Review by Helena91 -- The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

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Helena91
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Latest Review: The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

Review by Helena91 -- The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

Post by Helena91 » 04 Jul 2019, 05:55

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Fox" by M. N. J. Butler.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Fox by M.N.J. Butler is a historical fiction novel. It was first published in the year 1995 and was republished in the year 2018. This is the story of the Greek people of Sparta as told by Leotychides, supposed son of king Agis of Sparta, known as the cockerel.

Leotychides noticed in his early childhood that he gets unexplainable attention from people. He also noticed his father's coldness towards him. These make him curious about the events leading to his birth. Will he find the answers he seeks?
The title of this book was probably coined from a story once told by Doreius, about the boy who hid a stolen Fox in his cloak and let it gnaw through to his innards until it killed him without uttering a cry, rather than reveal his theft. This is an allegory that will play a major role in Leotychides conduct and Sparta’s expectations of its people.

The people of Sparta are interestingly educated when considered alongside their neighbouring cities. They were well informed and law-abiding. Spartan boys as young as 7 years old entered a rigorous training known as the Agoge. The Agoge inculcates such values as loyalty, endurance, duty and discipline. Spartan men were professional soldiers, and their women, although not active fighters, were educated and enjoyed more freedom. Worthy of mentioning is their openness to homosexuality. They also agree that a man can arrange with another man to help him get his wife pregnant. In this case, the child is for the husband and is entitled to every benefit therein. Sparta as no bastard!

The Fox is well researched and brilliantly written. You will marvel at the historical accuracy of this book. Although slow-paced, the book developed considerably as it progresses. At the start of this 27 chapters book, the author, aware of the many characters therein, and the possibility of readers getting confused presented a schematic representation of the royal houses of Sparta. He also included a glossary. The tale was narrated in a conversational manner, alternating between Leotychides present life in king Philippos courtyard and the events of his life as a Sparta royalty.

This book is a very long read and it requires patience to get the most from it. Regrettably, the lines are not well spaced in my electronic copy and the letters are tiny making it even more difficult to read. It is, however, professionally edited as I didn’t notice any errors while reading it.

Lovers of history, anthropology and particularly those who are familiar or who seek to be familiar with the ancient Greek stories will find this book invaluable. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I deducted 1 star particularly because the lines are not well spaced and this posses a problem for enjoyable reading.

******
The Fox
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esp1975
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Post by esp1975 » 05 Jul 2019, 12:15

I am a huge fan of Greek history. At some point, I will get around to reading this book (but might need to do it at a point when all my reading won't be done on the bus).

Helena91
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Post by Helena91 » 07 Jul 2019, 16:23

esp1975 wrote:
05 Jul 2019, 12:15
I am a huge fan of Greek history. At some point, I will get around to reading this book (but might need to do it at a point when all my reading won't be done on the bus).
I'm confident you will enjoy reading this book. Thanks for stopping by

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Post by Daniel_ » 09 Jul 2019, 00:42

I'm not a fan of historical book, however, i find the history of the Spartans quite fascinating. Great review!

Helena91
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Post by Helena91 » 09 Jul 2019, 04:02

Daniel_ wrote:
09 Jul 2019, 00:42
I'm not a fan of historical book, however, i find the history of the Spartans quite fascinating. Great review!
Thanks for stopping by

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Post by poojkapadia » 09 Jul 2019, 07:57

It sounds like a well researched and well written historical fiction book. Being slow paced, it might require a lot of efforts to finish it. Not for me, but I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for the wonderful review!

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Post by LinaMueller » 09 Jul 2019, 08:09

I shouldn't have skipped this read, but now I'll just go back and read it. Thanks for your review, Helena.
Heart! We will forget him!
You an I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging.
I may remember him!

Emily Dickinson

Helena91
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Post by Helena91 » 09 Jul 2019, 22:08

poojkapadia wrote:
09 Jul 2019, 07:57
It sounds like a well researched and well written historical fiction book. Being slow paced, it might require a lot of efforts to finish it. Not for me, but I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for the wonderful review!
It is indeed well researched. Thanks for the kind words

Helena91
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Post by Helena91 » 09 Jul 2019, 22:09

LinaMueller wrote:
09 Jul 2019, 08:09
I shouldn't have skipped this read, but now I'll just go back and read it. Thanks for your review, Helena.
Going back to it is not a bad idea. Thanks for stopping by

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Post by Anthony__ » 10 Jul 2019, 11:05

I am not a fan of Greek history. I guess this book is not for me. Anyway, you were explicit in your review. Thank you for the review!

Helena91
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Post by Helena91 » 10 Jul 2019, 11:34

Anthony__ wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 11:05
I am not a fan of Greek history. I guess this book is not for me. Anyway, you were explicit in your review. Thank you for the review!
Thank you for stopping by

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Post by daviddawud » 11 Jul 2019, 02:28

I saw this book on my wall but I was not ready to peruse it. This is because I'm actually not a fan of historical fictions especially one with voluminous pages. However, your review has piqued my interest for this book. I might probably give it a shot. Thank you for the wonderful review as always.

Helena91
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Post by Helena91 » 11 Jul 2019, 13:26

daviddawud wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 02:28
I saw this book on my wall but I was not ready to peruse it. This is because I'm actually not a fan of historical fictions especially one with voluminous pages. However, your review has piqued my interest for this book. I might probably give it a shot. Thank you for the wonderful review as always.
Thank you very much for your kind words

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Post by Nerea » 27 Jul 2019, 00:21

True, the book is well researched and patience is required so that one can fully benefit from reading the book. I enjoyed reading your review. You highlighted points that I missed while writing the review of the book. Good job. :tiphat:
"Regular reading improves your grammar."

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