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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  628 ratings  ·  40 reviews
He lived in the shadow of kings. One trusted him with his empire; the other feared his every move...Memnon of Rhodes (375-333 BCE) walked in the footsteps of giants. As a soldier, sailor, statesman, and general, he was, in the words of Diodorus of Sicily, "outstanding in courage and strategic grasp." A contemporary of Demosthenes and Aristotle, Memnon rose from humble orig ...more
Hardcover, 503 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Medallion Press (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  628 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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This is one of those books that just darts under your eyes and is finished before you know it. Most of the 688 pages went so smoothly and easily that it was only until around page 450 that I started to get bored. And then hooked in again. And then bored.
Boredom aside, though, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was only mildly let down in the end when Oden's smooth easy style got a bit dense and dull. That's why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. I would still recommend Memnon to anyone and suspect the bor
Vincent Darlage
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was really impressed with Scott Oden's "Memnon." First, his combat scenes are incredible. I felt like I was there. I have never said this about another author before, and it feels weird writing it, but it's true: Scott Oden writes mass battle scenes better than Robert E. Howard. He engages all the senses in his writing in a magnificent and realistic manner. I didn't so much as read this novel as experience it. I really felt like I was there, side-by-side with Memnon.

It was written with an epi
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Much has been written about Alexander the Great, but little is known of his first real opponent, Memnon of Rhodes. Scott Oden takes what little knowledge we know of the man and uses it as a springboard to weave a deeply compelling account of his life. The author deftly handles the intricate politics of the Greek city-states dotting the coast of Asia Minor, city-states that were part of the vast Persian Empire, and counter balances it with the rise of Macedon under Phillip II and the ambitions of ...more
K. Anthony
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am picky about "historical fiction" titles... Most are just action adventure stories crammed into a historical setting, but Memnon doesn't do that. I easily imagined, no, became one its citizens and thoroughly enjoyed this book. ...more
Clay Kallam
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This is another book that really doesn't quite fit the five-star system -- I'd say 3.75 (B+), but only that low because it's pretty clear how things will turn out about three-quarters of the way through the book.

That said, Scott Oden has done extensive research for this historical novel set during the life of Alexander the Great (a period of history I am extremely familiar with), and he does an excellent job of bringing the Hellenistic world to life. His battle scenes are appropriately gritty, a
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novel is a fictionalization of the life of Memnon of Rhodes, ancient Greek warrior and opponent of Alexander the Great. Memnon lost his life from a wound suffered at Halicarnassus. The old saying seems to be true: "History is written by the victors." From this novel, I certainly got a much different view of Alexander than I've ever read before.

I was introduced to the ancient historical figure of Memnon of Rhodes, about whom I knew only the name, if that. The author did a very good job in f
Scott Marlowe (Out of this World Reviews)


*** This review originally appeared on Out of this World Reviews. ***

I love historical fiction almost more than fantasy. Pick the right time period and the two aren’t that dissimilar. It’s because of this love of the genre that I set my standards very high when it comes to this sort of fiction. It is, by its nature, fiction, but that doesn’t mean it can supersede the need for it to also be realistic to the time period in which it’s set. That’s one of the hardest things about historic
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient-world
Standard by the book historical fiction. Equal parts action, romance, and intrigue. I'll be checking out Scott Oden's other books. ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Still one of my favorite military historical about Alexander the Great by looking through the lens backwards. How was Alexander viewed *in Persia*?
Minh Tuan
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For those who have decent knowledge about this period (the world before and during Alexander the Great's empire), I truly recommend you this book. The historical accuracy is very satisfying, and the parts that Scott Oden made up make sense with what happened in the past: both Memnon and Mentor had great talents and skills (and that's what they were in the past, trustworthy generals that gave their adversaries really hard time), so they should have a father that has such talents to pass down the ...more
David Usharauli
Almost everyone heard about Alexander the Great but very few people are familiar with his military adversaries during his conquest of Persian Empire.

One of the those military leaders from Persian side was a man called Memnon of Rhodes. He was a Greek subject of Persian Empire.

