Description - Pankration by Dyan Blacklock
The two men were circling each other with all the angry energy of fighting bulls, in front of a crowd that was already wild with excitement. The Pankration was what most of the onlookers had come to Olympia to see; the strongest men in Greece fighting bare-fisted and unarmed, until one of them surrendered, or died. This was blood sport.Nic is on the run; from the plague in Athens, from savage pirates, and from the slave who wants him dead. If only he can reach Olympia and find his friend Gellius, he'll be safe - or will he? At Olympia the last and most terrible of his enemies is waiting.
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(195mm x 130mm x 14mm)
Allen & Unwin Children's Books
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:
Other Editions - Pankration by Dyan Blacklock
Book Reviews - Pankration by Dyan Blacklock
US Kirkus Review »
Australian Blacklock debuts with a gory, rough-hewn tale set in ancient Greece and Italy. Sent from Athens to escape the plague, young Nicasylus is taken by pirates and sold into slavery; he escapes, makes his way to Olympia, and witnesses the vicious Pankration, a no-rules fight that lasts until all but one competitor is too broken up to continue. The author splits the story between Nic and his giant friend Gellius - a sailor who survives the pirate attack - who undergoes the requisite nine months of training and purification required to compete in the games, and is beaten to a pulp but crowned victor when Nic fingers his opponent as the pirate captain. There are some who may enjoy following Nic's blood-and-vomit-splashed trail to Olympia, but neither of the protagonists sees much beyond the climactic bout, even though Blacklock prepares readers for a visit to the ancient games. The rarely used setting, tailor-made for historical fiction book reports, may spark some interest. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Dyan Blacklock
Dyan Blacklock is a bold writer with an instinct for the things that fascinate children. Her stories are full of surprises, and leave you with plenty to think about. She has worked as an editor, teacher, librarian, shopkeeper and counsellor, and is now a children's book publisher.