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Publisher's Summary

From an acclaimed master of historical fiction comes an epic saga about a reluctant hero, the Roman Empire, and the rise of a new power. 

Jerusalem and the Sinai desert, AD 55. In the turbulent aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus, agents of the Roman Empire receive information about a pilgrim bearing an incendiary letter from a religious fanatic calling himself Paul the Apostle to insurrectionists in Corinth. What's in the letter could bring down an empire. 

The Romans hire a former legionary, a solitary man-at-arms named Telamon to intercept the letter and destroy the courier. Telamon fights for money, not principles. He's been promised a rich reward; should he fail, the punishment is death by crucifixion. But once he meets the courier, Telamon experiences an extraordinary conversion, and instead of carrying out the mission, takes on the Empire. 

In his first novel of the ancient world in 13 years, the best-selling author of Gates of Fire and Tides of War returns with a gripping saga of conquest and rebellion, bloodshed and faith.

©2021 Steven Pressfield (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Man at Arms

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interesting

enjoyed the story but the performance was extremely off putting. it sounded very stop start and broke up the flow of the book.

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Profile Image for Donald
  • Donald
  • 06-03-2021

The Letter Carrier

55 A.D. -- Brilliant historical fiction weaving one of the best know stories of Western Civilization into a compelling tale of intrigue, action, and high risk. The early description about Roman mail delivery and roads in those times confused me until it was apparent what the story was about.

The Apostle Paul is trying to get a letter to the dysfunctional, fracturing church in Corinth. (1 Corinthians is about everything a church and its people shouldn't be doing. Read 1 Corinthian's 1:10-17; it gives you the background on some of the plot later in the book.)

The issue is left up to a former Roman Legionaire who is now a mercenary, a mute Christian girl, a fourteen year old Jewish boy, and a person the Romans considered "the most dangerous man in the world." The Romans use all their tools of brutality to stop delivery of the letter. The Man at Arms bears arms in defense.

The characters are wonderful. I hope there is a sequel.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-03-2021

I couldn't finish it

The narrator killed this book for me. Pressfield is my favorite author but I could not continue listening to the halting, almost staccato-like manner in which the narrator speaks. It sounds as though he is pausing to take in a breath every three words.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Love
  • 16-03-2021

An Instant Classic with Themes From Other Works

I am a big fan of Pressfield's, Gates of Fire, and have followed him on social media because of it. His other books are fantastic in their own regard, but there is a once-in-a-lifetime special book that any author can write; Stephen Pressfield now has his second.

There are themes from other works, Gates of Fire being one but others just as prevalent. A bit of King's Dark Tower series; Cormack McCarthy's, The Road; The Film, The Book of Eli, by the Hughes Brothers; The New Testament; and a sprinkling of Joss Whedon's Firefly/Serenity. However, the overriding motif comes from: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. These themes are merely that as this book stands on its own feet.

I really don't want to oversell this book. It is as good as Gates of Fire; perhaps even better. Only time as well as additional listening and reading of these two works will one cement itself as #3 on my all time must read list. The other however will be #4.

I usually listen at or about 3x speed, but I slowed it down to 2.25x for this narration. I've listened to several by Guidall in the past and enjoy his voice, but something about it isn't as crisp as other narrators.

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  • ken hendrickson
  • 06-04-2021

Gripping tale.

Loved it. Well researched about the period however questionable about the letter. Makes for a GREAT story and better ending. Well done.

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  • Sherry Acord
  • 05-04-2021

Pressfield writes another masterpiece.

it took me awhile to get used to the narrator, but the story was classic Pressfield.

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  • Mike Mandl
  • 02-04-2021

Captivating. Whether a Believer or not.

Mr. Guidall's narration puts the reader right in the middle of the agony, the extasy, the pain, the suffering, and the love. Thank you.

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  • Guido B. Bernstein
  • 02-04-2021

Gripping!

The Historical data is extremely detailed and accurate, and gives the listener a real sense of what it was like in those times.
Some of the climactic scenes were absolutely riveting and pulse pounding!
I highly recommend!

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  • Buyce Consulting
  • 28-03-2021

Outstanding

Mr. Pressfield is one of the truly great authors of our lifetime. Very well done Sir!

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  • Dan T. Badger
  • 24-03-2021

pressfield does it again

great story. great performance. an excellent story except too short. very enjoyable book. the end.

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  • Ray Edwards
  • 20-03-2021

A Deeply Moving Story, Well Told

I was not quite sure what to expect from this book. Typically, my experience has been the stories such as the one contained in these pages are not often well written. This book is the exception. It stands on its own as an intriguing, thought-provoking work of literature. It stands on its own as a riproaring great read. And somehow, although I am almost certain this was not the author’s intent, it conveys a strong argument in favor of this curious cult that spring forth in Rome so many centuries ago. You almost persuade me to become a Christian, Pressfield.

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