The Gryphon’s Skull by H.N. Turteltaub
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As per usual, I had a lot of fun with this historical fiction taking place in Ancient Greece. Just like the first book, the story revolves around cousins Menedemos and Sostratos and their journeys around the Aegean during the trading season. Looks like Mr. Turteltaub wanted us to have a different experience than last time – and that makes perfect sense in terms of keeping readers from getting bored. And so while the first book had lots of chapters revolving around various symposia, this time there was none of that. Instead, in addition to the usual bits of haggling, we get to meet Ptolemy who happens to be in one of the cities they stop in for trade. So this book gets to veer a bit into the Ancient Greek version of a military novel as the cousins end up doing a few missions for Ptolemy.
I’m excited that the next book has the cousins going to Phoenicia and Israel. This should keep things from getting stale as well as allowing Turteltaub to explore Phoenician and Israeli culture during the Ancient Greek era.
If you enjoyed the first book, this one’s mostly more of the same. So if you didn’t like the first one or found the dickering boring – you won’t like this one. Note: if you have some precocious history buff minors in your life who enjoy reading fiction – there are a few explicit sex scenes. They aren’t written as an erotica or romance novel, but they are explicit – so be aware of their maturity level/what their parents would think (if you happen to be the cool uncle/aunt/cousin/etc who gets books for the kid).
I’m definitely excited for the next one – it’s going on the TBR list!
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