that I really could have lived without. We get it. He's talking to his children many years down the line. You don't have to beat us over the head with it. It's not like it's important to the story in any way whatsoever. Kudos though for being willing to use Lesbian in its original meaning. That was the one thing I really liked about this. I don't think I'll be continuing on with this series but I think there are a lot of readers who like books packed with battle scenes with very little story, so it may just have been a compatibility thing for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    This is the fifth book I've read from this author. I liked the story of this book more than others so I was willing to ignore things I normally hate in books: that there were no female characters who had any sort of development or plot; that the word effeminate was used as an insult against male characters as a shorthand for weak; the creepy asides the narrator makes about how attractive he finds his daughter's friend. But then there was a part where the narrator raises his hand to hit his wife. This is the fifth book I've read from this author. I liked the story of this book more than others so I was willing to ignore things I normally hate in books: that there were no female characters who had any sort of development or plot; that the word effeminate was used as an insult against male characters as a shorthand for weak; the creepy asides the narrator makes about how attractive he finds his daughter's friend. But then there was a part where the narrator raises his hand to hit his wife. As he said he was going to hit her hard enough to knock out her teeth. And then he said that only love could make you that angry. No. Just no. I'm done with this author.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chappy

    I love love love this series. Battles are a plenty, enemies are living next door and the enemy has come in force; one of the worlds largest forces. History comes to life and it is brutal in one of the greatest wars man has ever seen. Don't take my word for it, you really need to experience this for yourself and be immersed in Christian Cameron's stories and be guided by an amazing narraror. I love love love this series. Battles are a plenty, enemies are living next door and the enemy has come in force; one of the worlds largest forces. History comes to life and it is brutal in one of the greatest wars man has ever seen. Don't take my word for it, you really need to experience this for yourself and be immersed in Christian Cameron's stories and be guided by an amazing narraror.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robin Carter

    Review Over the last few years I have become an admitted fan of Christian Cameron's writing. His first book in the Long War series "Killer of Men" was my book of the year when it was published. Since then we the readers have been fortunate enough to have been given the excellent "Tyrant King of the Bosporus", and each and every time Christan Cameron releases a book my expectation grows and my desire more just that bit more is met. Now with Marathon I was almost drooling with anticipation at the th Review Over the last few years I have become an admitted fan of Christian Cameron's writing. His first book in the Long War series "Killer of Men" was my book of the year when it was published. Since then we the readers have been fortunate enough to have been given the excellent "Tyrant King of the Bosporus", and each and every time Christan Cameron releases a book my expectation grows and my desire more just that bit more is met. Now with Marathon I was almost drooling with anticipation at the thought of where Chris could take Arimnestos next, how much more could be written, what could he be involved in, it might be the age of heroes but you want an element of reality something to keep the plot grounded, but that's something you never worry about too deeply with Christian Cameron's books, because his passion for the subject drives his research to a level that most authors just dream about, where most imagine he attempts, and its this knowledge that gives his books that extra edge that extra reality. Marathon is a fitting sequel to Killer of Men and the release at a fitting time the 2500 anniversary of the battle. This is a series and book that will improve your knowledge of the period and the place, but it does not push itself to educate it educates in that subtle way that the words stay with you because the story is so well told. This like Killer of Men is one of those books that could easily be listed as "guaranteed to entertain or your money back" I'm that positive of its quality. The product description below will tell you the plot, I have no need or wish to add spoilers, just know that every character is alive, living and breathing on every page, just waiting for you to join them. I have read it 3 times now and Marathon stills seems as fresh as the first time I read it. (Killer of Men is also a must if you have not read it) (Parm) Product Description The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC was one of history's great turning points - the first time the Greeks managed to defeat the Persians in a pitched battle, it enabled the rise of classical Greek civilization. As John Stuart Mill famously put it, 'The Battle of Marathon, even as an event in British history, is more important than the Battle of Hastings.' Without it, the modern world as we know it would not exist. Christian Cameron's epic retelling of the battle will bring it alive, with all of its human drama and tragedy, as never before. The Greeks do not always behave well - in fact, many readers may come to see them as ignorant and bigoted as compared to the multi-cultural Persians, who for some, actually bring greater freedom - at least for a while. The heroic Militiades, who led the Greeks at Marathon and then died in exile, a ruined man, was a fatally flawed character. His opponent, The Persian King Darius, was guilty of vaulting ambition and hubris, but he combined it with personal integrity and vast generosity. And in the middle, torn between two cultures, one of which has already made him a slave, we find Arimnestos - ancestor of the Kineas of the Tyrant books - nicknamed 'Killer of Men', he will lead a decisive contingent of infantry in the thickest of the battle...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    I finished Marathon after a complete rereading of Killer of Men to get in the spirit of the series and while I liked it a lot, it stopped a little short of blowing me away and I think that Killer of Men is a better book overall; trying to think why - since the writing is very good, the atmosphere pitch perfect as usual and the voice still the same Arimnestos of the series debut with the powerful cast from there - I think that the main reason is that Killer of men was structured after the hero, w I finished Marathon after a complete rereading of Killer of Men to get in the spirit of the series and while I liked it a lot, it stopped a little short of blowing me away and I think that Killer of Men is a better book overall; trying to think why - since the writing is very good, the atmosphere pitch perfect as usual and the voice still the same Arimnestos of the series debut with the powerful cast from there - I think that the main reason is that Killer of men was structured after the hero, while Marathon is structured after historical events and because of that it becomes more rigid and predictable. By the way Marathon is slightly a misnomer since the novel is about two major battles, each taking about half the book including of course the period up to it. Starting where Killer of men ends with Arimnestos back home, there is a stretch of passing time and then the hero's return to action under Miltiades is a also a bit contrived, but the part from there to the battle of Lade and its aftermath is superb and that maybe 1/3 of a book is what I expected the novel to be and a blow me away narrative. After Lade, there is another stretch of passing time and while things happen, the tension is simply not there and Arimnestos becomes a pretty awkward narrator. Then there is the lead up to Marathon and the battle itself and here for some reason I felt the tension from Killer of Men or from the battle of Lade was somewhat lacking and a lot of the action read repetitive and a bit by the numbers. Overall, Marathon is a very good book but fails to reach the power of Killer of Men outside the events of the battle of Lade I am still very interested in the series and look forward to following Arimnestos' tale Updated FBC review here: http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bennett

