Gifts of the Gods: Fire and Ash
Oh Look, Another Book!, Dec 2020
Day 7 of the Coffee Pot Blog Tour
Title: Gifts of the Gods: Fire and Ash
Author: Thomas Berry
Hands up, I will freely admit that the only thing I know about Ancient Greek History was taught to me by Brad Pitt in Troy, and to be fair, I wasn't paying much attention to the storyline. And more recently I have sipped my cuppa while watching those Groovy Greeks from Horrible Histories. If you are a parent, you will know what I am going on about. But, this is an era that I felt that I should know more about and so, when I was offered the chance to read Fire and Ash Gifts of the Gods, Book 3 by Thomas J Berry and having being assured that this book did stand alone, I felt I had a duty to myself to read this book and hopefully learn a little about this period of history along the way.
What I learnt:
Spartans were great warriors.
Athenians were great sailors.
And this was a great annoyance to both sides.
The politicians were corrupt.
Some things never change.
Trade routes were really important. So important that whoever controlled them could actually cause the population of another nation to starve.
Executions were a long drawn out affair, and I quote "Immediate death was to be avoided at all costs, lest the men who passed the sentence be condemned as well." Umm...if they were that worried they could have, you know, not executed anyone - just putting it out there!
If you don't listen to master strategists, your side is pretty much guaranteed to lose. Just saying, if they had listened to Alcibiades...!
And ultimately, it was the ordinary citizens, especially the women and the children, who suffered.
So, yes, I learnt a lot, and it made me want to learn more. This book is a fascinating insight into the war between Sparta and Athens, but it is also a story about ordinary people and how they coped in such an uncertain time.
By using five very different points of view, the author has allowed the reader to have a foot in both camps. I marched with that Spartans, and I sailed with the Athenians. More importantly, there were characters that I really came to care about.
If you are like me and don't know much about Ancient Greece, then please do not be put off by this book for it is a wonderfully written story that shined a light upon a period of history that for some reason has been overlooked. I really enjoyed this novel, and I will definitely be checking out the other books in the series.
Review by "Oh Look, Another Book!"