Arthur Wesley (the future Duke of Wellington) was born and bred to be a leader. With a firm belief that the nation must be led by a king, the red-coated British officer heads for battle against the French Republic, to restore the fallen monarchy.
Napoleon Bonaparte joins the French military on the eve of the Revolution. He believes leadership is won by merit, not by noble birth. When anarchy explodes in Paris, he's thrust into the revolutionary army poised to march against Britain.
As two mighty empires embark on a bloody duel, Wesley and Bonaparte prepare to face a sworn enemy, unaware that the fate of Europe will one day lie in their hands....
©2006 Simon Scarrow (P)2016 Headline Digital
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I have been fascinated by Napoleon since I was a child. I have read everything I could find about both these men and the Napoleonic War. I found myself more interested in Arthur Wesley’s sister, Barbara; she was a fascinating person. So when I discovered Simon Scarrow wrote a historical fiction series about these two men I just had to read it.
The book covers the years 1769 to 1795. Scarrow starts with the early years of both men and it appeared to me that Scarrow was attempting to show similarities between the two men’s characters. The only new item was that Scarrow suggested that Napoleon and Wesley (Duke of Wellington) met as young men at a French Military Academy. I have never heard of this meeting so I do not know if it really happened or is part of the fiction in the story. The story did remind me that Arthur Wesley could have made his fame and fortune with his violin; not many famous generals were excellent musicians. In the last half of the book we have Napoleon at the battle of Toulon; Scarrow has some excellent battle scenes.
Scarrow took on a real challenge, as so much has been written about these two men. I can understand why Scarrow chose to write a historical fiction rather than a biography. The book is well researched and well written. Being fiction it is easy to read. I understand there are four books in this series. I cannot wait to read them all. Jonathan Keeble does a good job narrating the book.
Can't pick one. I have read/listen to so much about this time period (Sharpe series, et al), and I'm simply blown away.
Boney. You end up rooting for Bonaparte.
No, but I'll look for more.
Every character is so fleshed out. Just amazing.
If you have read/listened to Bernard Cornwell this is a must get.
"Keeble is the best!"
Keeble once again brings fantastic colour to Scarrow's great retelling of two of history's most formidable characters!
"How the young got blooded"
The young Napolean had fire in his belly,intelligence and ambition.Obviously he made the most of it. Arthur ,the future Duke of Wellington,had greatness thrust upon him .Thrust into a difficult military campaign against revolutionary France his innate abilities rose to the top.
Interesting that both were the same age and both,in their formative years, lost Fathers that they loved and respected .Great Story,Great narration .I just purchased book two in the series which the reviews say is even better.Scarrow gives you a history lesson in the guise of a good story.
"What a story!"
Okay, not necessarily 100% accurate but close enough. I am sure that these two characters are not as noble as they are made out to be but you can't help wanting to follow their stories loosely based on history. Simon Scarrow does an great job novelising these historical characters into people and the events as real as one could get them. I even love Jonathan Keeble accents and style of reading. Can't wait to read the next installment.
If you like Scarrows Macro/Cato novels you will like this one. Great story. As a non brit/french I have not reas too much about this era, but this was a good intro.
This book has just the right amount of historical fact while still keeping the story fresh and interesting.
"interesting and informative"
i listened to this a while back; just wanted to briefly say that this was a fascinating take on a relatively novel subject, at least in terms of historical fiction. I highly recommend it.
"Excellent Historical Fiction"
Engaging,Educational, Anger (Arthurs Mother)
Greatly, Inspires me to play some Napoleon Total War.
Arthur sure sounds alot like Cato.......
Nothing, I'm familiar with him from Simons other works. I hope he does the other Novels in this series also.
Make sure Keeble Narrarates the rest, and try to release the others before the end of the year, I'll buy them all, a few as gifts for friends,and recommend them to others.
Approached this book cautiously, fearing a watered down or, worse, overly fantasized rendering of two fascinating historical giants and their times. To the contrary, I found this is a well-scripted, informative without being overly bogged down in minutiae and, yes, highly entertaining historical novel - an Audible Masterpiece Theatre, if you will - which is thoroughly appealing. Helped along by a splendid narrator, Jonathan Keeble, with the appropriate voice inflections, accurately delivered accents etc., It makes one crave for the three remaining and yet unrecorded books in the series, to be similarly executed. And "soon" is not good enough! My first Scarrow outing.
