The Last King of Lydia Review

Author and Genre

The Last King of Lydia is a historical novel by Tim Leach. The author was a student and professor of creative writing at the University of Warwick.


Here’s what is says on the blurb:

“A defeated king stands on top of a pyre. His conqueror, the Persian ruler Cyrus, signals to his guards; they step forward and touch flaming torches to the dry wood. Croesus, once the wealthiest man of the ancient world, is to be burned alive.

As he watches the flames catch, Croesus thinks back over his life. He remembers the time he asked the old Athenian philosopher, Solon, who was the happiest man in the world. Croesus used to think it was him. But then all his riches could not remove the spear from his dying elder son’s chest; could not bring his mute younger son to speak; could not make him as wise as his own chief slave; could not bring his wife’s love back; could not prevent his army from being torn apart and his kingdom lost. As the old philosopher had replied, a man’s happiness can only be measured when he is dead. The first coils of smoke wrap around Croesus’ neck like a noose…”

My Thoughts

This is an excellent book for those with an interest in ancient history, specifically Ancient Greece, or readers who are looking for something a bit different.

It is the story of a great man, a powerful man, looking back on his life after having lost everything. There are some twists and turns along the way to keep you on your toes.

If you’d like to know more about Croesus, the protagonist, before diving in then check out this Wikipedia link.

I would certainly recommend it for some moderate reading and you’ll find it here on Amazon.


Find another historical fiction review here.

You can download my ebook on Kindle here.

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