This book, A Brand of Fire by Ben Blake, tells the story of how the Trojan war started. It sticks to the known version pretty well but adds personality to the famous names and nuances to the events. I studied ancient history but a slightly later period, classical Greece, so I know the story but not in great detail. Because of my interest in in the subject I was really looking forward this and I wasn’t disappointed. I will confess the author Ben is in the same writing group as me but this is still an honest review. If I hadn’t liked it I would have kept quiet or written a very short review on amazon.
What I didn’t like;
The first chapter; it’s very overwhelming, too many names, to much info in one go. I found it very hard to keep up.
To many PoV’s; the story is being told from too many points of view I think it would have been improved from narrowing it down a bit.
One or two character where not sufficiently developed enough. I think this comes from having too many PoV’s. I would have liked to have seen more of Parris for example.
What I liked;
The story; I already knew the basic story Ben did a great job fleshing it out and inventing lots of extra background. It had much more cause and effect than a simple kidnapping.
Believable characters; When writing about mythical people it must be very hard to make them appear human. I think Ben achieved this with the main characters, especially Nestor.
Building the tension; I knew how it going to end but I started to think it might not, which is a sign of great writing.
In summary if you can get past the first chapter this is a very enjoyable read and would recommend it. I’ve already downloaded the next book and I’m looking forward to reading it. I would give it 4 out 5 stars.