322 B.C. The Macedonian Empire is on the verge of civil war following the sudden death of Alexander the Great.
As a boy, Andrikos watched as Alexander’s army marched through his homeland of Greek Ionia after defeating the Persians at the Granicus River on their way to the total conquest of the Persian Empire. Soon he will be embroiled in their world, forced to flee his old life due to an unintentional crime.
Thrust into the army, Andrikos struggles to cope with the brutal yet necessary training which his superiors put him through to prepare for the coming wars of succession as Alexander’s surviving generals seek to divide and conquer the spoils of Olympus.
But Andrikos is not destined to be a nameless soldier; by chance he is chosen for a clandestine mission – and is immersed in a world of intrigue, violence and brotherhood.
The path that lies ahead of Andrikos requires him to shed his immaturity and take on the responsibilities and emotions of a man beyond his years as he struggles to save Alexander’s legacy from those who wish to usurp it.
The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword is a historical epic which follows the advancements of one soldier from boy to man set during a time of global conflict.
Hi Christian! Thank you for taking the time to appear on Let Them Read Books. What inspired you to write the Spoils of Olympus series?
I have always been a huge fan of historical fiction- Greek and Roman in particular, and saw there were very few works of fiction covering the oft-overlooked time period during the wars of succession immediately following the premature death of Alexander the Great. I felt I had enough of a foundational knowledge of the era to begin writing the book through reading many non-fiction books and studying the period while obtaining my Bachelor's Degree. From there I planned out what years the story would encompass and mapped out the true events/milestones that occurred within that time period. From there it was a matter of weaving my story and fictional characters in and around the historical facts.
How did your service in the military influence your portrayal of Andrikos?
I think it most influenced the inner thoughts of Andrikos during his harsh military training, his interactions with his fellow borthers-in-arms, and during combat scenes. Drawing on some of my own experience in these matters helped flesh out Andrikos's personality.
What kind of research did you do to prepare for this novel? Did you get to do any traveling?
My research consisted of reading several current non-fiction sources as well as the great primary sources written by Arrian, Diodorus and Plutarch. As far as travel is concerned, it's funny you ask. I did get to visit some of the places where Alexander's army traveled courtesy of Uncle Sam by way of the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think it does help an author when he can touch the ground, smell the smells, experience the landscape and interact with the native populations of the areas they are describing.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing By the Sword? The most rewarding?
The most challenging aspect was ensuring the fictional parts of my story were woven into the historical facts in a way that was both plausible and entertaining. It was also hard to assign personalities to the real historical characters that we know little about. The most rewarding part was bringing to life the historical figures around Alexander who are usually overlooked.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the sequel and hope to have it completed in the Fall.
Thanks, Christian! I'm looking forward to reading the series!
Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword is on a blog tour!
About the Author:
I am a Long Island, NY native and current resident of Northern Virginia. While attending the University of Maryland- College Park, the events of September 11, 2001 inspired me to join the U.S. Army ROTC program and volunteer for three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan upon my commissioning into the Army Reserves in 2003. I hold three Master’s degrees and work in the defense industry.
The Spoils of Olympus has been a 2 1/2 year project that began in a Marriott hotel room in San Antonio, Texas while attending pre deployment training for a tour in Afghanistan in late 2011. The wars of succession immediately following the death of Alexander the Great have always fascinated me despite being overshadowed in the history books by the life and times of Alexander himself. Many great novels have been written about ancient Greece and Alexander but few fictional works have explored this forgotten era in western civilization where Alexander’s generals, who were once allies, battled each other for control of the largest empire on earth.
By the Sword is the first novel in The Spoils of Olympus series and introduces us to the story’s protagonist, Andrikos. The book follows him from an adolescence of criminality and capriciousness to his forced enlistment in the wars of succession; taking him from the battlefields of Asia Minor to the Achaemenid palaces of the Persian Empire. It is my hope readers will enjoy the story while learning about this important time in history.