Axios: A Spartan Tale by Jaclyn Osborn
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.
There is absolutely no way I will be able to give a review that will do this book justice.
The only word that keeps running through my brain is beautiful. Axios and Eryx individually. Their relationship. It was beautiful.
Axios and Eryx’s relationship spans decades. What they are put through as children was reprehensible. But, they were to become warriors. Spartans. Hence, the lessons and tests they had to endure. Their world is hard, painful and unrelenting. Cringeworthy does not even describe my feelings while reading.
Life gets a little easier once they make it through training. Their relationship has grown in strength and the friendships with other Spartan men, have provided them a small family. The group dynamic is light and funny when needed, yet at times of war, they work as a well-oiled killing machine.
What I adored most was the differences between Axios and Eryx. They are complete opposites. Axios is thoughtful, kind and finds beauty in everything outside their training. He is a dreamer. Eryx is strength and cunning. He is serious. But even with these differences, they find a way that works for them.
I was so deeply touched by this book. Axios taught me to find beauty in my surroundings. Eryx taught me to fight for what I want. They will forever be branded in my heart.
I read something off the internet recently and thought it was extremely relevant to this story: “When you finish a book and want to start another but you think the one you just finished deserves a moment of silence.”
Axios deserves a moment of silence.