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(Tyrant #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,859 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Introducing Kineas, Srayanka, and their world—a world that Alexander is busy conquering

A well-born Athenian cavalry officer, Kineas fought shoulder to shoulder with Alexander in his epic battles against the Persian hordes. But when he returns to his native city, he finds not glory but shame—and exile. With nothing to his name but his military skills, Kineas agrees to lead
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 10th 2008 by Orion (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  1,859 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Mr. Matt
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Kineas is an Athenian mercenary back from fighting with Alexander in Asia Minor and Persia. He is hired by the Tyrant of Olbia, a city on the Black Sea. On the surface it looks as if he is to train the city's cavalry to better defend against the Steppe nomads. Instead, Kineas and his companions find themselves webbed in a net of plots where their fate is poised on the edge as they cope with treachery in Olbia and an invasion of a Macedonian army.

This book started out too slowly for my taste. I t
Ben Kane
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book when it came out in 2008. It's the story of my life that I buy more books than I can read, and it languished in the 'To Be Read' pile for 4 years. More and more people began to tell me how good an author Cameron was, however, so I tackled it in the summer of 2012. I was astonished by how good it was, and devoured it in 3 or 4 days. To say that it's well written is an understatement of the greatest kind.

Cameron is a reenactor, and has therefore spent many an hour, and day, wear
Ned Lud
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No one writes epic battle scenes better than Mr. Cameron. In any genre. And thank the fucking gods for Tums. 😊

Very entertaining novel set on the Black Sea cca 330 BC; it is less of a "blood and guts" novel than I expected though it has its fair share of battles, but it has intrigue, strange cultures, discussions on the nature and meaning of war and it reads very "classical", no real discordant (ie modern sensibility) notes that are encountered so often in historical fiction today.

Bought and started to read the sequel too and book 3 is an asap when it will be published; I plan to do a full review of th
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's all the indication you need of your feelings on a book when you have to repeatedly convince yourself to cast your apathy aside and continue reading.

This is very much a soldiers book, or more specifically an officers book. By that, I mean it feels very much written by a former soldier for soldiers and anyone else will just have toe the line.
Normally this approach can sometimes work, if the characterisation is rich enough to make you see each character as a real human being first and a soldie
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
Christian Cameron took a novel approach with Tyrant; it is set during the reign of Alexander the Great, but the focus is elsewhere. Instead of narrowing in on the “big events” of the period, Cameron decided to show some of the other things going on while Alexander was conquering Asia. I enjoyed this different perspective.

For a protagonist, Cameron chose, or rather created, Kineas, an Athenian cavalry officer. This was a great way to tell this story. The readers don’t come into Tyrant with a “he
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for ancient history, especially around the Mediterranean, so yeah. The author seems to have done some solid research on the Greeks and neighboring cultures of that time, and it shows. I'm a total fanboy for the Greeks but the depiction of the 'barbarian' nomadic tribes was just as interesting and cool, especially the role of women like Srayanka and of shamanic beliefs. Oh yeah, and it was a solid story that held my attention. I think I read all three books of the trilogy one after t ...more
This story started interesting and was so throughout. There was not always fighting but still it kept you glued to the book. I liked the characters very much. The thing that I didn't like was in the second part of the book when there I almost too much tactical stuff. I get tired of that quickly and in the end it annoyed me a bit. The story otherwise is very thrilling. I didn't know about the greek mercenaries and how even war heroes were exiled. This was entertaining enough but could have been b ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
This book took me a really long time to get into. It wasn't until about half-way that I really started liking it. Up to that point it was OK; I kept reading more because of the subject matter of a time period that really interests me. In the end, I stuck to it until the end and I'm glad I did. So, I liked it but not enough to give it more than 3 stars. ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For six years, Kineas, an Athenian aristocrat, had fought alongside the boy king, Alexander, as one of his most valorous officers as they made their way through the Persian Empire; but after he was dismissed, his skills no longer needed, he returned back home to Athens only to find exile.

