Net Morris and Chris Morris 547 pages *Available From And Barnes Noble In Trade *from and Barnes Noble in trade Kindle and Nook editions Reviewed by Joe Bonadonna Sanctuary and Thieves World are both registered trademarks owned by Lynn Abbey are mentioned here only for purposes of this review All three hundred of the Sacred Band of Thebes fought at Chaeronea in August of 338 BCE and two hundred fifty four skeletons lie buried there today under a granite lion Some still argue about the fate of the forty six whose skeletons were not recovered Plutarch says that they died together and Philip of Macedon wept to see it Another late At 600 pages this epic story is not for the faint hearted but for those who venture into the fantastic world of ancient gods wars and battles The Sacred Band is immensely rewarding The writing style is meant to pace the reader by doing so I found that the of people and events were deeply impressed on my particularly the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE which the central theme of this story For those familiar with classic history this Fantasy version would be particularly exciting but even for those of us who just like to enjoy a good book The Sacred Band won t disappoint The writing style epitomizes true literature of high uality making it a very rewarding reading experience on its own merit regardless of historic basis or the fantasy genre The ancient world relied heavily on its belief in gods and how those gods controlled or interacted with mortal man and this makes an excellent platform for a special ind of Fantasy novel The characters gods avatar of gods and other beings in between the heavenly and earthly realm are gradually introduced and developed and near the end of the book I found myself feeling well acuainted and even fond of the main characters Tempus Niko Strat Crit the Theban goddess Harmony among others and was anxious to read the outcome of the climactic battle hoping they would all survive unscathed Getting involved with the characters their lives and destinies in such a way is always a sign of a good story and a well written book and for me personally The Sacred Band has made a part of obscure history come to life in my mind and thereby also changed my perception of this part of history The Sacred Band Fantasy HeroicMythological Adventure5 starsOne of the signs of a great book for me at least is the urge to continue reading it despite the fact it is very late or there is something else I really should be doing This was one such book Spawned from the Thieves World series and interwoven with historical research and ancient sources the story covers the rescue of the missing members of the Sacred Band of Thebes who fought at the Battle of Chaeronea and whose whereabouts are unknown to history In the style of the myths of old such Homer this is a great adventure filled with war and there is a LOT of that love loyalty and bravery far beyond the call of duty not to mention interfering deities wicked wizards conflict and change balance and harmony The world of Tempus and his companions has been extensively researched and it shows for the world is extremely rich totally believable and yet utterly fantastic The reader experiences a ride of epic and heroic proportions from the graphic battle scenes including the shock and loss to the weapons armour lifestyles and religion of the world The characters are engaging varied and interesting from the enigmatic and warlike Tempus to the young Niko who strives for balance Heroes abound as they strive to fight an enemy like no other and one who could destroy them and all they hold dear An excellent exciting and totalling enthralling adventure and I look forward to reading many by this author This is the first Sacred Band story I have ever read and I m left wondering how in the heck I overlooked this amazing world created by Janet Morris and Chris Morris in the 1980s Whoops did I just carbon date myself there One of the things I found so great about this book is that it doesn t matter that I missed all that cool stuff in the 80s because I picked this one up and dove right Sure there were a very few allusions to prior stories but not enough to make you feel like you ve really missed out on something major This book stands alone and does a great job of doing it What happens when gods fates and other supernatural forces dally with the lives of men Nothing good We find Tempus leading his Sacred Band of Stepsons into harms way in an effort to save the fated dead on the field of battle setting off a chain of events even gods and goddesses can t control If they are successful how will men sworn to fight and die alongside their brethren find a way to live with themselvesThe supposed son of a god a seer a wizarding boy and one blessed by a goddess come to earth How might these four young Sacred Banders effect the outcome The only way to find out is to read this wonderful book for yourselfWhen I finished The Sacred Band before I realized it had happened I had taken my Kindle back to the first page and read three pages again It must have been my subconscious trying it s best not to leave Sanctuary leaving my new found friends behind I cannot wait to get my hands on another Sacred Band tome. Mortalized Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons consummate ancient cavalry fighters to make new lives in a faraway land and fight the battle of their dreams where gods walk the earth ghosts take the field and the angry Fates demand their du. ,
I was gifted with a copy
