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By the Sword

(Spoils of Olympus #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  57 reviews
322 B.C.

The Macedonian Empire is on the verge of civil war following the sudden death of Alexander the Great.

As a boy Andrikos watched as Alexander's army marched through his homeland of Greek Ionia after defeating the Persians at the Granicus River.

Soon he will be embroiled in their world - and forced to flee his old life.

Thrust into the army, Andrikos struggles to co
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Endeavour Press
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of historical fiction over a lot of years. There might be times, as I trudge through it all, that I nearly forget why I read historical fiction in the first place. Especially in those stretches of time where I find myself reading so many more uninspiring books than I do fantastic ones.
Historical Fiction has changed noticeably in the last five or six years. And there has been this danger of being bashed dumb by a pulp fiction tsunami containing sloppily written books haem
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Even after trusting a very effusive review of someone whose opinion I respect, and though I'm excited at reading anything on the ancient world, I found this one was not my 'cup of tea.' Basically a Bildungsroman, a young man, Andrikos, an Ionian Greek, falls in with a bad bunch of companions and because of a crime he commits, has to leave town. So he joins the army. Alexander the Great has died, leaving no clear successor and heir to his empire. Andrikos has joined the faction supporting Alexander's infant so ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I originally reviewed this for the Historical Novel Review.

It is 322 BC and the Macedonian Empire is reeling in the wake of Alexander’s death. Civil war looms as his generals and heirs position themselves to replace their God King – or tear off a piece of the empire for themselves.

Andrikos, a young, fatherless man, faces troubles of his own. He is lured into the seedy underworld of his Ionian hometown, and in his first foray into criminal life he finds himself in far deep
Jun 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
BY THE SWORD (SPOILS OF OLYMPUS) frustrated me. From the three book awards it has won, I expected a high-quality, well-told story (per the back cover blurb) about a young Greek warrior’s experiences following the death of Alexander the Great. But within the first few chapters, SWORD reveals itself to be the kind of book that gives indie publishing a bad name.

First, a disclaimer: the story may well be as terrific as the award judges thought. But I couldn’t get past the first couple of
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book to readers who like historical fiction. Knowing how this piece of history finally plays out did not deter my reading pleasure, but the author needs a good editor. Repeatedly, but not consistently, the author used the nominative form of personal pronouns where the objective forms should have been used. The killer name-pronoun proximity rules were breached a few times, but not so frequently that I was tripped up in the read.

I liked Andrikos who the author 'grew' b
S.J.A. Turney
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
An unusual era is tackled well by a new author in this engaging read. Set in an era about which I have some knowledge but am far from ‘knowledgeable’, this is a tale of the aftermath of the death of Alexander the Great and the jostling for position of his varied successors, told from the point of view of a young recruit. Andrikos is forced to flee his small Anatolian town after a run in with some lowlifes leaves him in trouble, and he heads off to join the army and get away for a while.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
`The afterlife puts the concept of time in perspective.'

Handsome young new author Christian Kachel has gathered his expertise for this debut novel SPOILS OF OLYMPUS from both training and education (University of Maryland- College Park and three Master's degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the Department of Defense) and from his three terms of US Army service in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to writing he works as a Program Manager in the Defense industry. He has stated, `T
Ben Rogowski
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was sent a message by the author asking if I would be willing to review his work based on my interest in Historical fiction, specifically based on the Conn Iggulden Empire Series. I was told that if I liked this series I would thoroughly enjoy Mr. Kachel's book as well.

Per his promise, I was not disappointed in the story whatsoever. While this was not an action packed suspense thriller, the characters are built so well that you actually began to think of them as friends of your own
Victor Bruneski
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-ebook
This is probably one of the more original books I have read in awhile. It is set in a time not long after Alexander the Great dies. He names his heirs, but his Macedonian generals have other ideas, each out for themselves. Of course this starts a civil war in his short lived Empire.

This story is told from the viewpoint of a unlikely protagonist named Andrikos. He is a young man, who's life seems to be drifting. He is a man with low self confidence, who has trouble looking people he f
David Baird
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Where do i start! Wow! This book was great! I'm a fan of the genre anyway but i was surprised just how much i enjoyed it.

This book follows Andrikos as he turns from a boy into a man.

The story starts slow but quickly Andrikos is thrust into the army after he and his friends get into a bit of bother with some local lowlifes. We following him as he leaves his family behind and undergoes basic endurance training while marching to join the army where he makes and looses friend
Noam Wajnman
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Exciting spy thriller in the wake of Alexander the Great's death!
Great book with a fast paced story centering on the main protagonist Andrikos who becomes a spy involved in the intrigue and plotting between the factions vying for power after Alexander's death.
The book seems well researched and there are plenty of historical details which flesh out the ancient Greek world without it getting boring or long winded.
I read the book in only a few sittings and I can't wait for the next to come
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was the complete transformation of a young boy to manhood during the battles following Alexander's conquests in Greece and Macedonia. Manhood in ancient times required many forms of maturity and it's captured brilliantly here. The author has a vast knowledge of the places, armour, cities and customs of the people of that time. I will look forward go the sequel. Well done!
John Warren
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
loved this book, i had to force myself to put it down for fear of finishing it to so. the author reminds me alot of christian cameron books which i love. lot of action and suspense and the battle observations really made u feel like u where there. i can not wait for the next book by this author it will be one that i will count the days till it is out
Carrie Slager
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]

Much has been written about Alexander the Great but the aftermath of his death isn’t nearly so popular a topic simply because it was a really complex politic situation. Kings were rising and falling with alarming rate and the diadochi were tearing each other to pieces over the least little thing. Enter into this world Andrikos, who lives in Illandra with the other Ionian Gree
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
February 15, 2015

