Monday, November 20, 2023

Lysander - F. van Wyck Mason

LYSANDER is a historical adventure novel by F. van Wyck Mason published as a paperback original by Pocket Books in 1957 with a cover by James Meese. That's my copy in the scan. Mason was an old pulpster, of course, and this novel is an expansion of his serial “Lysander of Chios” serialized in ARGOSY in June and July of 1935. Set in the ancient world, it’s the story of how Lysander, the young king of the conquered island nation of Chios, sets out with a small band of allies to wage a guerrilla war against the Persian Empire. Daring exploits, tragedy, and romance ensue until Lysander and his friends find themselves part of Alexander the Great’s army and Lysander is able to fulfill the vow of vengeance he took. Mason packs plenty of history into his tale, which results in it being a little dry and slow in places. Mason the pulp yarn-spinner was great; Mason the mainstream historical novelist isn’t quite as much to my taste. But his books are still worth reading and this one is no exception. There are plenty of great battle scenes and Lysander is a likable protagonist. Not having read the pulp version, I suspect it’s better, but this is still a good book.


Glen Davis said...

I liked the Hugh North books I've found, but never found one of these in the wild.

James Reasoner said...

I really like the Hugh North books. I need to read more of those.