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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden. 

In the Ancient World, one army was feared above all others. This is their story. 

When Cyrus, brother to the Great King of Persia, attempts to overthrow his reckless sibling, he employs a Greek mercenary army of 10,000 soldiers. When this army becomes stranded as a result of the unexpected death of Cyrus and then witnesses the treacherous murder of its entire officer corps, despair overtakes them. 

One man, Xenophon, rallies the Greeks. As he attempts to lead them to freedom across 1,500 miles of hostile territory seething with adversaries, 10,000 men set off on the long way home. 

©2018 Conn Iggulden (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Conn's Falcoln Has Him Flying High Again!

I was starting to think that I wasn't quite so in thrall to Mr Iggulden after my two previous attempts at his books. Dunstan was a strong but slightly less spectacular historical novel while Darien from the Empire of Salt trilogy wasn't something I thought would set the fantasy genre alight no matter how brave he'd been to try something so new.

The Falcon of Sparta though sees Iggulden doing what I think he does best. Taking an historical tale of already epic proportions and bringing it to life for us. Giving us heroes, epic battles and a grand, impossible journey engineered by a quite unlikely champion of Greece! The sheer scale of what they attempted given the terrain and distance they needed to cross is one of the truly great stories of the Ancient Greeks.

The structure of the book is a little different with the narrative being carried by almost a relay team of lead characters. Michael Fox is the man charged with putting the breath into Persians and Greeks alike. He does a very sound job and is engaging throughout though I wouldn't say his performance is quite of the very top standard. He's certainly much better than some of the choices Conn or his publisher have made in the past - check out the Emperor series for the proof.

If you've enjoyed some of Iggulden's earlier historical fiction and want some more then this is a very worthwhile purchase.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Conn Iggulden, master story teller.

A marvellous tale, extremely well told and narrated. Conn Iggiulden never disappoints. wonderful battle scenes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great short story

This book is full of surprises.Like Game of Thrones don’t get too attached to any characters you like. It’s a pity there is not a book two. Would highly recommend - good narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This is a magnificent telling of this story.<br />

This is a fantastic story of human spirit and courage and one of Greece's greatest citizens. Xenophon is an enigmatic figure from Ancient Greece; and this story tells of his greatest avhiehement.
Ten thousand Greek soldiers must attempt to fight their way across Persia to their homes. Along with ten thousand civilians... their lives look lost.
Conn Iggulden is one of the greatest historical fiction writers to ever pick up a pen (or laptop) and his books continue to both educate and entertain.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • DL
  • 14-06-18

Very dull

Very monotone delivery . I listened to the entire story , but lost interest after chapter 1. It didn’t get any better .

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All a bit rushed

Firstly I should say that I really wanted to like this book. It combines a brilliant author with an epic string of historic events.

I have been a fan of Conn Iggulden for many years now, his Emperor series is one of my favourite set of books.

This book felt to me like it was so heavily edited that they tried to reduce a series of books into one. The characters and the story itself could easily have been filled out, everything seemed rushed including the pivotal moments of the book.

I can't help but feel that his was a fantastic opportunity to create something amazing reduced to just another "ok" book.

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  • p
  • 06-06-18

Not one of Conn's best

I've listened to a lot of Iggulden's books and enjoyed them, but I struggled to finish this one. The story line sounded good, but I was disappointed with the pace, characterisations and the narration of this book. I'm guessing this is the first of a new series, but I'm afraid I won't be buying the next one.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Epic story made dismal by bad narration

1. Conn Iggulden is a great writer. I've listened to many of his books and they are all wonderfully written stories which, in most cases, are made better by the narration.

2. The narration in this book is a huge disappointment and emphasises how important the role of the narrator is in an audio book.

3. The delivery is sometimes indistinct, often rushed and devoid of character and appropriate cadence. The range and delivery of the characters imagined voices are aimed at 2 main types, noblemen or gruff Yorkshireman and are all generally weak.

Even if the narrator is not as good as some others, there is no excuse for the lack of clarity of some words in an audio book.

A real shame. I couldnt wait to get to the end but not for the normal reasons when listening to an Iggulden book.

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Good Conn Iggulden story, not so good narration

Usually enjoy Conn Iggulden's tales and this one I suspect is no different but couldn't get into this one. I found the tedious narration left me unengaged with both the plot and characters.

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Not great

I normally love Conn Iggulden, but this is his worst effort so far. One long battle, no attachment to characters and it just becomes tedious.

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  • joff
  • 17-05-18

An Interesting historical fiction story

The story was very well told with characters which you become to care about. I didn't know much about this part of history but it is an interesting slice of history which I have found myself researching more on. I'm a massive fan of Conn Iggulden's writing and am happy to say this book doesn't disappoint.

I haven't listened to Michael Fox's narrations before I feel that he did a good job with narrating this book. Towards the end he started to really win me over. I think he is still quite new to narrating and will in time become an excellent narrator. For this performance I will give him a 4 star performance but I don't let that discourage you from listening to it. I would definitely listen to him read another book.

At the end of Conn Iggulden's books there is usually a note from him explaining where he made changes to history to help with character arcs and moving the plot on (I love reading this section). I was very disappointed to find there wasn't one for this audio-book.