Saturday, February 19, 2011
"Tyrant" by Christian Cameron
If ever there was a work of historical fiction written with both Ancient wargamers and history aficionados in mind, then Christian Cameron's "Tyrant" is it. The novel is the first in a series set in the time of Alexander the Great, and featuring a central character, Kineas, who is an exiled Athenian hippeis (or cavalryman) recently dismissed from the Macedonian army after the Persian conquest was completed. Forced to start a new life, Kineas, and his band of cavalry brothers enter mercenary service to train the hippeis of the tyrant ruling the Greek city of Olbia on the shores of the Black Sea. There, after wending his way through the intricacies of the Olbian political system to become commander of the city's military forces, Kineas forges an alliance with the Scythian tribes surrounding the Black Sea Greek city states (also finding time for a romance with a barbarian warrior princess), and faces an invasion from Macedon lead by one of Alexander's generals.
Unfortunately, it seems that American publishers don't feel that American audiences will appreciate these kind of books, and Cameron's novels are not available in American stores - only British and Canadian ones. I was able to get mine through Amazon.com though, and that is the same place I just ordered the sequel from.
One other thing that Ancient gamers may find interesting is that the author is actually a wargamer himself. I know that I saw him several years ago playing in a Warrior tournament at Historicon with some other Canadian gamers, and he is credited with painting the miniatures shown in photos contained in the Warrior rulebook. In addition, it appears that the author has now taken up playing Field of Glory, as can be seen on this link to his website http://www.hippeis.com/gaming.html where he gives an army list for the allied Obian/Scythian army that faces the Macedonians in the climax of the book. Besides the link above, the author's website is great, with a forum, tons of historical information, and reference material for the characters, locations, and events contained in all of his books. Check his site out at: Hippeis - the Ancient World of Christian Cameron