Monday 27 June 2022

Book Review: Jason (Blades of Bronze #2) by Mark Knowles (Historical Fiction)

Title: Jason (Blades of Bronze #2)
Author: Mark Knowles
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 4 August 2022
Pages: 456
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

The quest is far from over
They may have won the prize, but will any of them make it home alive?

Jason has fulfilled the mission set him by his uncle, the scheming King Pelias of Iolkos: he and the Argonauts have won the fabled Golden Fleece of Colchis. Jason dreams of glory – of taking his uncle's throne, rightfully his – and, like his warrior shipmates, of home.

But it is not only Pelias who wishes Jason ill. Before the Argonauts can make it back to Iolkos, they must contend with a legion of foes who would see them dead – and a web of allies who are not quite what they seem.

Jason and his warriors must outwit the recondite Circe and the spies of mighty Troy, overcome hostile tribes beyond the Danube, and sail the troubled waters of the Archipelagos, where the Sirens wait to snare unwary seafarers.

Yet Jason's perils are only beginning, for he will soon discover that a truer evil lies closer to home...


Jason didn't work for me overall. Firstly, when I requested the book on NetGalley, nothing on the page indicated it was the second book in a series; I only discovered that once I was approved and went to add it on Goodreads. I had seen in the blurb that this was set after obtaining the fleece, but I'd assumed that was simply the author's choice for the narrative. That wasn't a major issue, though, as luckily I know the story of Jason well, so could pick up the thread where the novel started. I struggled with other aspects, such as the erratic pacing and the frequent and badly marked head hopping between the huge cast of characters, most of whom we didn't spend enough time with to get to know very well. Medea was the only one who felt a little more fleshed out and whose thoughts and feelings we could follow. It probably doesn't help that all the best bits in Jason's story happen in the effort to obtain the fleece, and that leaves this book only with them being chased on the way home. Usually I lap up retellings, but nothing about Jason managed to capture my interest, and although I tried to concentrate throughout, I frequently found myself skimming. It might have worked better to concentrate on telling the story through just Medea and Jason, so it felt more like a personal story than an historical narrative. Upon reading the afterword, it's clear the author is knowledgeable and passionate about his topic, but sadly that didn't come through in the text, at least not for me. Therefore, I am giving it 2.5 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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