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Good. No dust jacket. 1967. 140 pages. Paperback book. Pages and binding are presentable with no major defects. Minor issues present such as mild cracking, inscriptions, inserts, light foxing, tanning and thumb marking. Overall a good condition item. Paper cover has mild edge wear with light rubbing and creasing. Some light marking and sunning. World of Rare Books Item ref. 1538036884MEP (Use this ID when enquiring about this item. )
This is a terrifically exciting history of the Greek-Persian wars by someone who combines the narrative skills of a novelist with the standards of a first-rate scholar. I gave it to my 13-year old cousin because he saw the movie "300" and raved about it-now he is enthusiastic about this book. Mary Renault sticks to the classical sources, but clothes the bare facts with vivid, dramatic details and creates vivid, unforgettable characters. Her accounts of the great battles of Marathon and Thermopylae, among others, are colorful and thrilling and include the run-up and incidents leading to each battle. She includes details about weapons, fighting customs, religious rites , and mini-biographies of the leading figures, which are engrossing. For instance, her description of the 300 Spartan warriors calmly preparing for certain annihilation in a battle with a foe numbering 10,000, by joking, singing songs, doing exercises, and washing and braiding their long hair, is unforgettable. She is scrupulously even-handed and fair in discussing the merits and faults of both the Greeks and the Persians, but she does depict the history of this conflict as a critical moment in Western civilization and she certainly writies stirringly enough to cause any reader, adult or child, some breathless suspense. For any young person who was captivated by "300", or who has any interest in history, however slight, this is an excellent book.
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