Regular price: £19.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

When a new empire rises, and old one must fall 

After 16 years of bloody war against Rome, Hannibal Barca is on the verge of defeat. On the plains of Zama, Felix and his brother Antonius stand in the formidable Roman legions, ready to deliver the decisive blow. Victory will establish Rome as the preeminent power in the ancient world. 

But in northern Greece, Philip V of Macedon is determined to restore Alexander the Great's kingdom to its former glory. Charismatic leader, ruthless general, he will use the unforgiving might of his phalanx to unite Greece and to fend off Rome's grasping fingers. 

In Rome, young senator Flamininus is set on becoming one of the Republic's greatest military commanders. With Hannibal on the verge of defeat, the as-yet-unconquered Macedon and Greece are ripe for conquest. Strategist and spymaster, politician and general, Flamininus will stop at nothing to bring Philip V to heel. 

Demetrios slumps on the rowing bench of his Macedonian ship. Thirsty, hungry, burnt by the unforgiving Mediterranean sun, dreams are his only sustenance. Dreams of the perfect thrust of a 15-foot sarissa spear, of the unyielding phalanx wall, of the glory of Macedon. 

The Roman wolf has tasted blood, and it wants more. But the sun of Macedon will not set without a final blaze of glory. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2018 Ben Kane (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group Limited

Critic reviews

"Who is the rising star of historical fiction? I say Ben Kane." (Wilbur Smith)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    47
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Kane Is More Than Able!

This was my first time with a Ben Kane novel and I guarantee it won't be my last! This looks set to be a series that will be genuinely epic in nature and scope. The multiple viewpoints cover life at both the top and bottom of both sides in this clash of Ancient powers. A steadfast king faces off against a hugely ambitious Roman politician with both desperate to win at all costs. At the other end of the scale a Macedonian rower dreams of becoming a spearman while two Roman brothers spend most of their time merely trying to survive.

Kane imbues each with their own feelings, hopes and dreams. He puts them all to the test and brings us victory and defeat alike. There are great action scenes including pitched battles, skirmishes and even drunken brawls. In reality it is four separate stories being woven into a much broader overall tapestry. There is a fair amount of thoroughly researched detail concerning the military organisation and tactics of the Macedonians as well as the overall period.

The narration is by the excellent Steven Pacey, the material is possibly not as perfectly suited to him as some of the other books I've heard him doing but being the master he is he delivers it superbly.

Just one point to mention, during the foreword it's strongly recommended that the listener consult a pdf that should have been included. It is said to contain maps that help understand the geography of the story with the nations being so different to what we know today. I contacted the author and he said he was unaware of the issue but he would ask the publisher about it. I also asked Audible who also said that the publisher hadn't provided it. It didn't feel like it spoiled the story for me but I do hope they add it to the package. In the meantime I did find what seemed like serviceable maps online to give me at least a broad overview.

That nit aside this is an excellent start to this series. As it's my first from the author I can't compare it to what he has done before but to me this flew by like a Javelin from a Roman legionary. Sometimes I find there is a certain amount of drag in multiple viewpoint stories but Kane has made each of his lead characters very human and compelling, albeit it in very different ways. Bring on Book 2!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

My first Audible book and I thoroughly enjoyed it, can't wait for the second instalment!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Story Great Battles

More top stuff from Ben Kane. Really enjoyed this book. He brings History to life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Promising book 1

First book I've listened to by Ben Kane and thoroughly enjoyed it. Steven Pacey's narration, as always, is flawless and adds real depth to the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

The excellent narration by Stephen Pacey made this book easy to listen to and become totally enthralled.
It’s an insight into a part of history of which l was previously unaware.
I look forward to the other parts of this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant as ever!

this was a fantastic weaving of stories, history truly brought to life through incredible story telling on the part of Ben Kane and wonderful narration by Steven Pacey.

highly recommended!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another winner from Ben Kane

Another great story from Ben Kane.As always twists and turns with every page.As far as I know the first novel to portray life in a Macedonian phalanx.Great narration from Steven Pacey and I particularly like the use of regional accents.Can't wait until the next instalment.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

too long

I loved the history of the story and immersed myself into the main characters as I usually do to feel the emotions and picture myself there. but there were chapters that seemed pointless like flaminius returning to a captured fortress to scold guards at a gate unopened.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping stuff!!

Ben Kane brings this subject to life, interweaving several plot lines seamlessly. It’s the mark of a great storyteller when you’re not sure which of the key characters you are really rooting for. Can’t wait for the next instalment!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CT
  • 27-05-18

Ben Kane does it again

Another excellent book. I am hoping the saga continues as a series.
Accents used by the narrator are amusing. Welsh accented Macedonians but still an good performance. Highly recommended.