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The Falcon of Sparta

Narrated by: Michael Fox
Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)
Non-member price: $36.45
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Publisher's 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

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Very good book but not Conn's best

Great book well read. It was pedictable due to the synopsis but enjoyable nonetheless. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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another great story by con iggulden.

loved the story. i felt the narrator was not the right choice. not enough depth to his voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent tale of the Spartan warriors .

A wonderfully performed historical novel. Prince Cyrus of Persia leads Greek mercenaries against his brother the king of the huge Persian empire and almost succeeded in winning the throne. This is the story of his campaign, his defeat in battle and the struggle of the Greeks to retreat to their homes, against terrible odds.

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  • peter
  • 27-10-2018

An excellent retelling

Very enjoyable despite the somewhat apathetic tone of the narration. This author - except for the Rome series - is one of the best historical novelists of any period. Recommended.

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  • joff
  • 17-05-2018

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.

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  • Simon
  • 10-05-2018

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.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • nev kidd
  • 07-05-2018

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • David James Cei Harris-Edmond
  • 01-08-2018

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-2018

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

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  • The Masster
  • 13-04-2019

Amazing story, well told.

Always enjoyed the writing of Conn Iggulden, he makes characters come alive, describes scenes so vividly I can picture them perfectly and keeps me gripped throughout. The performance was well delivered, again keeping me gripped. Well worth a listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-2019

Not Iggulden's best!

It was easy listening and like all Iggulden's book's well written but I am not sure about Michael Fox's narration ...although eloquent, and very clear, I found all the characters were a little monotone...its a far cry from Iggulden's Emperor and Conqueror series.

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  • Christopher W.
  • 05-04-2019

A well read and fantastic story!

Conn Igulden had done it again! A pleasure to listen to this amazing book! I would highly recommend it!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-03-2019

great story telling but no real story

Normally love Iggulden, the run of the story great but what was the story? Poor.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-03-2019

not my favourite

story was ok. some surprises but I won't spoil it for those yet to read it.
very disappointed with the story teller. the poorest I've yet heard and didn't deliver any emotion or excitement in his delivery. If he had I may have given it a higher rating.

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  • will h
  • 05-02-2019

Not Conn’s Best

I have read and enjoyed all of Conn Iggulden’s novels. This is the first as an audiobook and maybe that has coloured my judgement. Plus Christian Cameron has made this era and area his territory. Any other author has tough competition in quality and historical research. I had thought Conn would be u to the task given the masterful Lords of the Bow series. The story of Xenophon leading an army from Persia back to Greece against all the odds gave great anticipation and the opening sequence is cracking. Downhill from there as the journey became a repetitive chore making Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mount Doom seem like light relief. Maybe l just wanted too much from the young and unexperienced Xenophon. The narrator does not help. He has a young voice which is fine for the lead but he does not have the depth or variation for the other characters. There was a lack of light and shade in the descriptive passages, maybe he too go depressed by the sameness of it all. I will still read whatever else Conn writes as I’ve enjoyed every other historical novel he’s written.