OF THIS BOOK BY THE AUTHORthis book by the author the purpose of giving an honest reviewI really didn t now what to expect with The Sacred Band when the author reuested a read and review I was not familiar with the Thieves World shared fantasy world and the book looks like it s based on Greek history and mythology perhaps even set in ancient Greece which isn t really my thing but it looked intriguing so I decided to give it a go and I m glad I didThe Sacred Band is an exciting and deeply emotional epic fantasy about a band of warriors dedicated to each other as brothers who find themselves in a battle to restore their integrity and right some old imbalances in Finally a skillfully wrought story without dragons or trolls or elves no magic rings and no uest for a talisman to save the universe Instead what Janet and Chris Morris have accomplished is a compelling and *suspenseful story that incorporates superbly researched history woven a mythic tale of human drama Deftly balancing the complexities of *story that incorporates superbly researched history woven into a tale of human drama Deftly balancing the complexities of emotion as 4th century BC Greeks and Thebans deal with war traitors and jealous gods the authors have imprinted The Sacred Band as a must read While there are many strengths to the novel there are two that I find worthy of mention believable characters especially as it relates to dialogue which translates into do I care about these characters and finely crafted imagery One of my pet peeves is stilted language in any novel formulaic rather than real Add to that the dilemma of narrativeimagery that affects all novels either too much or too little Thankfully the authors have blended just the right mix of believable dialogue and thus characters with exceptional imagery The result is a story that sucks one in building with each succeeding page Not only did I care about the characters I was sorely tempted to skip ahead Bottom line get it now You won t be disappointed In a world of books that try to capture the vintage literacy of times past but fail it is refreshing and exhilarating to finally find a book in this day and age that one can honestly say is an instant classicThe story is already complex but then you throw in an impressive collection of characters each getting their turn in the the spotlight It s simply mind blowing none fade away and there aren t any loose ends simply a remarkable feat The numerous characters The Sacred Band and the Thebans are sewn together so seamlessly that what should look like a uilt is like a painted masterpiece If I had to fault the book the only thing I can say is that I hit a snag in the beginning I had a few problems understanding and remembering who was who because the characters have their given name and also their war name and in some cases a god given name and I am notoriously awful when it comes to names So the fault is really just me However it didn t take long for me to catch on to a plot this intriguing and dangerous The authors new the dynamics of war and the seuences leading up to it everything was perfectly played out like a good chess game and the fun part was you could see it from so many different points of view The Sacred Band took me into a world of gods demigods mortals and other beings Each with their own affections and opinions toward one another hatred respect and most importantly love I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will be recommending it to all of my friends and family JSTurner The authors of The Sacred Band create a vibrant real world that sweeps you into its grasp and drags you along icking and screaming into a dark world where the only wrong action is inaction and that just gets you illed or worse and dishonor is measured by the severing of bonds formed between warriors destined to die Whether it is the numerous combat seuences or the on going heartrending conflict between the various characters their Gods and their world this book is filled with such immediate need that you are compelled to react to their circumstances In your mind you cannot help but take up sword and spear call out commands or warnings or lamentations and participate as one of the Band in the story itself Like an intensely contested sporting event I found it so riveting that I was not above screaming at the characters when their decisions took them into harm s way and mumbling curses to myself when they made self serving decisions that threatened both their comrades and the precarious balance necessary for the survival of the world itself Anxiety levels were often high my breathing and heart rate impacted as conflict reached crescendo over and over again climbing higher each time until its climax when I could finally relax or so I thought The characters in the book have deep flaws needs desires and vices that feel real and force the reader to relate to them on a human level Much as we often search for the underlying reasons for that may explain why soldiers may commit terrible acts in war the reader finds himherself seeking to understand the hard and often violently unforgiving decisions made by the Riddler as he leads the Band on and challenges fate itself We find ourselves forgiving him those brutal decisions for we now hard men and women are needed in hard times We are propelled alongsi. The Sacred Band of Thebes lives on a world away in this mythic novel of love in war in ancient times In 338 BCE during the Battle of Chaeronea that results in the massacre of the Sacred Band of Thebes the legendary Tempus and his Stepson cava. ,
