Regular price: £23.99

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

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

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    121
  • 4 Stars
    75
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    117
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Conn's Falcon 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.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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

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

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

Conn Iggulden, master story teller.

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Not one of Iggulden's best, but still very good!

Minor downside I suppose to having written so many fantastic novels! It wasn't up there with the Caesar or the Khan series', but was still a cracking listen.

Story was strangely split very much in two following the initial, obvious protagonist and then catching up with a more minor character. You had the sense he was going to be be brought in, as his introductory chapter was too detailed, and a little out of place, to not have a major bearing on the story.

Whilst I guessed at how it would end, having not known the Greek story of Xenophon (which was a nice change) there were a few big twists that I didn't expect.

So would highly recommend as a book. Only downside for me was that the narrator just wasn't in the same class as some others in here. It was listenable, but did just enough rather than really bringing it to life.

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

Well narrates but aimless

Enjoyable but nowhere near the level I've come to expect of the author. it seemed he wanted to write 3 separate stories yet combined them into a book that lumbers onwards and never really reaches a final destination.

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

Convoluted and Deflating; but Romping

Despite telling the story of the 10,000 that walked out of Persia the story, although competently narrated by Michael Fox, suffers from being a book of two halves.

The first part focuses on the Persian Prince Cyrus as he attempts to seize the throne of the Persian Empire. Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of this history knows his fate is doomed, as is that of his Greek generals. Despite growing to like the characters and their strengths and flaws they are taken from us as good friends we knew were dying.

The Persian firstborn wins, the characters we have followed for 7 hours come to nothing and are betrayed. The Greeks have to fight their way home.

The second half focuses on Xenophon as he leads his people out of the empire despite the odds of being 10,000 against half a million.

But the ending isn’t just bitter sweet but deflating, to have come so far and lost so many to lose that little bit more and have them all go their separate ways may be historically accurate, but puts a downer on what should be a monumental achievement. The adventure along the way is forgotten without a satisfying payoff.

I am a big fan of Iggulden and his previous historical fiction and new Darien series. But this felt to me a rare misstep.

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

I am a Conn Iggulden fan. :'(

The characters are unlikable and change their world views a drop of a hat to serve the predictable story line. The main characters is just is the worst of them and the most unlikable! The narrator is bad as well which does play in it to the feel cheapnes.

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

Fab book

I really enjoyed this book. it was very easy to read and was gripping. I love this time in history.

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

great

classic iggulden fast paced, hidden twists And a great ending.
I want another one please

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

A decent enough story but not his best.

It felt like the narrator stumbled over some of the character's names on a few occasions (I don't blame him), but this broke the tempo of the story at times.
The ending felt a little rushed and so I felt some of the battles weren't as descriptive and almost put in for 'filler'. still, it was a good listen and any fan of Conn Iggulden will enjoy this.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.