    Oh my....full review coming. In my review of Killer of Men I stated that I wouldn't take too long before reading Marathon. Where does the time go? Three months? My only excuse is that I have read some really good books in the interval. :-) Now that I've finished Marathon, I make the same prediction regarding the next book in the series, Poseidon's Spear...well, we'll see how that pans out. Anyway, Marathon...is just another example of the author's remarkable storytelling. I was continually amazed Oh my....full review coming. In my review of Killer of Men I stated that I wouldn't take too long before reading Marathon. Where does the time go? Three months? My only excuse is that I have read some really good books in the interval. :-) Now that I've finished Marathon, I make the same prediction regarding the next book in the series, Poseidon's Spear...well, we'll see how that pans out. Anyway, Marathon...is just another example of the author's remarkable storytelling. I was continually amazed with his knowledge of the era and the way that knowledge was used to not only enhance the story but to also teach the history of that time and place; much of which I already knew but it never hurts to relearn things that have lain dormant for decades. This is not only played out in the events of the war but also in the everyday lives of the peasants, farmers, craftsmen and aristocrats who make this story come alive. One example that stands out for me is Arimnestos' forge and the work of the smiths as they turn bronze sheets into household items as well as armor and weapons. The lead up to the battle and the battle itself are both told with an incisive vividness that kept me turning the pages until the end. Well done Mr.Cameron...well done. 5 stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark Redman

    Marathon is the second book in the "Long War series.” It tells the story of two great ancient battles between the Greeks and the Persians, the Battle of Lade of 494 BC and the Battle of Marathon of 490 BC. Arimnestos of Plataea has to face these battles along with his fellow countrymen in the hope of defeating the Persians at Marathon after the Greeks suffered defeat at Lade at the hands of these same Persians. Apart from the bloody battles between the Greeks and the Persians; the story is full of Marathon is the second book in the "Long War series.” It tells the story of two great ancient battles between the Greeks and the Persians, the Battle of Lade of 494 BC and the Battle of Marathon of 490 BC. Arimnestos of Plataea has to face these battles along with his fellow countrymen in the hope of defeating the Persians at Marathon after the Greeks suffered defeat at Lade at the hands of these same Persians. Apart from the bloody battles between the Greeks and the Persians; the story is full of heroism, tragedy and plenty of action. It is a reading experience like you have never had before. It almost feels like your actually there witnessing events. Cameron has a unique insight into writing his battle scenes, which makes the story come alive. This book and series are truly worth investing your time and money. It is one hell of a ride and it’s not over yet! Highly recommend reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Second book in the series and I found it an improvement on the first. Although I'm not sure there was any need for a character to drop the c-word... I can handle f-words, but the c-word just seemed unnecessary. Apart from that, it's an interesting read, engrossing and well-researched as far as it can be. As the author admits, it is difficult to reconstruct ancient battles from the few surviving Classical sources, but it all sounds plausible enough. Again, the psychological aspects are brought to Second book in the series and I found it an improvement on the first. Although I'm not sure there was any need for a character to drop the c-word... I can handle f-words, but the c-word just seemed unnecessary. Apart from that, it's an interesting read, engrossing and well-researched as far as it can be. As the author admits, it is difficult to reconstruct ancient battles from the few surviving Classical sources, but it all sounds plausible enough. Again, the psychological aspects are brought to the fore, which in turn helps you get to know the characters - and care about them.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marcus

