4 out of 4 stars
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The Fox by M.N.J. Butler is a historical fiction, centered on the story of Leotychides. He is a Spartan bastard related to royalty. He tells his memoirs since he was a training soldier in the Spartan military school, till the present day when he's an old man.
The story of Leotychides starts as he is an ancient man that writes his memoirs of when he was a Spartan soldier. Most of the book centers on these older days. Sparta at the time was ruled by both Eurypontid and Agiad kings. Leo as a Spartan prince has to face lots of doubts about his legitimate relation to the royal line, especially after his father, King Agis dies. After seeking help from the Oracle, he is prevented from defending his royal inheritance. After this we see battles for power take place, there's treason and defeat. As well Leotychides must face a lot of challenges when he is put in a power situation. Will he become a respected and powerful leader for his people?
The book describes perfectly Spartan society. The author describes vividly the life of soldiers, and their military preparation. The book is very well written, with characters that have depth and are remarkably well represented. The actions of each character respond perfectly to what the author describes personality-wise. What I like most about the book was the reality of the story. The accuracy referred to the Spartan culture, laws and vision is absolutely on point.
The one thing I dislike about the book was its complexity. The book is a long story, with different and intricate characters. I had to check the glossary to remember which character I was reading at the time. The names are hard to remember, which may be a little confusing.
Despite this complexity, I loved the book. It was a novel that doesn't necessarily try to get quickly to the end. Instead, it takes the reader through a vivid journey. I think the book was professionally edited since it was very well written. I gladly rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It tells an accurate story of the Spartan society and shows us the way of living in it. Also, it talks about friendship and loyalty. There are bonds that are formed as kids and last all their lives, which is one of my favorite lessons.
The book is intriguing and enlightening. It's a story that takes you to ancient Greece on a journey with the main character. The story is engaging and also accurate to the experiences of that time. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves historical novels and vivid characters.
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