The Isle of Stone

by Nicholas Nicastro

Reviewed by Coral


Brothers Antalcidas - prophesied to be the curse of Sparta at his birth - and Epitadas - spoiled by their mother - find themselves besieged on the island of Sphacteria by Athenian forces during the Peloponnesian war. The outcome of this battle will have repercussions throughout the Spartan world..

Having previously read a book by this author, I wasn't all that excited to read this one (and I only did because I already owned the book), so that may affect my judgment on this book a little.

I didn't like it. None of the characters were written in a way that I could empathize with them or feel that they were more than just names on the page. This also causes a problem in the book's climax where one character makes a pivotal, almost unthinkable decision. If we had spent any time with this character at all, maybe I would know why he made the decision he did. But as it was I was clueless.

The constant references to future events - Turkish armies, fuel leaks, Napoleon and the Roman army, to name a few, were incredibly annoying and only served to take me out of the story.

I didn't like the language, which felt too out of place: Frick and Frack, chippy, tableau, akimbo.

I also think in a couple of places the author used sentences that were wrong (son-in-law for stepson) or didn't make any sense (I think painful ambivalence is a contradiction).

There was nothing about this book I enjoyed and I will not be reading any more books by this author.

Grade: F