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Spartan Gold: A Fargo Adventure

Review

Spartan Gold: A Fargo Adventure

Bestselling author Clive Cussler is the grand master of
adventure fiction, but Grant Blackwood is no slouch, combining
sharp character development with plots supported by his own
encyclopedic knowledge. The result of their work is a seamless read
that is also a treasure trove of historical oddities and
mysteries.

The plot of SPARTAN GOLD dips and swirls around Napoleon
Bonaparte, one of Western history’s most interesting and
controversial figures. The story begins in 1800 with Bonaparte and
his army making a daring and dangerous traverse across the Pennine
Alps. During the course of their journey, one of Napoleon’s
soldiers stumbles across a fabulous treasure trove. The prize
consists of two gold pillars that, as legend has it, were taken by
Xerxes the Great of Persia when his army raided the treasury at
Delphi. Unfortunately for Napoleon, he is unable to transport the
treasure. Instead, he creates a map to the treasure, cuts it up
into 12 pieces, and conceals each piece as a part of a wine label.
Although he had every intention of coming back to retrieve the
treasure, later events prohibited him from doing so. And when
Napoleon died, the 12 bottles disappeared…until now.

In the 21st century, Sam and Remi Fargo, an intrepid husband and
wife team of treasure hunters with significant resources, are
exploring a swamp on the Maryland-Delaware border, looking for
relics of a legendary bandit who operated in the area. What they
discover, however, is far more significant: a World War II German
U-boat. Inside, they find a bottle from Napoleon’s limited
edition wine, a discovery that sets them off on a quest to find the
priceless Persian gold. But the Fargos have some competition in the
form of Hadeon Bondaruk, a millionaire who came up the hard way on
the brutal field of war. Bondaruk, who is half-Russian and
half-Persian, believes himself to be a direct descendant of King
Xerxes and the lost treasure --- and the bottles that map the path
to it --- to be his birthright.

Bondaruk combines a canny intelligence with a wicked brutality,
and while he respects the Fargos’ ability, he also sees them
as obstacles to be used and removed as quickly as possible. The
Fargos rely more on their encyclopedic knowledge in their pursuit
of the treasure, using violence as a last resort. The husband and
wife team pursue the treasure as they themselves are pursued by
Bondaruk, and the opposing sides race across the world to a climax
that is played out against a tableau with a rich --- and bloody ---
history.

If you like your thrillers shot through with mystery and
history, SPARTAN GOLD should be on your must-read list. The first
of a projected series known as The Fargo Adventures,
Cussler and Blackwood have created what is undoubtedly destined to
be one of the most popular series in the adventure genre.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011

Spartan Gold: A Fargo Adventure
by Clive Cussler

  • Publication Date: August 31, 2010
  • Genres: Action, Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley
  • ISBN-10: 0425236293
  • ISBN-13: 9780425236291