Official Review: Wolves of Laconia by William A. Lamon

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Official Review: Wolves of Laconia by William A. Lamon

Post by MarisaRose » 04 Nov 2019, 09:36

[Following is an official review of "Wolves of Laconia" by William A. Lamon.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Last Shades of Scarlet: Wolves of Laconia, by William A. Lamon, follows the first-person narrative of Adronikos (Nikos), a young Spartan. Beginning during his youth, the novel takes the reader on a journey through Nikos’ training in the agoge, where he learns the physical and mental skills he will need to fight alongside his peers as a mighty Spartan warrior. Along the way, Nikos is helped through his training by his mentor, Gylippus. As the novel progresses, Nikos is inducted into the prestigious Wolves, where he is sent on a mission to gather political intelligence. Set against the Peloponnesian War, Wolves of Laconia combines political intrigue, realities of war, and the intricacies of humanity to form one epic tale.

At its heart, Wolves of Laconia is a coming-of-age story. As a Spartan warrior, Nikos doesn’t live a typical life, but the feelings he experiences are simply human. Lamon does an excellent job of focusing on the physical and battle-specific aspects of a Spartan’s life while also weaving in the emotional struggles faced by a soldier: Nikos confronts ethical decisions on multiple occasions. As a soldier, he faces moral quandaries about loyalties to his comrades, his standing in society, and the killing of innocents. These inner battles, which Nikos endures throughout the story, build a sense of realism into the character.

Similarly, Lamon masterfully devotes portions of the narrative to Nikos’ realistic wants and desires. So often, soldiers are portrayed as battle hungry robots, but that is not the case for Nikos; he is a multi-faceted young man with interests outside of training. As one would expect, Nikos is interested in getting to know the fairer sex, and the author includes a romantic side plot to show readers this aspect of Nikos’ nature. In the story, Nikos is torn between his love for a woman and her substandard social standing. Although this is a minor plot compared to the majority of the story, it plays an important role in developing the narrator as a realistic and relatable character. The combination of focus on the devastation of war and Nikos’ humanity made this a well-rounded story that will appeal to a wide audience.

Not only was this novel entertaining, but it also proved to be enlightening. The author weaves many facts about the historical period into the story. Although the book includes a detailed glossary of terms, I rarely found the need to reference the glossary because terms were thoroughly described as they appeared in the novel. Best of all, archaic words were explained seamlessly within the narrative and did not take away from the storytelling. Moreover, Lamon’s writing is professional and easy to understand, and the dialogue felt appropriate for the setting. Wolves of Laconia does not shy away from masculine nature and the realities of war, so readers should be aware that there are many instances of profane language and graphic battle scenes throughout the story; however, it is important to also note that all instances felt fitting given the focus of the novel.

Overall, Wolves of Laconia proved to be an entertaining and informative read. The author expertly conveyed a coming-of-age story, told from the believable perspective of a young soldier, that was inclusive of important facts about the historical period. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and there was nothing I disliked. I rate Lamon’s work a glowing 4 out of 4 stars. Although this novel has a true ending, Nikos’ story is left open for additional novels to follow, and I look forward to future installments in the series. Readers who like accurate historical fiction, especially with a focus on ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War, are sure to enjoy Wolves of Laconia.

Wolves of Laconia
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Post by LauraLeeWasHere » 08 Nov 2019, 08:21

Entertaining and enlightening. My two favorite requirements of a story. Then mix in a character who takes us to a different place and time than our own and let him be a different person at the end of his journey than when he started and I'm sure it's a book I'll be reading.

Thank you for also mentioning the B story within the book. Not many reviewers do that and they are often an important element to emphasize the point the author is aiming for.

It's obvious you've spent a good deal of time pondering this story before creating your review. I appreciate all your effort because you've just pointed me towards a book I'll enjoy reading.

I believe this is the first one of your reviews I've read and I'll be looking forward to seeing more.

Sincerely, LLR
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John 21:25 KJV

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Post by Falconcrest » 13 Nov 2019, 06:41

This is an amazing story and definitely a must-read. I love stories about Spartans and am also intrigued by the Greek culture. Thanks for the fantastic review.

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Post by kdstrack » 14 Nov 2019, 21:39

This is one of those books you just love to read. It allows readers to review and relearn history while enjoying an entertaining story. I enjoyed your insights about this book. Great review.

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