Yet, with nothing left in his name but his military reputation, when he accepts a proposition from the Archon of Olbia, agreeing to travel with his veterans to the city and to train its cavalry, he and his men w
Patrick Adekunle
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure I've ever read historical fiction as good as this. So detailed, so accurate, this was both a history lesson and an entertaining story.

Five stars, easy.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bloodthirsty, atmospheric and impressive I was astonished by how spectacular Tyrant was.

Christian Cameron’s series begins with book one Tyrant, about a well-born officer of the Athenian cavalry called Kineas. Kineas fought shoulder to shoulder with Alexander in his epic battles against the Persian hordes, but when he returns to his native city he soon finds not glory but ignominy. All veterans of the Boy King's campaigns have been sent into exile. With nothing to his name but his military skill
Jan 07, 2017 added it
Kineas, Ajax, Crax, Diodorus, and Niceas left their kingdom in Athens because they thought that someone from another kingdom poisoned their king. When they arrived they found out who might have poisoned their king. When the kingdom found out that they were from there kingdom who was their enemy. So they were chased out of the kingdom and went to the other kingdom. They headed through the mountains to the man who poisoned their king. It was getting dark so they camped out on a cliff. While sleepi ...more
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
c2008:FWFTB: heroism, Persia, cavalry, mercenaries, Scythian. Extraordinarily well written battle scenes. I felt, at times, that I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. Some really stirring passages and characters and Kineas is now a firm favourite. But, where was a map and a glossary, when I needed it? Not only has this book whetted my appetite for the next one in the series but I have been spurred on to do some further investigation on the period and places of the era (ie 333BC). Ev ...more
Jun 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tyrant was a surprisingly good historical novel about the ancient world, which was gripping and historically interesting. I have not read much historical fiction set in ancient Greece and so this novel was pleasantly different. The battle sequences were exciting, vivid, and interesting. The author did a good job at weaving tragedy, triumph, happiness, and friendship together with the interesting setting and well-developed characters. A excellent novel, and one that makes me look forward to readi ...more
Guille  Puerto
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
To me a piece of fine historical fiction. Great detail, a touch of fantasy, and vivid description of the battles.
But it lacks a bit in the character development area, and the rythm was not of my liking. I would have definitely liked it better if it was a bit longer, as it has a three month jump to a fast conclusion at the end.
Also I kind of hoped for a shocking gay love scene that never came.
Fenella Miller
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have just discovered Christian Cameron and can't believe I didn't know about him before this. Tyrant is superbly crafted, perfectly researched with well drawn characters that I really cared about.I read it in two evenings – it's the sort of book you just can't put down even when it's after midnight. ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book brought the 4th century BC Scythians alive in my mind. Sort of like an advanced Native American Plains Culture, one that allowed women to become warriors and chiefs. The depiction of the Euxine Greeks, and their Sythian allies, standing against the Macedonian conquest,was unique.
Thomas Boyd
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well researched, well written, interesting take on the Scythians. I liked it enough to purchase his Tyrant II: Storm of Arrows.
Clay Kallam
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I stumbled into this six-book series by way of one of my favorite recent fantasy series, the Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron. I noticed that, for some unknown reason, Cameron also wrote under the name of Christian Cameron, and had a series set in the time of Alexander the Great.

As one who knows way too much about that Hellenistic time period, and one who loved Cameron’s previous work, I was all in from the moment I started volume one, Tyrant. And as this is a connected series that really need
Sheity Williams
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished-sagas
This is the first historical fiction novel I've tried in a while. I'm not going to complain about how accurate facts are because not only this is fiction, but I do not have sufficient control of History to do it. I do want to complain about just how bad this plot is. Well, I may have exaggerated a bit. It's not extremely bad, it's just... uninteresting.

