Greek and Roman antiquity have always fascinated me. I've read countless works of fiction and non-fiction regarding these eras and many great novels have been written on both time periods. The large amount of Roman fiction already available pointed me more in the direction of writing a novel during Greek antiquity. The 300, the Punic Wars and Alexander have all been covered pretty extensively, however very few works have focused on the wars of succession immediately following the death of Alexander the Great.
This period has always stood out to me since I first studied it because of the sheer enormity of action conducted by his surviving generals on a truly global scale- from Afghanistan to Italy. This struggle produced some larger-than-life personalities such as Antigonus 'The One-Eyed', his son Demetrius 'The Besieger', Ptolemy 'The Savior', and Pyrrhus of 'Pyrrhic Victory' fame. The wars of succession eventually settled in a tacit peace between three Kingdoms, ending in the eventual Roman dominance of Alexander's former Mediterranean holdings- culminating with the marriage between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra (the great-granddaughter 12 generations down the line from Ptolemy). In addition to the obligatory blood and guts (there's certainly a lot of that in the book) I wanted to further differentiate this book by including espionage/spy plot lines between warring secret societies fighting over Alexander’s heirs and his legacy.
In the historical fiction genre there are three books which I hold above all others: Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield; I, Claudius by Robert Graves; and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Pressfield's epic novel about the infamous 300 Spartans sets all standards on writing about Greek military training and battles. Grave's masterpiece flawlessly integrates the entirety of Roman life into his story- giving the reader an incredible sense of immersion with deep and fascinating characters. Dickens' famous work of historical fiction displays a true mastery of the English language. These literary heroes inspired me to write a military epic that immerses the reader in the times while delivering a polished style of writing worthy of my audience.
About the Author
I am a Long Island, NY native and current resident of Northern Virginia. While attending the University of Maryland- College Park, the events of September 11, 2001 inspired me to join the U.S. Army ROTC program and volunteer for three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan upon my commissioning into the Army Reserves in 2003. I hold three Master’s degrees and work in the defense industry.
The Spoils of Olympus has been a 2 1/2 year project that began in a Marriott hotel room in San Antonio, Texas while attending pre deployment training for a tour in Afghanistan in late 2011. The wars of succession immediately following the death of Alexander the Great have always fascinated me despite being overshadowed in the history books by the life and times of Alexander himself. Many great novels have been written about ancient Greece and Alexander but few fictional works have explored this forgotten era in western civilization where Alexander’s generals, who were once allies, battled each other for control of the largest empire on earth.
By the Sword is the first novel in The Spoils of Olympus series and introduces us to the story’s protagonist, Andrikos. The book follows him from an adolescence of criminality and capriciousness to his forced enlistment in the wars of succession; taking him from the battlefields of Asia Minor to the Achaemenid palaces of the Persian Empire. It is my hope readers will enjoy the story while learning about this important time in history.
About the Book
322 B.C. The Macedonian Empire is on the verge of civil war following the sudden death of Alexander the Great.
As a boy, Andrikos watched as Alexander’s army marched through his homeland of Greek Ionia after defeating the Persians at the Granicus River on their way to the total conquest of the Persian Empire. Soon he will be embroiled in their world, forced to flee his old life due to an unintentional crime.
Thrust into the army, Andrikos struggles to cope with the brutal yet necessary training which his superiors put him through to prepare for the coming wars of succession as Alexander’s surviving generals seek to divide and conquer the spoils of Olympus.
But Andrikos is not destined to be a nameless soldier; by chance he is chosen for a clandestine mission – and is immersed in a world of intrigue, violence and brotherhood.
The path that lies ahead of Andrikos requires him to shed his immaturity and take on the responsibilities and emotions of a man beyond his years as he struggles to save Alexander’s legacy from those who wish to usurp it.
The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword is a historical epic which follows the advancements of one soldier from boy to man set during a time of global conflict.