Monday, July 16, 2018

"The Falcon of Sparta" - a review..

Apologies for all the reviews lately but this one is simply too good to be just hidden on the book reviews page..

Based heavily on the events described by Xenophon in his history of the 10,000 (the Anabasis), the book describes the failed attempt by Cyrus the Younger, son of Darius II to oust his brother, Artaxerxes II following the death of Darius

Cyrus raised an army of pro-Persian and Greek mercenary hoplites, which included a large Spartan contingent. It described the events leading up to the march, and then the retreat itself.

Cyrus met the forces of Artaxerxes at Cunaxa, but was defeated* and killed - Artaxerxes offered the Greek contingent terms (enslavement mostly) which they refused and their then ensued a retreat over almost 500 miles for both army and their family/followers - continuously attacked by the forces of Artaxerxes, and the peoples of the lands they had to traverse, while also suffering from lack of food and water.

Simply superb..  wow...   just wow...  this book single-handed'ly wanted me to start painting Achmaenid Persians, Spartans, and other Greek Allied troops - another 10+ !

*some would say that Cunaxa was a tactical victory for Cyrus - but I would suggest this was probably not much of a bonus for getting yourself killed..

Stay tuned for an honest to goodness review of a 'wargaming show'!


  1. This looks like a must-buy for me. Currently painting my last Spartan hoplites!
    I've read Xenophon's book, and a few other (historical fiction) books about the March of the ten thousand, but there's always more to discover.

    Nice tip, thanks!

    1. Wim - I tore through it... if they're (Xenophon/Iggulden) to be believed those Spartans were something else!

  2. I have all of Iggulden's books but was very disappointed by his last effort. I couldnt get into it. This one sounds like he's back to his best.

    1. Hi Robbie, Dunstan was a bit different - I loved it but each to his own.. this one is a cracker from a wargamer/military historian point of view .. I'm still enthused to paint up a couple of armies if only for some DBA