De the warriors of the Band as their brothers are illed their vows challenged their hearts corrupted and we feel it deeply we understand it at a level deeper than most novels even aspire to reach much less actually reach There is to these warriors than surface crust to them than shallow characterizations of heroic figures The authors is a master of building the relationship between reader and character and fulfills the implicit contract with the reader from the opening scene you will care about these characters you will care about their fight and you will care about their ability to overcome all of the forces arrayed against them even if you wouldn t hand them a glass of water in the event they were parched near to death I recommend everyone read this book everyone that
Is That Wants To Be Part Ofthat wants to be part of story experience the tribulations and victories of its characters and wind up with personal insight than you could hope to find in a novel AND the ability to continue on with yet another story about the Band The Sacred Band starts with the Sacred Band of Stepsons led by thier immortal leader Tempus Thales avatar of the ancient storm god Enlil saving 46 warriors of the Sacred Band of Thebes an ancient Greek warrior fighting unit from thier fated death The conseuences of cheating destiny and death and altering history reverberate throughout the novel Fans of the series will not be disappointed as favorite characters and locales from the earlier novels and stories are present in the book The Stepsons including Niko Critias Straton Sync and others even return to the ill fated city of Sanctuary along with their new found brothers in battle the 23 pairs of Theban warriors What follows is an action packed fast paced novel filled with battles mysteries murder sorcery precient visions philosophy mythology mysticism gods sexuality and explorations into the relationships amongst the Stepsons and Thebans and how they resolve the integration of their separate Sacred Bands I have waited years for new stories from what are some of my favorite characters and settings in fantasy and I was thrilled to read this new novel by Janet Morris and Chris Morris If you love action packed fantasy with rich settings and complex deep characters then you will love The Sacred Band Hands down my favorite so far The addition of the Sacred Band of Thebes and their goddess made this book just superb We meet back up with one of my favorite characters other than Niko Ischade the necromant What can I say about Ischade and Strat other than WOW Even without the authors going into any detail the love those two have for each other It almost stole the book away from Niko who once again goes through Hell and back but emerges stronger better complete To me this book was about love than any of the other books We have Niko s love for Tempus for Randal for Harmony for the band Tempus has his love for Niko the band Cime and Jihan and Kouras Crit with his worrisome love for Strat who loves both Crit and the dangerous Ischade We have a goddess love for her fighters and their love for her All this love floating aroundand not a lot of words about it but it is THEREyou can t help but notice itWe have the opposite of love the hatred that Shamshi and Askelon have for my poor poor Nikodemus This story line just floored me What a horrid match those
Two Make The Entelechy Ofmake The entelechy of and dark mage blooded Banderan trained youth The hatred those two have for Niko and Tempus just drips with venom and malice As much as I love Niko that storyline was my favorite in this book Shamshi turned up at the weirdest times causing strife and confusion Just freaking brilliantAnd we add to all that emotion capping it off with one of the best written most concise battles that I have ever had the pleasure to read I read it three times to make sure I didn t miss anything and I am still sure I did Well choreographed action no wasted words This is one of the few battles I have read where I could SEE the action unfolding before my eyes I could see the spears and arrows some hitting home and causing great injury and others being intercepted by shields I could see the masses of fighters with all the various injuries I could hear the shouts feel the fear running through the fighters I could almost taste the metallic flavor of blood okay I may have bitten the inside of my lipanxiety for all my guys just about did me in These books have all picked me up and plopped me into the midst of The Sacred Band and made me experience it allWhen all is said and done the final scene on the spit by the seayeah I criedit is emotional poignant and wraps it all up with a new military patch and commendations I dare you to read the voice of Abarsis at the end when he talks to RiddlerAnd that right there that apparent first had exposure is why I just adore these books the characters and most of all the authors Total immersion in the history the pantheon of gods and human nature the good the bad and the worst There are no better books that I have found that call to a history buff who is also a lover of heroic fantasy books Life to you and everlasting glory THE SACRED BAND by Janet Morris and Chris Morris Published by Perseid Press Copyright 2010 by Ja. Lry rescue twenty three pairs of Theban Sacred Banders paired lovers and friends to fight on other days These forty six Thebans whose bones will never lie in the mass grave that holds their two hundred and fifty four brothers join with the im.