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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Killer of Men (Long War #1) by Christian Cameron

Killer of Men
Arimnestos is a farm boy when war breaks out between the citizens of his native Plataea and and their overbearing neighbours, Thebes. Standing in the battle line - the wall of bronze - for the first time, alongside his father and brother, he shares in a famous and unlikely victory. But after being knocked unconscious in the melee, he awakes not a hero, but a slave. Betrayed by his jealous and cowardly cousin, the freedom he fought for has now vanished, and he becomes the property of a rich citizen of Ephesus. So begins an epic journey from slavery that takes the young Arimnestos through a world poised on the brink of an epic confrontation, as the emerging civilization of the Greeks starts to flex its muscles against the established empire of the Persians. As he tries to make his fortune and revenge himself on the man who disinherited him, Arimnestos discovers that he has a talent that pays well in this new, violent world, for like his hero, Achilles, he is 'a killer of men'.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 400 pages (Hardcover)
Publication Date: January 8th 2010 by Orion
Last month I had myself a real hankering for some historical fiction so after looking at the Toronto Public Library's website and I came across Killer of Men by Christian Cameron and thought why not? I love books written during this time period and it wasn't too long of a novel either.
So, despite having a multitude of other novels that had to be read first I couldn't resist the appeal of this book for long and I ended up starting it the same day I brought it home. Right away I was drawn into Arminestos' story and the way it was told. The book was told by Arminestos when he was an old man retelling the story of his life to his daughter as well as some of her companions for me the way it was told lent itself to the overall success of the story. I haven't come across this style of story telling very often and when I do it can be either hit or miss. However, with Killer of Men the author was bang on in the way he used this writing technique.
Arminestos tells the story of his life from the time he was a small child to when he was a young man in his twenties and all the good, bad, happy, sad and extremely rough times in between. From being raised by a drunken mother, a distant father to that of being a slave after battle where he was sold out by his thieving and conniving cousin to the time he comes home to his roots after his aching heart can no longer resist the call of home.
This was the first book I've read by the author and I was really impressed with it. I loved the way the story was told, the characters were wonderful and Arminestos is one of those hero's that makes you want to invest your time and energy into reading about even after the first book is finished. What I think really made the novel though was the history. The author has a degree in history and was in the United States Navy and you can tell his experience in both fields came in handy while he wrote this book and that Killer of Men is a book written with a lot of passion and love for history which I as a history lover can really appreciate. The skill in which he was able to depict ancient life and depict such an arduous and bloody war was impressive.
The overall plot of the novel was great. There was murder, history, war, espionage, intrigue a little sex and some foul language in the book and it all came together in excellently written piece of historical fiction. I loved the blood and gore in the book and the tone in which Arminestos told his story to his daughter was wonderful.
In conclusion the book was a wonderful read. While the way the story is told may not be for everyone I highly recommend this book to all those with a love for ancient history, historical fiction and don't mind a book with a lot of killing to go along with a rich historical tapestry. I'm so glad that I gave this author a try and I can't wait to read the next book in this series told by Arminestos written by Christian Cameron in the new year.
Really Liked it!
★ ★ ★ ★
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  1. I'm not big on historical fiction, but this does sound good. Sometimes you can surprise yourself by reading outside of your genre and I really need to do that.

  2. This book looks good especially since I'm inclined towards historical fiction and as the author has some background that gives him more experience and a good writing style, I think I should go get this one.

    Great review as always, Kimberly.

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