It is a tale of two cities--the legendary duel between haughty, democratic Athens and brutal, unbeaten Sparta. After seven years of bloody conflict, a barren island in a remote corner of Greece becomes the stage for what promises to become a second Thermopylae. Four hundred Spartan soldiers are cut off by enemy ships on a narrow strip of land, starving, without supplies, yet sworn to uphold their ...
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 17, 2016)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
Amazon Rank: 2857112
Format: PDF ePub fb2 TXT fb2 book
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heritage. Meanwhile, all around them, the powerful Athenian Navy masses for the inevitable assault. As the war of nerves wears on, Spartan nobles and Athenian demagogues maneuver in the background--and two estranged Spartan brothers serve together for the first time. The eldest, Antalcidas, is a legendary warrior hobbled by a damaging secret. His brother Epitadas is envied, popular, and cruel. Together they must overcome a lifetime of hostility to survive the battle of their lives. “With 'The Isle of Stone', Nicholas Nicastro joins the illustrious pedigree of Mary Renault, Valerio Massimo Manfredi and Steven Pressfield with great style and enormous panache. His hero's checkered life story is used to frame a dark and darkening history of Sparta between a hugely destructive natural disaster, a great earthquake in 464 BC, and a self-inflicted, man-made debacle during the prolonged and even more destructive Peloponnesian War. Nicastro knows his ancient sources intimately, but also has the born novelist's instinct to flesh out their bare bones all too plausibly. Nicastro's antiheroes of the isle of Sphacteria are the dark side of Pressfield's heroes in Gates of Fire: both demand and repay the attention of all lovers of expert historical fiction.” --Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History, University of Cambridge, and author of "Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past" “From its explosive first pages, 'The Isle of Stone' draws you into the gritty reality of Sparta during the Peloponnesian War. Nicastro writes powerful prose, but this is no exercise in debunking. With drama, passion, and a sure touch for the facts, Nicastro reveals the heroism behind the humiliation of the shocking day when some of Sparta's unconquerable soldiers surrendered. His images of life and death under the Mediterranean sun hit you like the glare of a polished shield.” --Barry Strauss, author of The Battle of "Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece - and Western Civilization" and Professor of History and Classics, Cornell University "Having brought John Paul Jones and Alexander the Great to life, Nicastro ('Empire of Ashes') turns his formidable skills as a historical novelist on an obscure episode in the Peloponnesian War, that almost three-decade conflict between Athens and Sparta, which he labels antiquity's 'war to end all wars.' The choice to have a narrow focus, rather than an all-encompassing epic sweep, proves a wise one, as it enables Nicastro to go into nitty-gritty detail about the lifestyles of Greece in 425 B.C., making the harsh Spartan attitudes, for example, comprehensible, if not acceptable, to a modern sensibility. The author instills emotional depth in his three main characters—Damatria, a wealthy Spartan woman, and her two sons, Antalcidas and Epitadas—and the supporting cast through adept use of the telling descriptive phrase. The careful research and study that went into this book should enthrall fans of the classics, military history buffs and general readers." --Publisher's Weekly