610AD. The bloodthirsty Emperor Phocas is preparing for the greatest battle of his life. Enemy armies are racing closer to attack his fortress, the golden city of Constantinople, and traitors within plot his downfall. Clinging to power by masterminding a campaign of terror, he is running out of funds, allies and time ...but he has one card left to play. Aelric, a naive and ambitious young clerk from Britain, is sent to Constantinople ostensibly on a mission to copy old texts for the Church of Rome. On his arrival he discovers the terrible dangers lurking behind the shining streets and glittering facades. A pawn in a secret conspiracy that will change the course of history, he can only rely on his wits, charm and fighting skills to stay alive.
Set during the reign of Edward (Longshanks) the first of England, this offering takes the reader to a time where warfare was fought as savegly against the people as it was against the invaders in this offering from Paul Finch. He gets the feel right for the time period and with characters who are as much villain as hero it sets a tone for a war of attrition that no side can afford. Add to the mix zombies and a siege and you know that its something that is quite cinematic. It’s well written, it’s got crisp description and it’s a stand alone title that makes it easy for people to dip into. Whilst this won’t be for all fans of Urban Fantasy it’s a title that will please a lot of readers who enjoy a dip into Historical Fiction alongside their zombies. An offering I really enjoyed.
The tears of Alexander shall flow, giving bread and freedom ...612 AD. Egypt, the jewel of the Roman Empire, seethes with unrest, as bread runs short and the Persians plot an invasion. In Alexandria, a city divided between Greeks and Egyptians by language, religion and far too few soldiers, the mummy of the Great Alexander, dead for nine hundred years, still has the power to calm the mob -- or inflame it ...Aelric, the young British clerk who has become a senator and the trusted henchman of Emperor Heraclius, has come to Alexandria to send Egypt's harvest to Constantinople and to force the unwilling viceroy to give its land to the peasants. But the city -- with its factions and conspirators -- thwarts him at every turn. And when an old enemy from Constantinople arrives, supposedly on a quest for a religious relic that could turn the course of the Persian war, he will have to use all his cunning, his charm and his talent for violence to survive.
The second novel for me by Richard Blake and one that I really devoured after finishing the first. As with the original, its beautifully written with a great excursion from modern times that’s backed up with a seriously enjoyable writing style. Top notch entertainment and something of a guilty pleasure. I’ll definitely seek out other titles by this author and I really want to see what he has in store for his characters in future excursions.