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The Falling Sword

Clash of Empires, Book 2
By: Ben Kane
Narrated by: Steven Pacey
Length: 15 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Non-member price: $30.38
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Publisher's Summary

The thrilling follow-up to Clash of Empires - centred around the climax of the Roman invasion of Greece - from Ben Kane, the master of historical fiction.  

One empire will rise Flamininus of Rome and Macedonian King Philip's battle-hardened armies are on the march towards their final, climactic encounter.   

The other must burn. The outcome will decide the fate of Greece. But, on opposite sides, legionary Felix and Phalanx soldier Demetrios have more pressing concerns: staying alive long enough to taste glory.... 

The Falling Sword is the gripping follow-up to Clash of Empires from Ben Kane, the master of historical fiction - for fans of Simon Scarrow, Harry Sidebottom, Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell. Ben Kane is the author of nine consecutive Sunday Times top 10 best sellers, with over million copies of his books sold around the world.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Ben Kane (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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  • Simon
  • 05-05-2019

Kane's Raising His Standard!

The second in Ben Kane's 'Clash of Empires' series takes the excellent start he made with the first book and dials everything up another notch. Like a number of writers in this genre he is able to portray great action and what feels like a quite authentic insight into the lives of both the foot soldiers and the generals. And that's what sets this series aside from many of these others. Kane has created a big set of characters and we live with them in the heart of the Macedonian phalanxes with Demetrius and his comrades and we get to stand shoulder to shoulder in the iron-hard lines of the Roman legions with Felix and Antonius. The battles are visceral and bloodthirsty and so are the lives that these doughty foot soldiers lead with all the petty intrigues associated with the rank and file. What's more we see the other end of the scale, Prince Philip, a charismatic but oftentimes ruthless hero king plagued with concerns for his nation and those around him. Set against him is the gloriously ambitious and constantly scheming Roman politician / general Flamiminus who weaves an ever more complex web of politics and intrigue as he tries to get his name into the history books.

Of course if you have an audiobook that requires the portrayal of everything thing from the lowest of cut throats to the haughtiest Roman senator stopping at pretty much all stations in between then there aren't many better skilled at making the leap between arrogant royalty and snivelling toady than Steven Pacey. He's one of my favourite narrators and as this book progressed it became clearer all the time that he is actually the perfect fit for it. And it isn't just his wide-ranging delivery that makes the characterisation here seem quite like Joe Abercrombie's First Law series. It might sound odd to compare historical fiction with a fantasy series but much of the writing is similar between the two . . . in a very good way!

All of this wouldn't be enough without a great storyline and here Kane manages to deliver as well. As the battles unfold, the politics unravel and the petty squabbles of the foot soldiers escalate all of the four story arcs march under the greater set of events. Within this there are some genuinely touching moments but you should note Macedon and its surrounds were deadly places for soldiers and particularly in the later stages there are some genuinely eye-popping moments. I found myself on a couple of occasions thinking, 'did that really happen?' in genuine shock. Now that, is the mark of a good story.

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  • Jess
  • 18-05-2019

Another Ben Kane hit

Really heats up in this second part, the kind of characters and battles expected from Mr Kane! Also, a little cameo appearance makes this a must for any Ben Kane fan !