Lion of Scythia by Max Overton

Max Overton‘s “The Lion of Scythia” is a fast-paced historical adventure. Overton weaves history with the excitement of raging battles and bloody death on the plains. The descriptions of the nomadic band Nikometros joins are engaging and well-researched. From the fermented milk to the cleaning ointment, the descriptions of the life of the band feel authentic to the reader. Nikometros is captured by a warring band, and rises from prisoner to hero by an act of the Goddess. Follow Nikometros as he wars with the People, and learns their “barbarian” ways in battle, politics, custom, and love.

While the author’s descriptions of camp life are livid and tangible, the depth of the characters is called into question at several points. When the reader is introduced to Nikometros, he changes allegiance and swears a blood oath with his sworn enemy. Would a true warrior belie his convictions so freely? Does Nikometros have no family, no grounding force to tie him to his home? The character’s motivation is suspect.

The chapters, as well, lack depth and skip forward in time frequently disrupting the flow of the story. At times, it feels as if important details are left out. For example, how did Nikometros and his captains go about training their group of Lions? Such minute details of training cavalry would go a long way toward filling in the gaps.

Overton succeeds with this story. The pace of the battles and action keep the reader moving through the story, waiting with baited breath to see what the Goddess has in store for Nikometros. This novel is an excellent first installment in the series.

Buy this book: Lion of Scythia

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