The Queen of Sparta
This semi-historical novel attempts to capture the last times of the Spartans, and their Queen, Gorgo. The title is active in suggesting that Queen Gorgo is the guiding force and whispering spirit that causes all events to play out.
Was I enthralled and enraptured by this novel? No, I couldn’t say so. Did I enjoy it? To an extent yes. Anyone interested in history and the politics of ancient time would benefit from reading this novel. I think this novel failed in a way for me because I am only familiar in a roundabout manner of the roles of Romans, Spartans, Persians and Greeks in that time period.
Something that constantly bugged me about this novel was that I couldn’t keep the names straight. As my memory is pretty faulty when it comes to names in the first case, giving two characters a long name beginning with ‘P’ isn’t great. That being said, I happily read along, not really knowing which character was which, and just absorbing what was happening,
I would have liked some of the characters to be more fully realised. If I don’t have a clear image of someone in my head, I have difficulty emoting with them. That being said, I’m not sure that this novel was asking for a highly emotive response. Mostly it felt like a recantation of facts, partially obscured by the inclusion of a narrative guide.
What I enjoyed the most was the descriptions of how wars took place. The different approaches of each side, the particular weapons and the active trading of times were great.
3 stars from me. I don’t think I was enough of a target audience, as I feel that more preexisting knowledge would have helped in understanding the implications of each battle and interaction.