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Reader Reviewed
Hearts of Stone by Simon Scarrow

Hearts of Stone

Action Adventure / Spy   Books for the Boys   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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With a foray into more recent history than Simon Scarrow’s previous novels, the Greek Resistance in World War Two is brought vividly and violently to life in ‘Hearts of Stone’. The prologue set in 1938 highlights three young friends (two Greek and one German) on an archaeological dig, from then on in, the book switches between 2013 and the war years of 1940 and 1943. The three main characters are tossed into a sea of conflict, it feels as though they have little choice in the decisions and actions they take. The writing is quite matter of fact and not overly descriptive, giving the impression of a truthful recounting rather than a work of fiction. The chapters set in 2013 create a natural pause between the tales of the battling friends and also slaps your awareness with how quickly the world moves on, yet stays in many ways exactly the same. This is an action packed novel full of interest, it also contains a hushed stillness and encourages thought and reflection making for a captivating read. ~ Liz Robinson

Click here to see Britannia by the same author.

If you like Simon Scarrow you might also like to read books by Robyn Young, Harry Sidebottom and Ben Kane.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The friendship of two boys on the Greek island of Lefkas in the early 1930s seems idyllic. One boy, a German, is the son of an archaeologist, while the other, a Greek, introduces his friend to the wonders of life in the sun. Years pass, the Second World War comes and the two boys, now grown up, find themselves on opposite sides in the conflict. The German, Peter, is a top intelligence officer with the Nazi army while his erstwhile friend, Mahos, leads a resistance movement that hates everything Hitler’s troops stand for. The two still feel loyalty and affection for each other, but they are forced into stark choices that mean the difference between life and death for their respective sides. This is a departure for Simon Scarrow, whose historical novels are usually set in the far past. But once again he brings all his descriptive powers to a brawny story of blood brotherhood and conflicts of interest.
~ Carl Hughes

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Cathy Burman - 'A very powerful novel, shocking and heart wrenching in parts but riveting throughout. Very well researched and written, this book will keep you guessing until the end. Highly recommended.'
  • Mary Gibson - 'A thrilling and dramatic novel with compelling characters.'
  • Karin Gibson - 'I was gripped by this novel from start to finish.'
  • Joan Hill - 'This is an excellent novel with powerful storytelling and well-crafted characters whose proud stories and courage will melt your heart. I really enjoyed this evocative and emotional novel and found the detail compelling and interesting.'
  • Karen McIntosh - 'Can friendship survive the horrors of war? A brilliant read spanning the War years and the present.'
  • Ann Peet - 'Brilliant, exciting, moving story of Greek resistance during WWII.
    I loved this book.'
  • Emma Barton - 'This book tells the story of three childhood friends, one German and two Greek, who are reunited during WWII in occupied Greece.'
  • Nicola Lowes - 'An evocative story of a Greek island in the Second World War interlaced with a modern day tale.'
  • Sharon Lowe - 'A story of World War Two, that has everything that you would be looking for that would appeal to of readers of, romance, espionage, loyalty, bravery, treachery; everything in just one novel.'
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'an excellent read and I will be looking for more like this in the future.'
  • Dana Captainino - 'A very good read.'
  • Judith Waring - 'This book is totally gripping right from the start and I loved all of it.'
  • Hannah Ward - 'Such a powerful, interesting read. Very well researched. Will definitely be looking out for more of Simon Scarrow's books.'
  • Sarah Jones - 'As an avid reader of his Roman novels about Macro and Cato, I was keen to see how he would portray a different period of history. I was not disappointed.'
  • Anne Rhodes - 'A “can't put down” book of the best kind! I found myself whispering warnings and encouragement to the characters as though they were my friends.'


Hearts of Stone by Simon Scarrow

The fierce courage of the men and women of the Greek Resistance is brought to vivid life in Sunday Times bestseller Simon Scarrow's powerful new novel of World War II. 1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Europe. Peter, visiting from Germany while his father leads an archaeological dig, has become close friends with locals Andreas and Eleni. As the world slides towards conflict and Peter is forced to leave, they swear to meet again. 1942: Andreas and Eleni have joined the partisan forces resisting the German invasion. Peter has returned - now a dangerously well-informed enemy intelligence officer. A friendship formed in peace will turn into a desperate battle between enemies sworn to sacrifice everything for the countries that they love...


'[A] gripping...moving narrative of friendships broken by war and betrayal' Sunday Times (on HEARTS OF STONE)

'What an amazing roller-coaster of a ride... this book is fantastic... So startlingly good, so utterly readable' Manda Scott (on HEARTS OF STONE)

About the Author

Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. His bestsellers include his earlier novels featuring Roman soldiers Macro and Cato, most recently Praetorian and The Legion, as well as Sword and Scimitar, about the 1565 Siege of Malta, and four novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte - Young Bloods, The Generals, Fire and Sword and The Fields of Death. He is the author with T. J. Andrew s of the bestselling Arena. Simon's novels have been published in the USA and in translation all around the world.

Author photo © Crest Photography

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd June 2016


Simon Scarrow

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Headline Book Publishing an imprint of Headline Publishing Group


512 pages


Action Adventure / Spy
Books for the Boys
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction



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