Official Review: The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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JR Mercier
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Re: Official Review: The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

Post by JR Mercier » 03 Sep 2018, 00:33

Sahani Nimandra wrote: ↑
03 Sep 2018, 00:25
I like Sparta. It's really interesting to watch the 300: Rise Of An Empire which depicts the valour of Spartans. I'm glad this read brings out the best in them. Thank you for your review!
I LOVE 300 :lol2: And their bravery is honestly astounding. Their tactics were also so simple and yet so clever. Thank you for commenting. :tiphat:
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Post by trajoe1206 » 03 Sep 2018, 00:39

Thanks for a great review, although historical fiction isn't normally something I read

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Post by Lunastella » 03 Sep 2018, 10:14

JR Mercier wrote: ↑
21 Aug 2018, 09:17
The history was vivid, and it was riveting reading about Spartan culture: Spartan citizens loyalty toward the state and toward each other; their views on currency and riches; their laws and views on Kings being for the people, and their openness to homosexuality and the education of women. They were a lot more progressive than the other Greek city-states. That, coupled with the captivating story, had me rooting for Sparta all the way through.
How interesting! I wonder what is it that made Sparta different and, perhaps, more progressive.
Honestly, I would never have picked up this book if it wasn´t for your enthusiastic and compelling review and the fact that you say the fight scenes aren´t boring.
Thank you!

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Post by lindsey_flagg » 03 Sep 2018, 11:32

JR Mercier wrote: ↑
21 Aug 2018, 09:17
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org 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 the memoir of Leotychides, a bastard of the Spartan royal line. As a jaded old man, he reveals his riveting and tragic story, starting with his life in the agoge, Sparta’s academic system. We witness him make lifelong friends and endure love, loss, and betrayal while Sparta faces political instability due to power-hungry Agisilaos.

It took me a really long time to finish this book. The ending left me walking around in a daze and even now, it is hard to put this book into words. The Fox is a very long read, but it was teeming with action and recounts so many events that the pages flew by. The atmosphere was written brilliantly and the battle scenes weren’t a bore. The focus on the many people that are affected by war was brutally honest and also heart-wrenching.

I love nothing more than an entertaining read that can teach me something. While I don’t know much about ancient Sparta, I did a lot of research while reading The Fox and I was pleasantly surprised at the accuracy of it all. The history was vivid, and it was riveting reading about Spartan culture: Spartan citizens loyalty toward the state and toward each other; their views on currency and riches; their laws and views on Kings being for the people, and their openness to homosexuality and the education of women. They were a lot more progressive than the other Greek city-states. That, coupled with the captivating story, had me rooting for Sparta all the way through.

The friendships that were built throughout The Fox has to be my favourite part of this read. Leotychides joins a flock at the age of seven and the bonds he forges there last for years. Their loyalty to each other and their people was beautiful. It was a great change of pace from the many other historical fiction reads that are more hung up on facts instead of the lives that were lived.

There was a lot packed into this book and the simple writing was able to convey the scenes with clarity, vivid colour and brought to life the ancient world of Sparta brilliantly. The Fox did look professionally edited but there was one anomaly. There was a multitude of missing quotation marks that made it a bit difficult to distinguish between speech and thought.

I rate The Fox by M.N.J. Butler 3 out of 4 stars, deducting one star for the missed quotation marks. That being said, I still highly recommend this book. The Fox deserves a full rating, and it physically hurts me having to take away that one star. I would recommend this to any fans of historical fiction or anyone looking for something gripping to read.

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The Fox
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Both the book and ancient Sparta sound so intriguing! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review.

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Post by LV2R » 03 Sep 2018, 18:51

This book sounds like the one to read if one is interested in learning about the Spartan culture and history. It is nice that the book included some personal friendships.

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Post by Cotwani » 08 Sep 2018, 15:12

We have a lot to learn from ancient civilizations. It's quite refreshing, for example, to learn about Sparta's openness to homosexuality and the education of women, at a time when these were not commonly practiced. Great review!
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Post by JR Mercier » 10 Sep 2018, 01:05

trajoe1206 wrote: ↑
03 Sep 2018, 00:39
Thanks for a great review, although historical fiction isn't normally something I read
I love it but I understand why not everyone will like it. Thank you for commenting. :tiphat:
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Post by Marvellouswonder » 11 Sep 2018, 06:46

Maintaining a friendship from early age is very good.

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Post by JR Mercier » 12 Sep 2018, 01:43

Marvellouswonder wrote: ↑
11 Sep 2018, 06:46
Maintaining a friendship from early age is very good.
It definitely is.
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Post by ktlob24 » 12 Sep 2018, 20:12

I did not mind reading historical fiction before this book but now I am a huge fan! I totally agree about the ending. It left me in a bit of a daze too and was so dense but fascinating it's almost difficult to describe. Definitely one of the most unique books I've ever read and I love to recommend it to every book lover I know.

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Post by JR Mercier » 14 Sep 2018, 02:02

ktlob24 wrote: ↑
12 Sep 2018, 20:12
I did not mind reading historical fiction before this book but now I am a huge fan! I totally agree about the ending. It left me in a bit of a daze too and was so dense but fascinating it's almost difficult to describe. Definitely one of the most unique books I've ever read and I love to recommend it to every book lover I know.
I am so happy to see someone else who enjoyed this book as much as I did. This book was published in 1995 and I can't believe it doesn't have more recognition. Thank you for commenting. :tiphat:
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Post by MsTri » 15 Sep 2018, 22:06

Thanks for the thorough review, but I'm just not a fan of either memoirs or historical fiction, so this one's a 'no' for me.

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Post by JR Mercier » 18 Sep 2018, 02:14

MsTri wrote: ↑
15 Sep 2018, 22:06
Thanks for the thorough review, but I'm just not a fan of either memoirs or historical fiction, so this one's a 'no' for me.
That's a shame but thank you for commenting.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

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

Post by OnceInTime » 21 Sep 2018, 13:46

Thanks for this great review. I just selected to read this book started the first page. I like the adventure that comes with it . I'm too eager to discover the greatness of the book.

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Post by Ronel_Steyn » 26 Sep 2018, 07:41

Thank you for the great review. Unfortunately I was unable to finish reading and reviewing this book. I hope to finish it eventually.

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