    While the first book in this series seemed a bit slow and didn't suck me in the way I expected it would for a book by Christian Cameron, this one got me back on track. While there are some slower portions of the book between the two main battles, I still really enjoy the political drama and the interplay between Arminestos and his friends and enemies. I'm officially in for the rest of the long war. While the first book in this series seemed a bit slow and didn't suck me in the way I expected it would for a book by Christian Cameron, this one got me back on track. While there are some slower portions of the book between the two main battles, I still really enjoy the political drama and the interplay between Arminestos and his friends and enemies. I'm officially in for the rest of the long war.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John

    Another epic in the Killer of Men series that follows Arminestos into battles in the Greco-Persian War. It covers the Greek defeat at Lades through triumph at Marathon. Lots of interesting tidbits and side stories are intermixed in this book, sure to please lovers of antiquity and historical fiction alike.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Excellent historical fiction

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    Brings ancient history to life - wonderful!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wray

    I was pretty disappointed with this, and like the first book in the series it was just ok. It didn't really grab me, as I neither particularly cared about any of the characters nor did I find the wider story compelling. The battle of Marathon was seen at the time as an existential crisis for the Greek city states, but it doesn't feel like that when reading this. Christian Cameron's take is that Persia wouldn't have been such a bad ruler after all and, unfortunately, reflecting on that assertion I was pretty disappointed with this, and like the first book in the series it was just ok. It didn't really grab me, as I neither particularly cared about any of the characters nor did I find the wider story compelling. The battle of Marathon was seen at the time as an existential crisis for the Greek city states, but it doesn't feel like that when reading this. Christian Cameron's take is that Persia wouldn't have been such a bad ruler after all and, unfortunately, reflecting on that assertion is more interesting and engaging than the novel itself. The action was fast moving and entertaining, but there wasn't enough happening outside of that to elevate this beyond the average, which is a real shame.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bill Christoforou

    Really great read, a real pleasure to read, greatly enjoyed reading about those ancient heroes. Who knows what the world would be like today if the Persian Empire wasn't pushed back. Maybe it wouldn't have been any worse or any better than what it is now, but certainly there would be influences of that world on our western culture. For anyone who enjoys history and wants an insight into what life (and death) was like before even the Roman Empire, read Christian Cameron's book, it won't disappoin Really great read, a real pleasure to read, greatly enjoyed reading about those ancient heroes. Who knows what the world would be like today if the Persian Empire wasn't pushed back. Maybe it wouldn't have been any worse or any better than what it is now, but certainly there would be influences of that world on our western culture. For anyone who enjoys history and wants an insight into what life (and death) was like before even the Roman Empire, read Christian Cameron's book, it won't disappoint.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Took a while to get the going but ended strong. Alot of time trying to tie in the political side of getting the seperate independant states of Greece to work together against a common enemy and not a great deal of time actually detailing the battle of Marathon, which was a huge turning point in the long war. Book one was definately a better read as this felt a little drawn out, so I am therefor interested to see how book 3 turns out - although I may have a rest from this series for a little whil Took a while to get the going but ended strong. Alot of time trying to tie in the political side of getting the seperate independant states of Greece to work together against a common enemy and not a great deal of time actually detailing the battle of Marathon, which was a huge turning point in the long war. Book one was definately a better read as this felt a little drawn out, so I am therefor interested to see how book 3 turns out - although I may have a rest from this series for a little while to recover.

  29. 4 out of 5

    F R Park

    Compulsive reading Mr Cameron has the rare ability in storytelling whereby the reader is able to digest the complexity of battle, marvel at the courage displayed by anyone willing to join battle with a foe and be thoroughly entertained along the way. I greatly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next instalment

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carl Phillips

    A slower pace initially than the first book, that allowed the reader to immerse themselves in the world of ancient Greece in-depth, while the plot built inexorably towards Marathon and the climax of the first Persian invasion of Greece. Wonderful from start to finish. The ending was a tad heartbreaking, however.

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