"Best Scarrow Yet"
This series far exceeds Cato and Macro .. Scarrow just seems to get into the characters better ..
Napoloen is a brilliant Character
Napoloen is a brilliant Character but Wellesley is a my real life hero .. Napoeon probably edges it in this book but I don't think it will last
Yes and almost did
I just wished i would have waited until Generals was released so I could have listened to them both in a row
"Simon Scarrow But Not As We Know Him"
This is simply an excellent start to what looks likely to be a very high quality series. My only previous experience of Simon Scarrow has been the early books of the Macro and Cato series. Full of solid, hearty characters created by the author giving him much freedom in terms of their own story and behaviours.
Journaling the lives of these two most famous of generals from much more recent history is a significantly different proposition and naturally the result is a much different book. This is a fascinating look at the early lives of these two famous young men with the starkly contrasting upbringings they had up to their first tastes of command and battle.
What actually struck me was that despite the differences there were also fascinating parallels to be drawn. Their experiences of the capital cities, Paris and London, their difficult births and how they both succeeded by being somewhat unconventional. The stark differences in their personalities and motivations show that while these two both became great generals they were forged by very different fires. Although I am sure Scarrow does utilise a certain amount of poetic license seeing this most tumultuous part of history through the double aspect of both their lives makes Young Bloods truly fascinating reading.
The book really gathers pace towards the end and thoroughly sets the scene for what is to follow. The narration by Jonathan Keeble is first class. He is set a tough task with so many characters and accents but he rises to the challenge like a thoroughbred.
In very short, this is a different Simon Scarrow to what I've personally seen before but it's just as good, if not better. I have extremely high hopes for the rest of this series when it is made available.
"Detailed and identity"
Great detailed account of the rise in power historically of two men we all know but putting a human face onto these legends. Fare in its account of the French and English frames of reference that coming from an Irish man.. We can judge people of today for what our ancestors believes and actions you can only do what at the time you think is right..
The human condition
Look forward to the rest of the story that I new of but now am aware of and its impact on the world
"Well worth a listen"
Simon Scarrow has done a fine job on this book I read the 4 books some time back but listening to it just brings back how good a writer he is and in this case it's well narrated
It details the young lives and start of the careers of Napoleon and Wellington in an interesting and informative way
I really enjoyed this book and it was over far to quickly I am now eager to purchase the other 3 books in the series
At first found the switching between Wellingtons and Napoleons storys frustrating. Each time you wanted to hear more and had to reset you thoughts. However this is a well written and a fascinating read/listen . Jonathan Keebles narration is exquisite and brings the story to life. Just about to start book 2 cannot wait.
"Something very different from Simon Scarrow"
A great foundation to the story of Napoleon and Wellington as youngsters
Arthur Wellesley...He was an underdog character coming from fairly modest roots and no stranger to failures and vices, although Napoleon as a child was extremely entertaining.
Jonathan Keeble's work is always great this is no exception
Some of the light humour was mildly amusing, hearing the British soldiers plight when retreating was also moving.
This novel forms an extremely solid foundation for the coming books, you get to actually like both characters Napoleon and Arthur Wellesley and see them both for their human side for their successes, failures, flaws, vices and virtues which has not been left out...I really enjoyed this Simon Scarrow put a lot of work into character development and this made for fascinating characters.
A fascinating book with so much more than simply the early life of the main protagonists.... I'm straight into book two.
Although you know the history of these great men, Simon Scarrow breaths life into the past. Fantastic stuff, time to start book 2.
"Lightening strikes twice"
I approached this book with trepidation as it seemed to be quite a departure from the type of stories told before. I didn't want to listen to history of Wellington and Bonaparte but I took the chance when this was on sale.
I am really impressed yet again. Simon has given personality and gravitas to historical figures who's depths and motivations I now know I didn't understand before.
The book also has made me draw parallels with what is happening today and made me realise that there are many similarities with the modern social situation as there were during the time of the French Revolution.
"Fascinating, educating and throughly thrilling"
One of the best books I have ever read. I literally couldn't put it down for the third time, this time, on Audible.com. If your interested in this period of time, then you must read it.
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