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Scythian Trilogy Book 1: Lion of Scythia (ebook and print) by Max Overton (Historical)

Scythian Trilogy Book 1: Lion of Scythia (ebook and print) by Max Overton (Historical)
(4 reviews)  

Alexander the Great has conquered the Persian Empire and is marching eastward to India. In his wake he leaves small groups of soldiers to govern great tracts of land and diverse peoples. Nikometros is a young cavalry captain left behind in the lands of the fierce nomadic Scythian horsemen. Captured after an ambush, he must fight for his life and the lives of his surviving men. He seeks an opportunity to escape but owes a debt of loyalty to the chief, and a developing love for the young priestess.

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Scythian Trilogy Book 1: Lion of Scythia (ebook and print) by Max Overton (Historical)
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4 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Sep 19, 2013
I have read The Lion of Scythia books and am now on book 5 of the Egyptian series, what fantastic reading they all are. Never have I have been so addicted to reading as with your books, cannot put them down as I feel I am there in all the scenes such is your level of writing. You portray all the sounds, smells and detail of life in those times that make reading them a pure delight. Thank you very much for your books and long may continue writing.
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Ian Miller for Readers' Favorite (http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/8021)
Aug 20, 2013
This is the first book of a trilogy, hence it has a certain amount of introductory material. As at the end of "The Fellowship of the Ring", the ending of this book finishes something, but it clearly leads into the next book. One sign of a really good storyteller is that the author can take a very ordinary plot line and make it interesting, and Max Overton can genuinely do this. The plot of the start of this book is somewhat ordinary. The objective is to get Nikometros, a cavalry officer in Alexander's army, incorporated into a Scythian tribe. As the army marches east, Nikometros, together with a few others, are left behind to maintain Alexander's authority over the newly conquered lands. To the north is Scythia, the great rolling grasslands that Alexander has left alone. Nikometros takes a small band of cavalry on patrol, and then blatantly fails Tactics 101, whereupon he is captured by a tribe of Scythians. Up to this point, you can just about see everything coming well in advance, but it is told so well that it maintains interest really well. The rest of the story is really well-told, and Overton is clearly very comfortable with this sort of story. Here, the plot becomes a little less predictable, and because of the predictability of the first part, there is a good chance of a surprise, so it would be wrong to go further into the plot, other than to note the almost inevitable falling of Nikometros for the forbidden priestess, Tomyra.

The book has elements of cavalry warfare of the time, romance, envy, intrigue, as well as personal failings, hence it has widespread interests. The book also gives rich descriptions of what life was like for Scythians of the time. Though before reading this book, I had heard of Scythia, I knew almost nothing about it. Now I feel I do, or at least I know what the author thought Scythian life should be like. Perhaps one failing in the book is the absence of a section at the end outlining where the author found, and hence the reader can find, more about Scythian life. However, the story is well-written and it is a page turner. I highly recommend it if you are interested in historical novels of that period.
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Amazon reviewer: Mark I. Grant
Mar 5, 2013
A new hero and great adventure. What a splendid, well written adventure set in Scythia at the time of Alexander. Fast paced well written and very enjoyable. Looking forward to the next instalment. Well done.

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James Ashton (http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2CBFKRVVIFYIE/ref=cm_cr_pr_pdp)
Oct 11, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Lion of Scythia., October 11, 2012

This review is from: Lion of Scythia (Paperback)

As an Egyptologist, I know next to nothing about Scythia in the time of Alexander but this book held me! I have followed it up with a bit of research on the period and found it accurate (where history is concerned) and I thought that the characters were in keeping with the time. The politics were what I expected and left me with no feelings of the story being artificial or unlikely. A fantastic read which left me wanting more. Max has a way of immersing himself (and you) in a period which could not be more different from the modern day and yet left you with a deep feeling for the emotions of the characters.

Thanks, Max, for leaving me wanting the next book in the series.
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Sample Chapter


The field hospital was little more than linen cloths strung between poles to alleviate the worst of the midday sun. Scores of wounded soldiers lay packed beneath them on the bare earth, spilling out to each side of the shade, where the suffering of the battle's survivors had thirst and heat added to the plague of flies that had arrived to torment them. Now the hum of insect wings provided a background to the moans of the conscious victims and the muted clatter and murmur of overworked physicians and their blood-spattered assistants.

Through the scene of devastation walked a young man with fair hair and an aura of authority. His two companions towered head and shoulders above him, but nobody had eyes for them. Every eye turned to watch the young man, and even the dying stifled their groans as he drew near, pale bloodless faces turning to him as if his very presence could turn back the remorseless march of death.

The young man stopped at every wounded soldier, stooping to grasp a hand or touch a shoulder, murmuring a word of thanks or praise, often using the wounded man's name. With some, the young man dropped to his knees and spoke at greater length, remembering past deeds, but no man was ignored – even the unconscious or dead warranted a look or a sigh. His companions stood in silence behind him, watching in pride and awe as their commander gave of his own strength in an effort to strengthen his men.

"How does he do it, Hephaestion?" one of his companions murmured. "He knows every man by name. Even I don't know the names of half the men in my troop."

Hephaestion smiled, his eyes never leaving the fair young man on his knees beside a grizzled, blood-soaked soldier old enough to be his father. "Perhaps when you do, Philippos, you too will be Alexander."

The trio continued onward, the long day slipping toward nightfall. Outside the confines of the field hospital, the Macedonian army cleared the battlefield of the fallen, separating out the bodies of their comrades from those of the Sogdian enemy, and setting up camp for the night. Alexander took no sustenance as he communed with the wounded, taking neither food nor drink, but he looked none the worse for his labours, feeding off the strength of his spirit.

Toward sunset he arrived beside the last handful of men and looked down at a tall fair-haired Macedonian clad in the remains of antique armour, a bloodied band of cloth wound around his head.

"What's your name, soldier?" Alexander asked softly. "You're one of few here I don't know."

"Nikometros, sir."

"Son of Leonnatos, from the hills behind Pella," Philippos added. "He's in my troop. Brave, if a trifle inexperienced."

"Indeed? I know Leonnatos and as his son you are welcome."

"I...I met you once, sir. At Mieza."

Alexander stared at Nikometros for a minute, and then nodded. "I remember – the white fox cub, wasn't it?"

Nikometros essayed a smile. "Yes sir. And again at Siwa."

Alexander nodded again, the faintest of smiles creasing his tanned face. "How's your head?"

Nikometros lifted a hand to touch his head and bit back a wave of pain. "It will mend, sir," he gasped.

Alexander squeezed the fallen man's shoulder and passed on to the next man. Shortly after, but only when he had comforted the last of the survivors, he accepted a cup of watered wine and a piece of bread. Refusing a seat, the young king looked out over the campsite and then turned to the east, staring hungrily toward the unseen horizon.

"We move out at first light."

"What of the wounded?" Hephaestion asked. "Many will not be fit to travel for days."

"Leave a company to guard them, and half the physicians. They can catch up when they've recovered."

"The more severely wounded?"

"Have them taken to the settlements and outposts. When they recover, they can join the men who govern these lands in my name."

At dawn, the Macedonian army moved on, toward the east once more, leaving over a hundred wounded behind them. Days later, most of them were well enough to start in pursuit of the vanished army, but Nikometros and a score of the others found themselves sent to tiny military outposts scattered in the wake of conquest, where small detachments of soldiers strove to keep the peace, a handful of Macedonian soldiers amidst thousands of newly subjugated tribesmen. By the time the wounded recovered fully, the army was far to the east and their duty now lay with the garrisons that had taken them in.

One such outpost lay on the southern borders of the great rolling plains of grass known as Scythia.

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