Axios: A Spartan Tale by Jaclyn Osborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A stunning romance and historical brilliance combined
If you decide to step outside your comfort zone and pick up something different it should be this book. It goes beyond words as to what makes it special but special it most definitely is.
I am a bit of a Greek myths and history nerd so I was astonished at the level of research which has gone into anchoring this amazing love story so firmly in factual events.
No Axios and his lover Eryx may not have been historical figures but they were real, as real as the life they lived in Sparta and the battles they fought in the Peloponnesian Wars.
And oh how they loved, with all the passion and fire and devotion of two perfect halves made whole altogether. This may not be a conventional love story but by all the Gods they worshipped, it is as epic as those in Greek legend.
From their first meeting, to the epilogue which brings their story to a close, they were inseparable, friends, warriors, lovers, companions, typifying all that was good about Sparta in her glorious age. But also highlighting the ultimate decline and fall of a once great Nation State as new rules rose and empires changed.
This is the first book I’ve read by Jaclyn and I have to commend her for choosing to tackle such a weighty setting, the attention to detail is flawless, the introduction of the Sacred Band of Thebes cleverly mirroring what was happening in Axios and Eryx’s own military unit. The setting is flawless, the tiny attentions to detail which bring 4thC BC Sparta to life all just add weight to the inevitability of the love story.
Honestly, don’t be put off by the setting, this really is a love story for the ages. Have tissues and a comfort blanket – or a stiff drink – ready when you read the epilogue, it is perfect. This is a book which will stay with me for a very long time and one which I will happily recommend to anyone and everyone.
I borrowed this on KU and loved it so much that I bought it as soon as I’d sent it back. This is a book which, even if I don’t read it again (although I’m sure I will once my bruised and broken heart recovers), I wanted to have my own copy because it just deserves to be at the top of the charts.
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