5 Star Review of Throne of Darius posted on Amazon

Andy Nunez, Editor of Against the Odds Magazine
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, fast-paced modern view of ancient history
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2021
I received this book as a gift. I am a student of history, but ancient history was never terribly interesting so I wondered how dry a book on Alexander the Great’s conquests would be since it was just one victory after the other. Boy, was I surprised! To fully understand the thrust of the book, make sure you note the subtitle: A Captain of Thebes. This is not Alexander’s story, or is it Darius’, but that of a Theban captain named Dimitrios, his cranky physician brother Klemes, and Dimitrios’ aide Ari. Dimitrios, his beloved Thebes sacked and burned by Alexander, flees to Asia Minor to enlist in the Greek Mercenary army of Memnos, one of Darius’ top generals. Along the way, he has a number of adventures, told in a breezy, adventure novel style that makes the chapters fly by. There are dashes of humor, deliberate anachronisms to help modern readers picture events, and more modern dialogue, unlike the dry, stilted, sometimes Shakespearean speeches that some authors force from their character’s mouths. There are plenty of pop culture references that hark back anywhere from Star Trek the original series to the doom on Napoleon’s Guard at Waterloo. Dimitrios and company give you a soldier’s eye view of the famous battles and sieges of the early part of Alexander’s conquest of Asia Minor, from the Granicos to the sack of Hallicarnassos. Alexander comes off as driven, brilliant, petulant and downright homicidal in his desire to destroy the Persian Empire and replace it with his own. Dimitrios must wend his way between obeying his general and dealing with the Persian people, who see things totally different than does the Theban. You will cry, you will laugh, you will lose sleep racing to the end of this novel, but you will never be bored. Mark McLaughlin’s historic research credits are impeccable. He blends unpronounceable names with fast-paced action and snappy dialogue, and word pictures flow across the page so you can easily imagine each battlefield, each city, each backwater Persian village. Mark includes several maps and the cast of characters, even including fake reviews from some of the book’s characters on how they feel they are portrayed. Those who don’t like this book are probably sticklers for authentic dialogue and military descriptions, but such things would make the book a turnoff for modern readers who want blazing action and witty dialogue. This book has plenty of both. Get it and its sequels. I am starting the second book shortly

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