A defeated king stands on top of a pyre. His conqueror, the Persian ruler Cyrus, signals to his guards; they step forward and touch flaming torches to the dry wood. Croesus, once the wealthiest man of the ancient world, is to be burned alive. As he watches the flames catch, Croesus thinks back over his life. He remembers the time he asked the old Athenian philosopher, Solon, who was the happiest man in the world.
Croesus used to think it was him. But then all his riches could not remove the spear from his dying elder son's chest; could not bring his mute younger son to speak; could not make him as wise as his own chief slave; could not bring his wife's love back; could not prevent his army from being torn apart and his kingdom lost. As the old philosopher had replied, a man's happiness can only be measured when he is dead. The first coils of smoke wrap around Croesus' neck like a noose...
©2013 Tim Leach (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"Bringing History to Life"
A wonderfully rich story with narration that brings the characters out from the past and reminds you of their humanity.
As a big fan of all manner of historical fiction I would highly recommend this book both for its writing but also how it explores a period not often seen in the genre.
It'll encourage you to go and learn more about its subject matter and that is always a good sign.
I enjoyed the characterisation and interpretation of history. Truth or myth? Arrogant king to wise counsellor? Did Isocrates exist? Happy ending.
"A good yarn"
With so little known about Croesus. it would be difficult to consider this anything but fiction. Nevertheless, it is a good story based on the time of the expansion of the Persian empire. Excellent narration by Christian Rodska brings this book alive.
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