Ben Kane is an historical wordsmith extraordinaire. One of my favourite Romanesque stories " The Forgotten Legion Trilogy " I believed would never be beaten for sheer entertainment and beautifully crafted story lines. I however was wrong the Clash of the Empires books are so delicately written that you change sides between favouring the Macedons and the Romans countless times plus there are several different storylines all taking place concurrently. Thank you Ben for a quite frankly superb read.
This astounding historical novel is the 2nd volume of the "Clash of Empires" series from a great author, Ben Kane. Let me tell you that at the beginning of the book you'll notice a meaningful quote by "Alexander the Great", as well as three very well-drawn maps of Macedon, Asia Minor and the Propontis, and Macedon and Greece in the year 198 BC. At the end of the book you'll be presented with a superbly researched Author's Note, where the historical details and people are very well documented, followed by a Glossary, (the lay-out looks familiar to those of the auhgtor Christian Cameron about Ancient Greece, I suppose probably because it's the same publisher) where important issues are exquisitely explained, so to make this historical tale so much easier to read and understand. Storytelling is as ever of a top-notch quality, for me this author is one of the best in this field of Ancient history, simply because Ben Kane brings this ancient Roman/Greek world vividly to life in a most wonderful way, with lifelike characters, whether they are real historical or superb fictional, and also the brutal atmosphere of these political and warlike times are brought to us in a most brilliant fashion. This book starts off in the year 198 BC and it will end in the year 196 BC in what is called the Second Macedonian War. And so we follow the exploits of our 4 main characters, being on the one hand, King Philip V of Macedon, while there's also one of the phalangists within the Macedonian army, Demetrios, while on the other hand there's the Roman Consul and General, Flamininus, and finally we have Felix, first with his brother, Antonius, but later on by himself, as one of the soldiers serving within the Roman legions, in an attempt to defeat Macedon and for Rome to conquer Greece. What will follow is an action-packed and sublime historical story, where the Romans will fight the Macedonians in a famous battle, causing lot of wounded and deaths on both sides, and where finally the Macedonians threat will be vanquished and the rest of Greece for the taking, while at the same time within the higher echelons of the Roman army political intrigue, blackmailing and backstabbing is always at the forefront. Highly recommended, for this is truly a most astonishing historical novel, one with a lot of action and great dialogue, and where the reader is taken into the Ancient Roman/Greek World with verve, and that's why I like to call this book: "A Magnificent Compelling Roman/Greek Sequel"!
Bestselling author Ben Kane returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to the brilliant Clash of Empires. Effortlessly continuing where Clash of Empires ended, the reader is thrown straight into the action once again as we see the conflict through the eyes of Felix and Demetrios, young men on opposing sides of the struggle between Rome and Macedonia for the control of Greece. Both of the antagonists face their own battles from within their respective camps as well as on the battle field, as well as the comradeship of their friends and family members. Both of them will be tested to the limit in this enthralling novel from an author who has walked in the armour worn by the Romans at this time so knows exactly where it rubbed and where it irritated. Ben studies the history books from the time so no stone is left unturned in his quest to deliver a story of the highest quality. What I particularly like about Ben Kane books though is the fact that because he tells the story from both sides of the conflict, he is able to deliver a truly well rounded and complete history of the events. He even excels himself with The Falling Sword as not only do we get the story from Felix and Demetrios, but also Flaminius and Philip, the respective leaders during the conflict. This really is a complete and well balanced account which any fan of historical fiction should have in their collection.
This is the follow up to the excellent “Clash of Empires”, set about 198BC with Rome and Philip of Macedon fighting over control of Greece. As with the previous book, we see the conflict from both sides and the author chooses not to make either one of the sides the “good guys”, the writing pushes you to understand and empathise with both sides and characters on both sides. Facing up to Philip is the ambitious Flamininus and below either leader we also see the conflict at grunt level this giving us a command and strategic view but balanced with the reality of the troops fighting for their lives. It’s exactly what you would expect from Ben Kane, well written, well researched and with solid characters. I slightly preferred the first of these two books as it put more of the pieces and characters in place, this just took those same characters further into the story. But this still remains top quality stuff and I enjoyed it a great deal.
Very few writers can hold your attention the way Ben Kane can, he has very obviously travelled the land and seen the terrain he writes about. Surprisingly their is no favouritism given in the war from someone who writes mostly, and obviously loves Roman history, to the degree that,knowing from history how it must end, you find yourself drawn to the Greek characters and feeling sorry for their losses and cheering their wins as well as the Romans. Leaders are followed, but the followers also get attention on both sides, pain, grievances, losses. You feel their every win and death. If you like Greek or Roman history, I couldn't recommend this highly enough. Bring on the next Ben ***