A Review by Anthony T. Riggio of the book The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword by Christian Kachel

I was recently invited to read the above book by the author and asked to provide my thoughts about the book because of some of the previous books I read and commented on. It took me several weeks to act on this request, because of other books on my list. I finally purchased this book in the Kindle format from Amazon and commenced reading this book. Initially i
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Christian Kachel's Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword was one of those titles. I stumbled over it, thought the premise looked vaguely interesting and jumped on the tour bus. I liked the idea, but if I learned anything from The Queen of Sparta, it was not to get my hopes up. That in mind, it shouldn't surprise anyone to learn I opened Kachel's work with no expectation whatsoever, a fact which likely contributed to how thoroughly the novel managed to sweep me off my
Lisa Kearns
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest - I thought this was a book I could get into because I like historical fiction. In reality, it was a little too much of a man's man type of book and I picked it up and put it down several times. The writing was style was good, with well developed characters, but I just didn't relate to the coming-of-age warrior story.

Then my husband found it in my stack of books to review and asked to read it. I told him I'd started it but he was welcome to read it because I was having
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Firstly, my apologies for the lateness in this review. I hadn’t finished it by my date.

Now, let’s get straight to it. I’m forever looking for new interesting titles to read. I admit, I tend to stick with a certain type, however, I was intrigued by this title and the cover too. I rarely find novels that take place in ancient times that have my attention or have me wanting for more. This is certainly a surprise because at first, I was sort of ‘meh’, I didn’t think that I’d get into it
Stuart Dequincy
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Bennett
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Alexander conquered the world but then the God-King died and the tumult resulting from his death is the backdrop to this very entertaining book by Christian Kachel. The protagonist, Andrikos, is a young man running with the wrong crowd in the town of Llandros. A night of murderous activity involving the underground criminal element forces Andrikos to leave home and seek out recruitment in the army. The author gives the reader an excellent look into the somewhat brutal training required of the re ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alexander the Great is dead and those driven to succeed him begin their machinations towards seizing power. Amid the chaos is a young man named Andrikos. Like many young men without a purpose, his life consists mainly of drink and women and floating through life unchallenged. He gets mixed up with a group of ruffians where he gets into trouble and is forced to flee. He joins the army to avoid his past catching up to him. It is then that he is introduced to the brutalities of war, of training, of ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
The Spoils of Olympus is an epic undertaking on Christian Kachel’s part. Kachel has chiseled a well-thought-out, fully fleshed, immaculately structured story out of the ample raw material of the time period. As a former soldier himself, Kachel is at his strongest in describing the coming-of-age of military service and the perpetual wrestling of what it means to be a man and a soldier worthy of the title. It makes the book resonate far more than your average piece of historical fiction.

That’s no
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very skillfully crafted historical fiction novel which is well deserving of the sequel yet to come. Lots of juicy action-packed scenes that is laced with gorgeous back-drops. Christian Kachel's debut to a riveting and energetic read with a unique and creative prospective brings to life, the time era of 322 BC in 'The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword'.

It takes us into a world of a protagonist named Andrikos, a young Greek man from the city of Asia Minor whom flees his home town becau
Jen Sinnett
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I believe a good story will evoke an emotional response from the reader and this fast-paced historical fiction novel had me hooked! I felt every fear, pain and struggle of the protagonist, Andrikos, as he leaves his youthful delinquency behind to join the brutal Macedonian army, which is fractured between power hungry generals after the death of their beloved leader, Alexander the Great. Kachel's descriptions of the abusive training and graphic battle scenes had me wincing (which was wonderful!) ...more
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
A strong debut historical fiction novel with flashes of brilliance. I don't think I've ever read a better description of the hardships of physical training - the imagery is incredible.

The author also is clearly invested in this period in history, which is sorely lacking in historical fiction. The wars of Alexander's successors don't get as much attention as his own exploits, even though the implications of the Empire's breakup lasted for centuries.

Overall imaginative, ric
Hunter Starr
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is clear from the very first page that this author knows how to tell a story. What is more impressive is the author's description of the main character's motivations, doubts, and misgivings. In too many books about war, love, honor, and glory push characters forward, with a dash of doubt and hesitation. However, this author takes a more nuanced approach. Without breaking from the storytelling, Kachel dissects the insecurities present in all of us, which lends not only freshness to the storyte ...more
Randall Uerkvitz
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Christian Kachel is obviously an adept writer, he is also a knowledgeable historian. I say this because throughout the entire book he is able to not only get your attention but he manages to keep it!
A must for Greek history buffs desiring authenticity, and even for those who love a well written suspense story with characters you cannot help becoming attached to.
It's wonderful to be a skilled writer and historian, but Mr. Kachel has the extra element of knowing mens hearts and souls and it
David Gott
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a fun novel and a good read. Greek history is not my passion so I really cannot comment on the historical accuracy amidst the fictional story. The story itself was exciting and interesting. A small criticism is one that I see often in historical fiction. A person from the ranks and lower class ends up embroiled in intrigue of those in command. Something I find to be very unlikely historically. That being said, the protagonist's story is plausible and works to advance the story. Bottom l ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ancient-history
I got interested in the book by the period that it covers. I am always looking for authors who stray from the well traveled roads! And that is the case with "By the Sword". The conflict between Alexander's generals is not depicted often in novels although it's clearly a period rife with intrigue and great battles. These were violent and unstable times and it shows in the book. Likable characters, good battles, interesting times make for a good read.
Roger Dufresne
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Are you kidding me, this book was a FREE book!!!!!

This was an awesome outstanding book. Well written, good character development and exciting! What more could an actor freak ask for.
My only complaint is that if there is a 2nd or 3rd book, it wasn't easily shown so I could order it.
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