2 out of 4 stars
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The Fox by M.N.J. Butler is the story of Leotyches, a royal born Spartan who must unravel the mystery of the stares he endures and his rightful place in his society.
I was initially drawn to this book because it takes place in ancient Sparta. Greek history and mythology have always fascinated me. The first line of this book "Something is going on here." really peeked my interest. Unfortunately, my interest soon gave way to confusion.
Leotyches begins to write something of an autobiography of his life, starting from the time he is around 3 or 4. From that point, the reader is bombarded with many names of characters, many of which are very similar, but with very little detail to distinguish each character. From the beginning, I had two names so mixed up I thought they were the same person until about a third of the way into the book.
Despite being written in the first person, the text reads more as a history lesson than the story of a person's life. There is very little emotion behind Leotyches' writing. Scenes that could have been powerful and emotional simply lacked any kind of impact and fell flat. I also felt that Leotyches had very little to overcome. There was no protagonist for him to struggle against or defeat.
However, it is quite clear that the author did a great deal of research into Greek history for this book. There are many references to past wars before the story takes place, and the goings on of the world play a huge part in the narration.
Overall, I give this book 2 out of 4 stars. The research that went into this novel saved it from being 1 star, but the lack of a real plot and character growth kept it from a higher rating.
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