Review: Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler

Thursday 9 July 2015
Title: Spartan Gold
Author: Clive Cussler and Grant Blackwood
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 21st December 2011 (Kindle)
Pages: 386
ISBN: 9780141042916
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Adventurers and treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo are on a wild-goose chase. Up to their waists in the Great Pocomoke Swamp in Maryland, they're hunting for lost gold. What they find instead is a small Second World War German U-boat.

Inside the submarine they find a body - and a puzzling, incredibly rare bottle of wine. This bottle was one of twelve taken from Napoleon's 'lost cellar'. But it is also a clue to a fabulous, ancient treasure.

One that Hadeon Bondaruk - a half-Russian, half-Persian millionaire - will do anything to get his hands on. For he claims descent from treasure's one-time owner.

It will be his, no matter who stands in his way...

Clive Cussler is an author who has been on my TBR for ages, and just looking at one of his books on a bookshelf makes me want to read them because they have some of the best covers that I've seen. It's hard to know where to start with an author who has so many books, but I chose the Fargo adventures as my first foray, and despite the mixed reviews, I loved it. I guess I am a reader that wants to be thrilled by an adventure novel, as opposed to one that will sit there and pick it apart for not being 100% realistic.

I read Spartan Gold in no time at all, and it's quite a lengthy novel so I suppose that's testament to how much I enjoyed it. Adventurers and treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo stumble across a small Second World War German U-boat and find inside not only a body, but a puzzling and incredibly rare bottle of wine. The bottle being one of the twelve taken from Napoleon's 'lost cellar' and it is also one of the clues to an ancient treasure. Also on the hunt for the treasure is Haedon Bondaruk, a ruthless Russian millionaire who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the treasure. He didn't bank on Sam and Remi Fargo getting in his way though.

The actual mystery element is brilliantly done, allowing the reader to travel across the world with the Fargos as they attempt to locate the other bottles of wine, and decipher the many clues that will hopefully eventually lead them to the treasure. The Fargos are philanthropists who use their knowledge and discoveries to help others, it seems some readers look down on this, seeing their wealth and vast encyclopedic knowledge to be unrealistic but for me it moves the story along and in this genre it makes a change to see an actual married couple on the adventure. I actually enjoyed their scenes together, and finished the book excited at the thought of continuing the series.

I love books which take you to a variety of settings and Spartan Gold definitely does that. I wish I could list some of my particular highlights but it would of course ruin the story for potential readers. It does seem that the Fargos appear to be able to escape from anywhere and have endless lives, but really, I couldn't care as long as I am kept entertained and I was right up until the very end of the book. In fact, it was 98% on my Kindle and still we hadn't reached the book's resolution. My heart was still beating long after reading the final page. All in all a great start to a series and I can't wait to read the other books.


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