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483 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2005
“Be lucky, Xander, and be brave. You will find that bravery and luck are often bedfellows.”
“Fear is an aid to the warrior. It is a small fire burning. It heats the muscles, making us stronger. Panic comes when the fire is out of control, consuming all courage and pride.”
“Danger lies in the extreme. A man who is always cruel is evil, a man who is always compassionate will be taken advantage of. It is more a question of balance, or harmony, if you will.”
“Love is not about conquest. The truth is a man can only find true love when he surrenders to it. When he opens his heart to the partner of his soul and says: "Here it is! The very essence of me! It is yours to nurture or destroy.”
For all the praise this book has, it would seem Gemmell kept -with the exception of some very shocking revelations- this book very calm. Like he was afraid of his characters exciting readers with too much passion. The author would take you on a high (and by god it was glorious) and just as sudden as that it would taper off. Then you would be left bobbing along, wondering why the heck you're still reading this book and then quite suddenly another high.
As crazy as the book gets sometimes, too much of it is muted. Too much of the characters actions felt like you were seeing only the surface and not the best they could give. Parts of the story felt like it was happening out of a loop, to be kept at a later date where it could suddenly be patched in. Speaking of characters, Gemmell's insistence on naming every single minor character was tiring, i want to believe that somehow this characters contribute significantly in the large scale of things to come so i'm keeping my fingers crossed for that.
p.s: i hope to see more of Andromache. I felt she had way little page time and it was easy at times to forget that she existed in the book.
Although i will be continuing with the series and as quotable as this book is (there really were some great gems in there) Gemmell characters need more spice.