First let me state that this is an Amazon exclusive title.
Ashes Divide is bold in its scope and relentless in its take-no-prisoners attitude. It is a sweeping and sumptuously stark visual feast that would make most authors green with envy. Ashes Divide is based on Frank Miller's work, but is influenced in some ways by Steven Pressfield. With these two huge names, Clarence Cage has recreated the greatest military tales of bravery, endurance, and valiantness. Ashes Divide now stands at the pinnacle in the genre of historical fiction. The book is exceptionally well-researched in the customs, language, locale and history of ancient Greece -- and Sparta in particular -- many historical novels of this genre often take these characterizations at face value, leaving an inaccurate picture of Sparta and its people. Ashes Divide recognizes the Spartans, not as automatons manufactured for war, but as men raised to honor Sparta, and through Sparta their families. Like other reviewers,
I found the novel impossible to put down and, like the battles themselves, recreated with painstaking detail -- I hoped it would not end. The battles span two continents, on both land and sea, and painted in a way that is reminiscent of a true master -- land upon land is revealed with stranger and stranger names, until King Pleistoanas (grandson of King Leonidas) and his soldiers are standing face-to-face with the hated Persians. Cage made excellent use of the inexplicable Spartan practice of teaching its young men how to fight by training them unmercifully. Like so many other aspects of Spartan culture, he takes this odd historical thread and weaves it unerringly into the story of his Spartan heroes. I found the characters so real, the dialogue so unexpectedly well-drawn, and the events depicted so riveting, that I read the book in one day without rest. Despite its language and gore, I would highly recommend this novel to anyone, so they may learn not only of one of the shining moments in Western civilization but of honor, duty, loyalty, and courage.