Liviu's Reviews > Marathon: Freedom or Death

Marathon by Christian Cameron
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011_release_read, mainstream, read_2011, top_25_2011_novels

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:
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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hey Liviu, I've read a few of his Tyrant books. Is this a completely different series with different characters? Is it better or worse compared to his Tyrant series? For the record I've only read the first 2 books of the Tyrant series, so no spoilers!


Liviu Marathon is the second book in the Arimnestos of Plataea series after Killer of Men; it is first person narration so it is more "intimate" than Tyrant - incidentally the new Tyrant books that follow Kineas twins are in a way a different series than Tyrant also, more exuberant for example.

Coming back to Killer of Men which i am now rereading since I really want to get in the "mood" for Marathon which i just bought last night as a Kindle novel, this last being a huge asap of mine, as a voice novel a lot depends on how much you like the narrator.

The series starts when Arimnestos is about 6 or 7 and Miltiades (to whom he has a complicate hero worship/dislike your selfishness relationship) is in his mid 20's and comes to make an alliance between Plataea and Athens, while recounting how our hero becomes a "killer of men"

Later it moves to Asia Minor and the Greek rebellion of 599-598 and beyond up till about 594 or so with Arimnestos now in his early 20's...

Marathon picks up where Killer of Men ends and I am having huge expectations for it, more than for the tyrant series

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