I liked the book very much, everything was there what a good story needs; intrigue, betrayal, murder, heroic deeds, bravery, etc. made for an entertaining read.
However, I was unable to give the book five stars due to one flaw which personally for me was not understandable. At the beginning of the story we are introduced to three characters; Xander, the farm boy who became galley servant and adventurer, Attalus aka Karpophorus the hired assassin and Gershom aka prince Ahmose exiled from Egypt. I thought these three were key characters, especially when we learn of the dark and shady pasts of Attalus and Gershom. However, rather than playing a role in the finale battle and conclusion of the story, they drop off the face of the book about two thirds through and are never mentioned again! They simply disappear!!! I almost shook the book at the end thinking I had lost them somewhere between the pages and would drop out of the book, but nothing. Just gone. Vanished into thin air.
This for me was a little disappointing especially after expecting they would bring their roles to an end in the story, e.g. Attalus being exposed, Gershom proving himself a hero after he fled Egypt, but.............again nothing! Maybe they will surface in the second book which I will read and hopefully their roles will be brought to a satisfactory close.