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“Not even death could keep me from you. My soul will forever find yours. In this life and the next.”

We had a feeling this story was going to be something quite amazing when we read the synopsis, however we were not prepared for the epic journey we were about to embark on. Axios is quite simply one of the most magnificent books we’ve ever read. It is unparalleled in its historical grandeur without ever feeling as if we were spectators to a lesson in Greek history. It is steeped in beauty, vivid sounds and smells as well as the conflicting picturesque yet war torn scenery of ancient Sparta.

“Sparta can have my life, but she cannot take my heart.”

Every single character plays a paramount role in this superbly written story; a story of tragedy, love, hope, brotherhood, tradition, violence, humanity and passion. We often say, that when a book fully impacts our soul, we know the Author has bleed words straight from the heart onto the pages, and never has that been more apropos than in this story.

“What makes up the stars?” I had once asked him in a time that seemed like a different life. A happier one.
“The stars are heroes, men who died and are now commemorated for their bravery in battle,” he had answered, smiling.

Whilst this story follows Axios and Eryx from children -being indoctrinated into becoming Spartan warriors- their fates are deeply entwined with many other wonderful characters thus becoming integral to the very essence of the intense emotional aspect of this reading journey. A journey spanning decades. A journey of a green eyed boy who was destined to become a great warrior and a brown eyed boy who would always question whilst dreaming of the stars, the sea and the spirit of love. Night and day; one cannot be without the other.

“..one day the light you carry will be snuffed out by darkness. I dread the moment when the gentleness in your brown eyes becomes cold as you see, at last, that the world is unforgiving and cruel. And I fear that I will lose you, either to the god of death or to your inner demons.”

We were compelled, enthralled, captivated, entranced; we were utterly mesmerized. There are not enough words to accurately convey how deeply we feel about this book and how incredibly intense it was. We have never highlighted so many passages and quotes as we did in this story. The sheer magnificence and brilliance was astounding.

“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you,” he whispered, pressing his forehead to mine. “I would kill any man, go any distance, and burn the whole world down if it meant keeping you safe.”

We want to give Jaclyn Osborn a standing ovation, not only for her immense historical research but also her stunning writing which captured a story so wonderfully epic it made our hearts beat frantically whilst we rejoiced with love yet cried uncountable tears in despair. Axios will stay with us forever, of that there is no question. It’s a story that deserves every accolade and to be on every list of fictional honour. There are quite simply not enough stars to be given to the love story of Axios and Eryx.

‘I’ll see you in the stars my warrior.’

Synopsis

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.

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