Title – Zeus of Ithome
Author – T. E. Taylor
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 316 Pages
Publication – Oct 2013
My Rating – 5/5 Stars
Three Hundred Years of Slavery. Greece, 373 BC. For three centuries, the Messenian people have been brutally subjugated by their Spartan neighbours and forced to work the land as helot slaves. Diocles, a seventeen-year-old helot, has known no other life but servitude.
After an encounter with Spartan assassins, he is forced to flee, leaving behind his family and his love, Elpis. On Mount Ithome, the ancient sanctuary of the Messenians, he meets Aristomenes, an old rebel who still remembers the proud history of their people and clings to a prophecy that they will one day win back their freedom. A forlorn hope, perhaps.
But elsewhere in Greece, there are others too who believe it is time that the power of Sparta was broken.
Tim Taylor has decided it’s time to shed some light on the Spartans and how ruthless they were to their neighbours and I was hooked from the Preface at the start of the book, now that’s how you grab the reader’s attention!
The book focuses mainly on Diocles a slave who has never known freedom. From the synopsis you can gather he gets in to trouble and ends up on the run. After a chance meeting Aristomenes we see Diocles grow from a boy to a man and he goes through many events before returning home to lead a rebellion.
It’s a very interesting tale with a mix of historical figures and fictional characters. Tim seems very knowledgeable and the historical note at the end of the book adds to the story and helps you draw the line between fact and fiction.
There is an amazing amount of depth to Diocles which grows throughout the book. Yes I felt he grew up too fast but then again in that day an age I guess you would need to grow up fast or you’d end up dead.
I won’t spoil the events for you but I will say that everything worked for me. I felt for Diocles.. I wanted him to fight..save his people and Tim made the story come alive.
All in all this was a brilliant story waiting to be told. Combine this with Tim’s writing style and you have one engrossing read. I don’t often want to read books again but this one will be added to the list.
Any fan of historical fiction as a genre will love this and if like me you’re interested in the history this will excite the taste buds.