The End of Sparta
In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re-creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece, Epaminondas. At the Battle of Leuktra, his Thebans crushed the fearsome army of Sparta that had enslaved its neighbors for two centuries.
We follow these epic historical events through the eyes of Mêlon, a
I found the first couple chapters the strongest, in fact, very, VERY strong - one of the best evocations of the Greek phalanx in battle. Amazingly visceral, awesome writing.
But the book slows down from there. Yes, there is backstory and exposition to... expose. And philosophy to ponder, characters to develop, scenes to set. I found it kinda slow, kinda long-winded. I wish Hanson had tightened up this middle section quite a bit.
We (readers) expected a...more
I'm glad Hanson tackled this subject, which in the wake of '300' is timely. I understand and appreciate Spartan valor and sacrifice, and the movie...more
The story really didn't get started until after the first 6 or 7 chapters. Way too much time to lead into the story.
And once the meat and potatoes of the plot began, there was nothing interesting to captivate you in the least bit.
The author doesn't dig into the emotions or the minds of any of the characters so its difficult to invest anything emotionally into this story.
This is supposed to be historical fiction, and maybe it is. But it just reads l...more
--The battle scenes (from early on) were very good. I was able to understand and imagine something of what it was like to be a spearman in the phalanx.
--I've enjoyed learning some of the history of this time, including the small details of everyday life.
--I like names, including Greek names, so those haven't be...more
But there aren't many entries into the Theban triumph over Sparta, nor Epaminondas, the leader of that sea-change in Greek history. So this...more