Author: Jaclyn Osborn
Publication Date: February 6, 2020
Length: 504 pages
Reviewed by Jenn
My father once told me, above all else...
Live and die for Sparta.
Honor. Loyalty. Duty. These were the things that mattered most.
And then Axios came into my life, teaching me other lessons: humility, brotherhood... love.
There were moments when the brutal training stripped me of my humanity, where it turned me into a mindless beast of flesh and muscle set to destroy everything in my way. But then Axios stood in my way, ever vigilant, never failing to bring me back to myself.
Love had no place in Sparta, they said. It made you weak.
So why did I feel stronger with him by my side?
*Eryx: A Spartan Tale is a 149k word historical gay fiction featuring a love story between Spartan warriors. Although told in an alternate point of view of the events in Axios, it includes extended scenes and more content. It can be read as a complete standalone.*
I admit that I was thrilled when Jaclyn Osborn announced she’d be writing a follow up to her incredible novel, Axios. This time we get Eryx, the epic love story told from Eryx’s POV with added content.
Eryx and Axios’s story is a love story for the ages, one that can only be described as EPIC! Axios and Eryx are born as Spartans and have their whole future planned for them from birth. They are meant to be warriors for Sparta and if they’re lucky…they’ll die an honorable death fighting for their home, for their people. This is a story of strong warriors who are brave enough to die for Sparta, but strong enough to want to live for each other.
If you read Axios, you may think you know this story already, but you don’t…not all of it. As we see the world through Eryx’s eyes and heart, we get something completely new and still as tragically beautiful as Axios’s version. Eryx is a Spartan through and through, he seems to live for duty, for training, to serve his purpose. But there is so much more to Eryx, there is something more important than duty and war…there is Axios.
Now is where I tell you that I can’t say anything more about the book itself because of spoilers. So I will tell you how this book made me feel. Eryx’s love for Axios is so incredibly pure, so big that I’m not sure how he carries it all in his heart. I was in tears so many times while reading this, its beauty overwhelmed me at times. Seeing Eryx from the boy we meet to the man he becomes is an eye opening journey. I understand his loyalty, his work ethic, his belief in their way of life so clearly now. The bonds Eryx forms with his friends, his teachers, and some of the other warriors is so fun to watch. Seeing the very serious warrior tease and play shows us a whole new side to him and I found myself smiling at seeing joy from this boy and from the man he becomes.
But nothing and I mean nothing comes close to seeing the love he has for Axios. Each conversation, each small touch, and every stolen moment together feeds Eryx’s soul and touched my heart so completely. I found myself no longer thinking of Eryx as a warrior, but as a warrior poet. Strong and deadly on the outside with an inner strength and a poet’s heart. I didn’t think I could love this story more than I already did, but I was wrong. Reading this book was a joy and a privilege. The amount of work Jaclyn Osborn put into this book has to have been insane. Matching timelines, conversations and so many little descriptions…it’s all so flawless. This book reads like the author’s love story to her warriors, you feel how beloved these characters all are to her. When you decide to go back and do something more to a story as cherished as this one, it has to be frightening endeavor. Jaclyn slayed this book, she gives us everything we could wish for and so much more. This book is a perfect example of what happens when you put together an incredible determination to get it right and pure talent. I cannot shout my recommendation for Eryx: A Spartan Tale loud enough.
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