Thursday, 22 August 2013

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Roman Empires 6: The Curse of Babylon - Richard Blake

Release Date: 01/08/13
Publisher:  Hodder


615 AD. A vengeful Persian tyrant prepares the final blow that will annihilate the Empire. Aelric - the young adventurer from England - is now almost as powerful as the Emperor. Seemingly without opposition, he dominates the vast and morally bankrupt city of Constantinople. One step at a time, in his fortified palace, he is pushing forward reforms that are the Roman Empire's only hope of survival, and perhaps restoration to wealth and greatness. But his domestic enemies are only waiting for their moment to strike back. And the world's most terrifying military machine is assembling in secret beyond the mountains of the eastern frontier. The plot to destroy the English upstart begins with an ancient and apparently accursed Babylonian treasure - and continues with kidnap, revolution and a brutal invasion. Can Aelric overcome his greatest challenge yet? Can he call on new and unexpected forces to save the Empire? And can he find a personal happiness that has so far eluded him?


I love an anti-hero as you’re never sure which way things are going to go. After all they’re unbound by the usual set of ironclad rules that most have to stand by and for that reason the wonderfully dark as well as delicious Brother Aelric is a cracking change from the nrom.

In this historical adventure (the sixth title for our hero) we get to see his own brand of trouble in Constantinople as a man of rank. It has great prose, some wonderful twists and of course with a lead character that you’re never 100 percent sure on then you know that its going to be a whole lot of fun. The only problem that I have with this type of book, and its been a bug bear for years to me, is that I hate books being a look back on a characters life from their own point of view. It means that there’s no danger to the characters person, that they’re always going to get out of a situation which really does take a huge edge off the plotlines.

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