The book starts off slow. Really. Slow. It was constant pain for me to keep reading, until I was more or less a hundred pages in, and only becau
Clemens Schoonderwoert
Being a great fan for some time of the "Killer of Men/Long War" series, I've decided to give the "Tyrant" series a go as well, and this book Tyrant has certainly thrilled me to bits.
Just like the "Killer of Men" series the storytelling is of an absolute top-quality, and thus bringing vividly to life the Ancient Greeks within this wonderful book.
As far as possible the book has been thoroughly researched historically, and the details provided in this book are of a very clear definition.
The book st
Tiberiu Pana
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Being a Romanian, I was very pleasantly surprised to find some of the action in this book taking place near the Romanian Black Sea coast, where the Greek of old founded several colonies. My surprise was short lived though as the main action takes place further North, in today's Ukraine. Still though, a welcoming change of scenery.

My perfect 5-star reference is the Troy trilogy written by Mr. Gemmell. This book doesn't quite come close to that perfection.
The first half of the book is rather dull
I like that this one is set in Alexander the Great's era, but doesn't follow the usual retelling of his story (which most historical fiction readers likely already know off by heart anyway). Instead, we focus on Kineas, an Athenian by birth, who fought with Alexander only to be sent home abruptly to an Athens which promptly exiles him. He finds employment in a place called Olbia, where the leader seems a bit disreputable, but is willing to pay Kineas to train his forces. Said forces are mainly s ...more
James Casey
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Did I enjoy this book? Well,.......Yes and No,......I’m not quite sure. There were times when I was about to put it down, but then I thought, ‘no, I'll just read a bit more’ and that is how I came to finish it. The characters were good, they were all different, but none of them really stood out. The main character (Kineas) who was apparently this great and revered soldier and looked up to by all his comrades, to me, seemed always indecisive and looked to others for help and the ‘Tyrant’ who hire ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This is one of the better ancient historical fiction novels I've read in recent years, but it's still pretty rough around the edges. The historicity of the novel is fairly impressive, and the setting (on the coast of the Euxine during Alexander's conquests) is an excellent choice. That said, the writing is pretty lacking when it comes to descriptions and transitions, and there are way too many unmemorable ancillary characters. Hints of interesting political intrigue when the main character first ...more
Brent Morrison
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. I have always been very interested in the Scythian/Sarmatian/Saka world, they get so little attention considering they once "ruled" an area far larger than most empires ever were. Plus they were in many ways likely our ancestors, if you are of Northern European ancestry, being some of the original "aryan" tribes, or Indo_Europeans if you prefer. It's also likely true that they did stop Alexander the Butcher from ever going onto the steppes, and that alone makes me like them. I a ...more
Elizabeth Raines
Characters- alright, I didn't really feel connected to them. 3/5
Atmosphere- I really enjoyed this setting and would like to know more about this part of the world and the time period. 5/5
Writing- Good writing, some spelling errors though. 4/5
Plot- I don't really know what the plot was. 3/5
Intrigue- I wanted to know what would happen but the chapters were just so long and that made me bored to death. 3/5
Logic- You can tell that Christian Cameron did his research for this novel. However, I did not
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for a new author

Since I'd read Cameron's later worj before starting this series, I wondered what the quality level would be, while still expecting early glimpses of his ebullient writing style. All said, this was a love tome, with all else a mere backdrop to the deep and yet ephemeral emotional tangle of the chief protagonists.
I look forward eagerly to the next in the series. Well done Mr Cameron
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 599-under
A sweeping tale

Set upon the great grass sea. In the time of Alexander. This tale of mercenaries hired to train a Calvary troops of a town. Proved to be an enthralling story.

It was filled with the dust and muck of a great campaign- but what made it work for me was the cast of Characters, the comradery of the experienced soldiers, the intrigue of ancient politics and freedom of the people of the grass sea.
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Aka Miles Cameron. Also publishes as Gordon Kent with his father Kenneth M. Cameron.

Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa,Christian Cameron and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate

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Tyrant (6 books)
  • Tyrant: Storm of Arrows (Tyrant, #2)
  • Tyrant: Funeral Games (Tyrant, #3)
  • King of the Bosporus (Tyrant, #4)
  • Tyrant: Destroyer of Cities (Tyrant, #5)
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