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 »

[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 »

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
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Post by Falconcrest »

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 »

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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Post by Wamakima »

Now this is definitely my type of book. I love ancient Greek history. I have also reviewed a book whose plot was based upon Greek mythology and history. There's something about Spartan soldiers, their training and history that makes a book an entertaining read. Your review moreover is fantastic. I loved how you clearly outlined the main characters.
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Post by imashakavinda »

This is a amazing novel regarding the Greek history and Greek mythology.I glamour to read these types of books,Thanks for great rewiew
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Post by Amy+++ »

When I saw the title I thought that this book was going to be about wolves, not the Peloponnesian war.
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Post by AntonelaMaria »

I read some books inspired by Peleponese wars, but not this one. It is a great accomplishment when a book about history is both teachable and entertaining. Great review!
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Post by AntoineOMEGA »

I am not interested in very graphic war stories, so I must pass.
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Post by jerrypru »

I love that Lamon weaves in emotional struggles that Niko, a soldier endures throughout the story. Great review.
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Post by slj3988 »

I've been meaning to find some good historical fiction. Thanks for the enticing review!
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Post by Ferdinand_Otieno »

This is an amazing hostorical fiction coming of age story highlighting Sparta, ancienct Greece, political intrigue, war, and growth. The book has a free sample on Amazon Kindle and has an inciteful OnlineBookClub review that highlighted it perfectly.Congrats @LamonWA on the BOTD.
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Post by osigele-favour11 »

This is a great books you just love to read. It allows readers to review history while enjoying an interesting and entertaining story. I really enjoyed your insights about this book. Great review.
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Post by Readerjorge »

A book that takes the reader on a journey of a young Spartan through training where he learns the physical and mental skills he will need to fight alongside his companions as a powerful warrior. An oriented book to readers who like historical fiction with a focus on ancient Greece.
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Post by cpru68 »

Your review is very thorough about this novel. I read the opening pages, so to have a bit more insight about the main character is helpful. I am not a huge fan of Ancient Greece or its wars, so this one really isn’t for me. I do find it interesting that this author shows readers that these men who were programmed to fight also had interests outside of war. It looks like for those who enjoy the genre will be thrilled with this one.
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