Rating: 4 out of 5
This is a solidly enjoyable fiction that will introduce the reader to many of the diadochi, an era normally overlooked both in studies as well as in narratives. Continuing on from the first volume, this one covers Antipatros’ death, conflicts in Greece and Syria, and the ascendancy of Eumenes. Seleukos and Ptolemaios feature, though in a narrower role than in the first volume, with the emphasis of action in Asia Minor.
Mr Fabbri’s style is still enjoyable, and though he hints at the fates people will enjoy (not sure that’s the right term for everyone…) this is more than acceptable as the journey is much more important than the result. Some of the characters (Olympias, to everyone’s everlasting regret, for one) develop through the story, and it does look as if the author’s tried to keep to the original sources that were available.
One of the things that stands out, however, is how little the author likes to portray naval combat, always skimming over this to get to a description of the result. Land-based combat is also described rarely, though more often than naval combat. This is not a negative, however, as repetitive action scenes are far more a downside than an upside, especially if nothing changes in the way of fighting (refer to the Saxon Tales where every fight in thirteen books proceeds exactly the same way).
This is a very good introduction to the diadochi, or rather the continuation to the introduction. I heartily recommend it as an enjoyable story—and perhaps some great narratives will also follow!