Reading 'Over The Wine Dark Sea' was, to me, like whetting my appetite for a good ancient-Greece adventure story...the story is plotted out well, as far as pacing and continuity go, but overall I was left relatively flat by this tale.
Menedemos and Sostratos, like the 'Publisher's Weekly' review here on Amazon says, never rise above their station as opposites of one another before the tale concludes. Time and again, the author reminds the reader of the strengths and weaknesses of both, but fails to explore the reasons for the former, nor to deliver any real progression for the characters to overcome the latter.
While the author has obviously done significant research on the time period, and on the trade business of the classical Greeks, one would think that an author such as H.N. Turteltaub (also Harry Turteldove), with such a catalogue of works already generated would produce something a bit more indepth in making a genre-jump from his usual fare.
I found the business about the 'peafowl' to be far too dragged out overall, though it is the crown jewel of their trade voyage, and found myself rolling my eyes and skimming pages each time they were brought up again...as comic relief they work briefly, but the author relies on the squawking birds to 'entertain'a bit too often. There are also several references to a possible attack of pirates, and considering the solution employed by the cousins,...it's lively the first time, but when used more than once...it's simply repetitious.
For a reader looking for adventure-lite in the lives of the ancient Greeks...this will serve it's purpose...but for those wishing for more enlightenment and exploration into the era the story is set in, I would recommend other authors, such as Mary Renault, and Steven Pressfield.
However, I have also picked up 'The Gryphon's Skull', the next of the author's 'Hellenistic Seafaring Adventures' and have high hopes that perhaps like a fine wine...the tales improve with age.