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Summary

The true story behind the events in 300: Rise of an Empire, the sequel to Zack Snyder's 300

The action-filled movie 300 focused on Ancient Greece's epic battle of Thermopylae, in which King Leonidas led 300 Spartans into battle against Xerxes and his million-strong Persian forces. In the sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, the action moves to the sea, covering 10 years starting with the Battle of Marathon and ending with naval engagement the Battle of Artemisium, which occurred the same day as Thermopylae.

Rise of an Empire tells the story of the real men and events depicted in the movie, focusing on the Athenian general Themistocles, one of the world's greatest warriors. He became warlord of Greece, built their navy and, by uniting Greece to defeat Xerxes' fleet, enabled what we call western civilization. Packed with vivid detail, clashes of arms and ships, blood, and glory, Rise of an Empire tells a story even bigger than the big screen could contain.

  • Both an essential listen for fans of the 300 movies and the Frank Miller graphic novels they're based on
  • An insightful exploration of the leaders who feature in the film, their backgrounds, motivations, command decisions, struggles, victories, and defeats, from the Battle of Marathon through the Battles of Artemisium and Salamis: Xerxes, the Persian king determined to succeed where his father failed, and Themistocles, overcoming monumental hurdles to turn Athens into Ancient Greece's greatest sea power and leading city-state of the age
  • A gripping narrative of the real-life naval battles of the first and second Persian invasions of Greece, with fascinating detail about the ships, the warriors and the tactics
©2013 Stephen Dando-Collins (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Rise of an Empire

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fair historic summary, sadly "lost in narration"

This is a well-researched and solidly-written summary of the Greco-Persian wars with a positive, favourable focus on Themistocles as the defining leadership figure. However, while the content is solid and informative, unfortunately the narration is a really poor fit - turning what is a generally inspiring, exciting and important piece of history into a mechanical, monotonous and mediocre listening experience. I hesitate to criticise the narrator who I am sure had all the best intentions and sincere effort. But his delivery would clearly be far more suited to an explicitly academic or scientific work. As narrative history, this kind of writing requires a more subtle, dramatic and warmer delivery, to bring to life the drama, humanity and excitement of the events and characters described. The text itself does this reasonably well, as it races through the decisive events of Marathon, Salamis and so forth along with a specific and detailed attention to the life of Themistocles, and includes some intriguing and less well-known anecdotes and references. And it is utterly let down by the robotic and repetitive voiceover which seems to deliberately avoid any expressiveness, variety of pacing or range of tones. So, in case there is any chance of revisiting this as a product, my advice would be (a) to move the narrator over to more dry and technical works where his albeit clear and precise monotone will be more appropriate, and (b) to find a voice actor to deliver what is a perfectly worthy re-telling of a genuinely exciting and important piece of history. As a reference point, Peter Noble's voicing of the Christian Cameron Long War series, which contains some similar descriptive narrative and historic exposition, is utterly gripping and memorable - and enables the listener to learn almost effortlessly while being carried along. For anyone interested in this period, I would recommend it without hesitation.

1 person found this helpful

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Simply brilliant, unlike film

This is breathtaking in it's scope and mind blowing in it's detail, how can such an excellent book be associated with such a dumb and inaccurate film. don't judge a book by it's film, this is masterful.

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Brisk and informative

Rounds out subject nicely - particularly the political contexts, protagonists and the more human consequences.

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A great biography, well done.

Themistocles in depth but also super easy to listen to. The craziness that was Greece, it its time of greatest peril.

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Very well done

Any additional comments?

A fascinating look into the history of the Greeks. Well written documentary on how the Greeks battled Xerxes. A little lacking in information sometimes but there is a lot of information to go through. Thoroughly enjoyed this, highly recommend.

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  • Casey Cook
  • 11-03-20

an unknown great

I really enjoyed this book. It is not just a list of facts, figures and names. It is great story and history of formative time in ancient greece. I appreciate the author's willingness to point out where he disagrees with classical authors or other writers. At first it is hard to keep track of all the names but towards the end it seems easier.

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  • Kip
  • 18-01-17

Unique account of the life of Themistocle

There are not very many books that focus on the life and trials of one of the most important figures of the ancient world, Themistocles. I really enjoyed this audio book and believe the author did his best to account for the many areas where the lack of evidence causes him to assume motivations and how events unfolded.

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  • j.holmes
  • 04-08-16

bad editing and...

this audiibook was poorly edited. Several timees phrases were repeated AND the I counted two times the narrator got the dates wrong by one hundred years. Twice!

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  • Christopher Singh
  • 13-11-15

Really good

Always been a fan of Stephen Dando-Collin's books, it is a great story that detail the military, political, and economic situation of the Greco-Persian War's. This is a great audio book for anyone interested in the time-period.

My gripe is with the narrator constantly saying 392 BC 380 BC, when the events took place in the 400's BC. He does mention the 5th century BC, but the inconsistency may be confusing to those that have no background in classical history. Also it sounds like a computer was relaying the story.

Other than that I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to fans of classical Greece. Dando-Collin's is a magnificent author.

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  • Nich Smith
  • 23-09-15

Excellent Voice

The narrator does a fantastic job bringing the text to life. I felt engaged and listening to every minute without boredom.