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Home > Categories > Books > Fiction > Tyrant review

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Score: 5.3/10  [1 review]
2 out of 5
ProdID: 847 - Tyrant
Written by Valerio Massimo Manfredi

Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been supplied to KIWIreviews by the company for the purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.

Tyrant product reviews

Sicily, 412BC: the infinite duel between a man and a superpower begins. The man is Dionysius of Syracuse. The superpower is Carthage, mercantile megalopolis and mistress of the seas.

Dionysius, twenty years old, and fearless combatant of the army of Syracuse, is forced to witness the horrifying massacre of Selinus - a splendid Greek city in the edge of the Carthaginian provinces - which he attributes to the fatal indecision of the democratic government. His rage and distain foment three ironclad convictions in the young man: democracies are inefficient, the Carthaginians are mortal enemies of Hellenism and must be uprooted from Sicily, and no one but he is capable of achieving such and endeavour.

Dionysius dreams of transforming Sicily into a Greek island. And to achieve total control over the economic and military resources of his city he is willing to condemn himself in the eyes of history for centuries to come: to be eternally branded as the Tyrant.

Thus begins the adventure of a man who built the largest army of antiquity and invented dreadful war machines; the adventure of a man who was also a dramatist, a statesman, a poet and a lover, tied for all his life to the memory of his unfortunate first love, the beautiful Arete. He fought five wars and dozens of battles against the Carthaginians. He mercilessly struck down countless enemies and a good number of friends, finally managing to create a state that extended all the way to the northern end of the Adriatic.

But who was Dionysius? The ruthless egocentric monster described by his detractors, or the intellectual capable of feats far ahead of his time? Historians have condemned hi, but they have not denied his greatness. In Tyrant, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, the bestselling author of the 'Alexander' Trilogy and Spartan, has recreated a memorable protagonist full of Homeric energy and Machiavellian rationality.

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Click here to read the profile of goldfishstar

Review by: goldfishstar (Natalie)
Dated: 23rd of January, 2006

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This Review: 5.3/10
Value for Money:
Score 5 out of 10
Level of Realism:
Score 7 out of 10
Score 4 out of 10
Lose Track of Time:
Score 5 out of 10

This was a history lesson thinly disguised as a novel...

But that isn't necessarily a bad thing...

The story weaves it way through 60 years or so of the life of Dionysius and his closest friends as well as the overriding enemy - the Carthaginian empire.
It starts with a young, strong, overwhelming man - strong not only of body, but mind and spirit as well. He is an idealist and is infuriated by the loss of a city he knows he could have saved with prompter actions...
During the evacuation of the survivors, he rescues the woman that will become the love of his life, Arete.

Dionysius takes action and starts his path to becoming the Tyrant, overthrowing the democratic governing body of his home city of Syracuse, building a huge army and gaining enemies as fast as he loses friends to the battles of his own making.
Not only does he lose friends, he loses his wife in the cruellest way possible, and this tips him over the edge, turning him from a man with a passion, to a man possessed...

I am not sure this it the most enjoyable book I've ever read, in fact I know it's not, but it was interesting...
There were some hard slogging bits throughout the story that I struggled through - descriptions of the history of Sicily that were possibly a little too deeply rooted for the average reader, but there were some very sweet moments with Dionysius and Arete that make him more than the Tyrant... it makes him a man like everyone else.

If you are a history buff, then this might be for you, but if you want something light to read, look elsewhere...

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