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YMMV / Spartan

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The book:

  • Anticlimax Boss: Pausanias. All it took to be done with this guy was locking him to a temple and let him starve to death.
  • Arc Fatigue: After the climax of Talos' finding out he's a Spartan at Brithos funeral, many readers felt the Laghal and Pausanias subplot to be rather blunt. Still the last chapters with the Slave Revolt is awesome to read.
  • Badass Decay: The Spartans, thanks to the Earthquake, which as a result, decreased their population.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Talos. Is he an interesting and well-written protgonist? Or someone who took way too much focus and as a result, he made the rest of the cast feel flat?
    • Brithos. On the one side, you have those who like his for his Character Development and the friendship he formed with Talos. On the othe side, you have those who were not eager to forgive him after all the awful things he did at his first appearances.
  • Broken Base: The ending was highly divisive among readers who thought it was too depressing seeing Talos mysteriously disappearing right when his people are free and he can reunite with Antinea and their son. On the other side some found it was fitting for an epic novel with The Hero disappearing after fulfilling his destiny like most of the Shrouded in Myth heroes.
  • Cliché Storm: Let's see. We have the Nervous Protagonist who thinks he is not suited for the job, but he only has to believe in himself, the Old Mentor who trains him, the Tragic Mentor Death, The Hero teaming up with the Arrogant Dude who is strong, and the list goes on...
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  • Doomed by Canon: If you know Ancient History and Spartas' lifestyle, then you have figured out 80% of the story.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Gates of Fire. Both depict realistically the Spartan life, both have a protagonist who is slave and has a foot-related disability and both take part at the exact same period. Then again, the few ones who have read both of these books and like them, say that Gates of Fire is better.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Karas and Talos follow Brithos. Seeing him ready to stab himself, Karas smashes him with his punch. We have this exchange:
    Talos: Karas! I told you to black him out! Not to kill him!
    Karas: The problem is that they don't make them as tough as the good old ones!
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Laghal and Pausanias' relationship was already disgusting. It's even worse when you know that it was very common back then.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Brithos and Agias. Yeah, they were arrogant (and probably, rapists to some point), but you can't help but feel sorry for them for bing accused for something they haven't done. Especially to the latter, since he never retrieved his glory.
  • Moment of Awesome:
    • Talos' training with his grandpa paid off! He managed to stand up and beat several Spartan boys in order to protect Antinea! Keep in mind that they do nothing but being all day in the gym. So, don't let his disability fool you! He is as skilled as a warrior!
    • The Slave Revolt at the last chapters!!
  • Narm: Some found the ending to be melodramatic. See Broken Base above.
  • Squick: Laghal and Pausanias were in a sexual relationship. Keep in mind that Laghal was probably 16 years old and Pausanias was described to be pretty old at that times.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The beginning of the first chapter. We see Aristarkhos hesitating to abandon his newborn son, but at the end, he obeys the city's law. It's clearly that he loathes this decision.
    • Agias' death. It was so painful to Brithos that he also tried to commit suicide! Thanks God, Talos and Karas rescued him.
    • Talos reuniting with his biological mother. He was before imagining his real parents abandoning him with little regret, but actually they were scarred for life by the experience and his mother dies in his arms by a stroke for the happiness of seeing him.
    • Brithos' Suicide by Cop. He repeats Talos his Armor-Piercing Question, that means he feels worthless if he's not fulfilling his destiny as warrior.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Laghal. He seemed to have plenty of potential and he would work as a Foil to Kleidimos. But after he betrays Pausanias, he disappears and we never find out what happened to him.
    • Britos' character is pretty much Doomed by Canon, as his Real Life counterpart indeed died at Platea. It was still a great waste that he died before Talos was confirmed to be his brother, instead of just starting to suspect it. That would have peaked his redemption arc.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Kleidimos and his mother's relationship would be interesting to see. Unfortunately, she dies at his hands.
    • Same with his brother.
  • Woobie Family:
    • Antinea and Pelias. They are poor and they have to work long hours to live. Antinea is even in a worse position, since she is sexually harassed by the Spartan boys. It's really sad, and what makes it worse, is that Pelias knows exactly what's going on, but he cannot do anything, fearing the range of his masters.
    • Aristarkhos and Ismene from the Kleomenides family. Firstly, they have to abandon their second son because he was born cripple. Secondly, they find out that he survived, but their first son has a huge dislike on him and wants to kill him. Thirdly, the Ephors plan to kill them and they send both the father and the son on a mission where no one is spared. Brithos counts too (see Jerkass Woobie above).

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