Book: Axios: A Spartan Tale
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Publication date: July 19, 2017
Length: 362 pages
Reviewed by Jenn
I am Axios of Sparta, and I was born to kill. At age seven, I left home to train with other boys where we were taught obedience, solidarity, military strategy, and how to withstand pain. My harsh upbringing stripped me of my weaknesses and forced me to become strong. Ruthless.
But, I craved something greater—a life I could never have.
Against all odds, and the toughest training a warrior could endure, I found an unexpected love in the arms of a fellow Spartan. He was the very air I breathed and the water that sustained me. Fighting side by side with him, we were invincible. Where he went, I followed.
However, there was no place for love in Sparta. Feelings were for the weak. The only life for a Spartan was one of battle and brutality with no guarantee of tomorrow. In times of war, all men were put to the test, but the greatest challenge for us was not one of swords and spears, but of the heart.
Wow, I'm not even sure where to begin with this one. Jaclyn Osborn is an author that I have read before and loved her books. She can write, she really can. What she did with this book goes beyond writing, she bled this book, poured her heart onto each page. You can feel it in every word. I'm not exaggerating, it's taken me days to just be able to try and put into words how this book made me feel. So, here goes.
Axios is 7 years old when he is taken from his home to start his training as a Spartan. He is a child with his head in the clouds and his heart on his sleeve thrust into a world with no beauty. Until at age 10, he sees him.
Eryx is being trained to be a Spartan warrior also, but this life comes more naturally to him. Eryx is a natural born leader, even at 10 years old, he has the makings of a true warrior.
Axios is struggling in his training and Eryx befriends him and gives him strength and courage. He gives Axios some light in a work of darkness. These two boys become best friends, brothers. The days are hard and they lean on each other. As they grow older, their friendship, the almost predetermined bond they share grows into love. They love through all the pain, struggle and cruelty of their training. Axios makes Eryx more than just a soldier, he makes him human. Eryx helps to ground Ax and helps him to focus, to become a Spartan. Ery and Ax grow into men and with each passing year, their love, their bond, grows with them. They love fairly openly and have support from their fellow trainees, their brothers. They make the most of a brutal life. They find joy in each other and the family they've created.
The years of training pass and the life of a Spartan warrior is one of war. Eryx is still the perfect soldier and Ax still has his heart on his sleeve. Duty calls and these warriors answer that call time and again. Somehow through battles won and lost, their love grows.
I feel as if I can't tell you more, I don't want to give ANY details that would take away from your experience reading this book. I know I haven't said much, but trust that I FEEL so much. This book has lingered in my heart for days. I am crying as I type this. This is a love story for the ages, this is a story that you simply must read. It was my absolute privilege and pleasure to read this book. Jaclyn has written a book that is filled with so much depth and gut wrenching emotions, even the pain is beautiful in this book. This is a beyond 5 star read and I truly couldn't recommend it enough!
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