The Sacred Band (Unabridged)
by Chris Morris & Janet Morris
Open iTunes to Buy
The Sacred Band of Thebes lives on, a world away, in this mythic novel of love in war in ancient times. In 338 BCE, during the Battle of Chaeronea that results in the massacre of the Sacred Band of Thebes, the legendary Tempus and his stepson cavalry rescue 23 pairs of Theban Sacred Banders, paired lovers and friends, to fight on other days. These 46 Thebans, whose bones will never lie in the mass grave that holds their 254 brothers, join with the immortalized Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons, consummate ancient cavalry fighters, to make new lives in a faraway land and fight the battle of their dreams where gods walk the Earth, ghosts take the field, and the angry Fates demand their due.
Witness heroic struggles in an epic story
Listening to this story I felt invited right into the midst of The Sacred Band. By living next to them, listening to their voices, I was swept into a world where conflicts are strife, but heroism is possible.
Also, the names and nicknames of the heroes started to connect in my mind, even without an official introduction. I loved witnessing the action, watching mortal and immortal beings, whose deeds and reflections carry poetic, symbolic meanings.
For me, the scene of burning stables was horrific, it made me feel intimately close to the fire and to the horses. Described with great love for them is something only these two authors, Janet Morris and Chris Morris, can deliver, being a riders and owners of horses. I listened to the staccato sentences, as if the narrator is were running alongside the desperate men, becoming short of breath himself, losing faith.
When playing the narrator in this book, Christopher Crosby Morris has a pleasantly low, soft voice that is resonant and musical, which I attribute to his experience as a lyricist, musical composer, and singer-songwriter. He is the chief songwriter, singer, and leader of the "Christopher Morris Band" (formed in 1976.) When playing other characters, he changes his pitch and rhythm as appropriate, to give them voice. On the whole, I find it so satisfying to have him bring to life every nuance in this epic project, which is an incredible feat of creative collaboration between him and his wife, Janet Morris. No other narrator would give you such a faithful depiction of the colors of each scene, each sentence.
And, there is another side to him, in addition to his musical talent. Christopher Crosby Morris is a defense policy and strategy analyst , and has co-authored the nonlethal weapons concept (designed to incapacitate personnel or materiel, while minimizing fatalities and permanent injury.) I am convinced that he contributed his expertise to shaping the battle scenes in this mythological world.
I was truly moved during the scene of burning stables: “Horses screaming. Men running. Water in buckets; never enough. Black smoke billowing from the barracks, making men and horses caught and cough and wheeze. Lurid flames; evil, awful light from hell as hungry fire eats up men and horses, hopes and dreams.”
Highly Recommended - An Epic 5*****
The Sacred Band by Janet Morris & Chris Morris
Without doubt, a magnificent read of epic proportion filling the pages of this stunning work presented by these two authors. The Sacred Band is full-to-the-brim of myth, adventure, ghosts and gods entangled with love and war in this gripping tale.
The writers certainly know how to captivate their readers with strong characters, battle scenes, heroic gestures and torment. The book has a very 'real' essence and you will feel you are part of this wonderfully descriptive amazing page-turner. You will certainly struggle to pull yourself away from this one.
I can't believe I haven't stumbled upon these authors before - time to search through the other numerous books written - true genius!
An extremely well-written novel that will remain in your thoughts for a very long time.
Highly recommended - an epic 5*****