Rex Wagner's 196 Historical novel, Pericles the Athenian follows the famed Athenian leader from the end of the Persian War to his death during the early years of the Peloponnesian war. Told from the point of view of his friend and contemporary, the philosopher Anaxagoras, the novel works to describe how a man managed to lead Athens from it's near destruction at the end of the Persian War (Greece vs. the Persian Empire), into becoming the head of the Athenian Empire leading up to the Peloponnesian war (the war between Athens and Sparta).
This was my fifteenth book on the list of 36 Historical Novels set in Ancient Greece since January of last year, and although there was a lot I liked about it; Wagner is writing about an era in which we don't have a lot of primary sources to refer to and the fact that Athens at the time tended to exile any leader who got too powerful makes Pericles story quite the interesting one, I did feel at times that the book worked better as a textbook, or perhaps as creative non-fiction, rather than a perfect story on it's own.
An interesting read, but not one I would suggest as a starting point for people interested in the topic.
1 month ago