We know little about Memnon except that he was a professional soldier and many believed he was the only person who could have stopped rapid advance of Macedonian Forces. However, Alexander's military fortune was on the ris
John Warren
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
enjoyed this book about memnon of rodes. there is not alot of info on memnon in history books only that he fought against alexander the great. what i have read about him in other books dont quite grasp his character and his life, although this is historical fiction the writer does a fine job in making memnon a honorable man. mr oden battle scenes are remarkable it actually makes u feel like u are there especially the siege of Halicarnassus, which by all historical accounts was a alexander victor ...more
The history and historical detail of this book were both really excellent -- the author made the world and the times come alive. A few plot developments weren't entirely clear, but this is expected given the times. My only problem with the book was the number of things that were easy to forget -- Memnon had grudges with different people that developed early and then nothing happened for awhile, and when he came back to those people, I had no idea what was wrong (and I did already know much of th ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ancient-world
Great story of a lesser known opponent of Alexander the Great.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
Entertaining book; I enjoyed the imagery.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book!!!! I like all of Oden's books so far!! ...more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Well written tale of a little known character in ancient history.Well known legends slip in and out of narrative shame our hero did.
David Geissler
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a decent read about a minor character that stood in the way of Alexander the Great early in his campaign. Most of the historical fiction i have read so far has been focused on European conquest. It was interesting to read about a different region of the world.

I liked the line "men forever linked by the poetic bond of shared hardship."
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting to learn about history from the side of the people fighting against Alexander the Great.
Masen Production
“This is the story of Memnon of Rhodes, the man who was a nemesis for Alexander. He was a Greek mercenary who worked for the Persian king. He married a Persian princess Barsine who later was the muse, concubine, mistress of Alexander. This is a fictional representation of his story from Barsine point of view. Memnon, throughout his life fought the odds; he was the only man who could have stopped Alexander from his conquest. He finally succumbed to his wounds from the war and thus Alexander could ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
The supposed life of Memnon of Rhodes, the commander of the Greek mercenaries who opposed Alexander the Great when he invaded Persia.

As the author admits, much of the earlier events are invented out of whole cloth. While an intersting read, the characters somehow seem too "modern" in their actions and conduct. The characters' motivation is also opaque. It is not clear why some of the betrayals took place. Also, the love affair seemed very atypical given the restrictions that would have been impo
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was impressed with the author's ability to create an engaging historical fiction of the life of Memnon. The book exceeded my expectations. The story didn't lag or inject extraneous elements that would have detracted from the story. He provides vivid descriptions of battle that are consistent with other stories and historical works of that period.
The story flows smoothly and it is an effortless reading experience. I had difficulty putting it down for any length of time and thoroughly enjoyed t
Isabella.Chloe .S.
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

I had high hopes for Memnon, unfortunately it wasn't as good as i had hoped. The writing was pretty good but i found that the characters were dry and hard to make a connection with. It was one of those books that stayed at the same level of intrigue throughout, it's unfortunate because the story line had so much potential to drag you in. Worth a read but nothing your going to get hooked on.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed "Memnon", although it was not a perfect read.
The action was frequent and exciting, the real hallmark of Oden's writing.
I did think some of the places and terms used required more explanation than that given. I consider myself a man who has a reasonable background knowledge of this time period, but I found myself lost a few times.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Possibly one of the best historical fiction novels I have read. Five stars are only for Gore Vidal's Julian I think, but Memnon was an outstanding book for one of the most interesting 'losers' of world's history …Well researched, expertly narrated, with a good balance of history and of fiction. ...more
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fine read. Mr Oden paints the time far better than Manfredi's more lengthy work and deals excellently with one of history's more intriguing characters. It isn't "gates of fire", nor is it as enthralling, but it is a fine book in its own right. ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Not bad at all! In addition to telling the (fictionalized within the historical context, as the author states) story of an often overlooked but potentially fascinating person, it's also an alternate view of Alexander, which can be hard to find. ...more
Alastair Hill
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are literally thousands of novels about Alexander, this is about potentially his greatest rival. Thrilling and intruiging, gives a different look into one of the most popular periods of history.
William Carter
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like it when a novel goes against the grain. This novel shows the war from the Persians POV against Alexander. Well written, thoroughly enjoyed.
Rusty Wright
Got a bit boring and never really grabbed me.
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Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Sh ...more

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