You don't need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of our FREE Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
This price was set by the publisher.
Warrior of Rome I: Fire in the East Kindle Edition
Kindle Monthly Deals
New deals each month starting at $1.49. Learn more
''[An] action-packed and detail-rich narrative. This novel of sharp swords and blunt wit should find an appreciative audience among bloodthirsty battle boys of all ages.'' --Publishers Weekly
''The best sort of red-blooded historical fiction.'' --Andrew Taylor, author of The American Boy
''Harry Sidebottom works on Rome's third century the magic that Patrick O'Brian applied to Nelson's navy. He has the touch of an exceptionally gifted storyteller, drawing on prodigious learning.'' --Timothy Severin, author of The Viking Trilogy --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Back Cover
'War is hell . . .'
The year is AD 255 - the Roman Imperium is stretched to breaking point, its authority and might challenged along every border. The greatest threat lies in Persia to the east, where the massing forces of the Sassanid Empire loom with fiery menace. There the isolated Roman citadel of Arete awaits inevitable invasion.
One man is sent to marshal the defences and shore up crumbling walls. A man whose name itself means war: a man called Ballista. Alone, Ballista is called to muster the forces and the courage to stand first and to stand hard against the greatest enemy ever to confront the Imperium.
This is part one of Warrior of Rome: an epic of empire, of heroes, of treachery, of courage, and most of all, a story of brutal bloody warfare.
'An exceptionally gifted storyteller' Tim Severin
'The best sort of red-blooded historical fiction' Andrew Taylor
'A well-constructed, well-paced and gripping account' TLS--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B002RI9JNM
- Publisher : Penguin (1 April 2009)
- Language : English
- File size : 3318 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 448 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 38,997 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top reviews from other countries
What stands out for me is the realism around the preparations for the siege and the action during the siege itself. It was practical and you could understand the point of what they did but it was still full of suspense, real people and gripping action.
It helps to love Ballista too. A practical, attention to detail hero with a flair for violence.
Harry Sidebottom is a Lecturer of Ancient History at the University of Oxford. By definition, that should mean that he knows his stuff. And indeed he does but it's the way that he carries this expertise that makes his Warrior of Rome series (or at least the quarter of it that I've read) so believable and readable. It helps, of course, that the series takes place during a difficult time in Roman history, the troubled third century, when more than one emperor was attempting to hold sway at the same time. The action also takes place in the mysterious east, in Syria, on the edges of the retreating empire. On both counts, Fire in the East is different from many other Roman military novels.
Fire in the East introduces us to Ballista, the long-haired barbarian from the north, an Angle, who has risen from dubious origins (to say the least) to be a commander of the Roman army. His mission is to fortify the city of Arete in Syria and hold it against the Persian King of Kings at all cost. Ballista has to dig in, win the favour of the mixed community within the city, and use all his wit, guile and courage to protect Arete from the thousands of soldiers and hoards camped around the city's walls.
With Ballista is his familia, gathered from across the empire, including Greeks and Spaniards. Not all are free, some are slaves, notably his bodyguard Maximus and his secretary Demetrius, but Ballista drinks with them all and will embrace them before battle. However, as Ballista is painfully aware, friendships are secondary when compared to the urgency of saving the city and its inhabitants.
This is a hugely exciting novel, carefully structured and paced, as we follow very closely Ballista's strategies to defend Arete and then his courage in facing the enemy, so much greater in number. You can almost feel the arrows fly past your cheek or the artillery smash stone and men at your feet. Ballista is an enormously likeable young man and the reader's feelings are intensified by the moments of vulnerability - for his past, his wife and child - that he lets slip to us yet to no-one else. He is mocked by the Romans in the city and yet the Romans are outnumbered in Arete by its eastern population and soon it's Ballista's name they chant. But the Angle can never forget that there are traitors around him and that his death may come just as easily, maybe even easier, from an act of betrayal as from an arrow or sword during battle.
The story moves around Arete, its different communities and religions. A range of characters are given leave to give their perspective on events. We know, for instance, that there are spies here and, as the novel progresses, part of the game is to guess who might be one of these `corn men'. The city itself is also a character, with its walls, towers, mines and tombs. The desert around it, with the mighty river flowing through it, is vividly presented.
Played off against the action of the siege we have the drama inside Ballista's head. Amongst his nightmares and dreams is the growing awareness that Rome is a long way away.