Finally I got to write a review again, this time about a historical fiction set in ancient Greece. Let’s have a coffee, and see what it was like! ☺️
I bought another book by M.C. Ford on a sale, and my boyfriend read it first. He loved it very much, but it turned out it is the last book he wrote, and in time-line there is 4 other books before this one. It is not exactly a series, the books are set in different time periods, but regarding history they’re in chronological and logical order. So my dear OCD couldn’t start with the last one… I HAD to buy the first. Hence I got my second-hand copy of ‘The Ten Thousand’.
Maybe it’s because my boyfriend was so psyched about it, but I think I expected from this book a little more. Don’t get me wrong, it was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I didn’t get sucked into it so much. My main problem was that I didn’t really know what I’m supposed to be reading. Is it a story of a war? Or a story of survival in times like this? A story of a friendship? Of character development from young boy to the leader of soldiers?
In a meaning, it is all of the above. And I love that! What was weird for me, is that it kind of seemed like every chapter or part is one of the above and not really the others. I can’t exactly put my finger on why I felt like that, but I did.
The first part seemed like the book was going to be about how Xenophone becomes a man and a soldier, and it was a very beautifully built-up arc for a while, observantly narrated by his servant, Theo. I thought he was gonna be the protagonist, but later somehow Theo got more role, and he only mentioned Xenophone from time to time.
It didn’t really feel like Theo was a real main character either. He was there at every action, but talked more about what happened around him then to him. Yet he had a love affair, which is something that is clearly only affecting him. I don’t know if it’s because of this all, but I didn’t really get the point of the romance part. It was fine, but based on the events and thoughts expressed at the end, I felt like it was supposed to be something more important and great than it came through. To me this was more of a simple affection than real love. But maybe that’s just me.
The ending matched the first part, and it was like the whole book was about Xenophone and Theo’s relationship and character development. Which it kinda was, but then again, it wasn’t. You have to read it, to understand what I’m getting at.
Out of these, I really liked this book. It was very easy to read, and after all, I think it was a survival tale in a world where there’s a fine line between friend, family and enemy, slave and noble, life or death with head held hide.
Let’s give it a grade!
- Story: 4/5
- Characters: 3/5
- Style: 3/5
- The Subjective Factor: 4/5
- GPA: 3.5
Before reading it, I expected this novel to be a story of war, one about battles and winning and losing, fighting for a city, or for someone, anything that’s a clear aim. It was not exactly like that. That aim was basically survival, to get home from a place soldiers don’t really have anything they want to fight for. But they aren’t so simply let go. This book describes very well how uncertain everything was at that time, when every city was a little different world, and cousins could fight cousins just because they were from other settlements of the same folks.
If you like historical fiction, give this one a go, it’s worth reading!
Wine & Soda
Sick Puppies: You’re going down. I know it is not *really* about war, but somehow I associate it with this book.
For sure I will read Ford’s other books as well, and not just because I own two of them!
Have you ever read anything by this author? Did you like it? What do you think about this one?
As always, I excitedly wait for your comments! 😉