The Last King of Lydia
Set in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 6th century BCE, this novel, as the name suggests, follows the life of Croesus (the last king of Lydia, in present-day Turkey). However, the format of the book is not implied or even conventional: it is not an action-packed thriller, although there is action in it; it is not a book of political intrigue (thank God), yet political intrigue features; and it is certainly not a murder mystery or fantasy story. It is, instead, a book that examines deep, sometimes philosophical issues such as the lust for power, wealth, happiness, immortality and freedom. Despite its 6th-century BC setting, the book relates surprisingly well to the 21st century.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Last King of Lydia, not least because it is not exactly run of the mill, but also because of its ability to engage the reader and mix in a variety of settings, battles and courts across Asia Minor whilst remaining focused on the key issues of the book. I recommend it to all readers.