The Sacred Band — A Triumphant Return

Guest Reviewer: Today’s guest reviewer is a holder of a Theater degree from Christopher Newport University. An actress and talented writer in her own right, she has starred in many productions, including the lead roles in “Angel Street”, “Dark at the Top of the Stairs”, “Sabrina Fair”, “Anastasia”, and “Am I Blue”. Please welcome guest reviewer Melanie Boyd.

The Sacred Band

By Janet Morris and Chris Morris

The Sacred Band marks the triumphant return of Tempus, Nikodemus, Straton, Critius and the rest of the Sacred Band of Stepsons to the world of print after many years. Using the true story of the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC as a starting point, Tempus, Niko and the Sacred Band save 46 members of the Sacred Band of Thebes, whose remains were never recovered, and takes them away to Sanctuary, to unite the Sacred Bands and save those who would have otherwise perished.

The book flows really well, but unless you have a strong desire for the history of the ancient battles of Phillip of Macedon, the first chapter or two might not be easy for you to read. I think anyone would enjoy the book, but especially those that like history or anything dealing with Classical (Greek and Roman) times. The relationships between the characters are well defined. You feel their pain when something happens to one of the Band’s members and the romantic scenes are tastefully depicted, not graphic in any way.

I really liked Niko as a character, and related to him the best. He was being pulled a million different ways emotionally throughout the story between his love of Tempus, Randal’s love for him, his desire to keep some loyalty with Enlil (due to his love for Tempus), his newfound loyalty and love for the goddess Harmony, and his search for peace through Maat, his inner balance. He also feels a tremendous amount of guilt for what happens to Shamshi and feels as though it were his fault at what becomes of the young boy.

Some of the language I found hard to grasp, though. Words were used I didn’t always comprehend, but I don’t feel it took away from the story in spite of this. If I’d really wanted to, I could have looked up the things I didn’t know, but I didn’t want to stop reading long enough to do this.

The book can be confusing at the beginning because most characters have more than one name they go by. Tempus = Riddler, Nikodemus = Niko = Stealth, Strat = Straton, Kouras = Gyskouras, Crit = Critius, etc. I had to keep flipping back at first to other pages to remember who was who. After awhile, the names began to naturally stick together, which made for a much easier read for me. Some readers may find that that makes it harder to keep things straight, but no worries, as it all makes sense as you go further into the book.

I would recommend this book to any new fan of the series, and definitely to any returning reader. I loved all of the characters and I got to know them very well throughout the book. It’s definitely a page-turner, and one that I plan on reading again.

–reviewed by Melanie

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