No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Valerio Massimo Manfredi is professor of classical archaeology at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan. He has published over nine works of fiction, including the 'Alexander' trilogy, which has been translated into 24 languages in 38 countries. He has also written and hosted documentaries on the ancient world, and has written screenplays for cinema and television.
A man becomes a hero ...As a young boy in Ithaca, Odysseus listens in wonder to his grandfather Autolykos, a man feared by many across the land as a ruthless fighter. He learns of his heritage and a lifelong passion is sparked: to become an adventurer and warrior. In Mycenae, he meets King Eurystheus and learns the terrible story of Hercules - the man with god-like strength who slaughtered his family and punished by the King to undertake impossible tasks to earn absolution. But is Eurystheus the man he says he is? When a child comes to Odysseus in the middle of the night, with another, very disturbing, version of what happened that fateful night, Odysseus embarks on the first of his extraordinary quests ...So begins the epic story of Odysseus, the first of two volumes: an adventure of love, war, courage and heroism, weaving from a small rocky island in Greece, to the mighty fall of Troy.
This is quite different to his usual historical thrillers. A compelling novel telling of legendary Greek heroes with plenty of battle scenes and a colourful depiction of the ancient world. It's written in a manner intended to evoke the atmosphere of epic poetry. Worth a look.
In the near present day a British and an Italian researcher are offered more money than they can refuse to travel to Jordan and investigate some manuscripts that have gone missing along with the priest who was studying them all whilst the eponymous tower – the world’s tallest building that looms over the city – is nearing completion. Chapters alternate between the present and sixteenth century Rome where another tower is being constructed – St Peter’s Basilica – and the writer of the missing manuscripts’ story unfolds. This is a brilliantly gripping, clever thriller.
Terrific stuff with Persian, Roman and Chinese history in one great adventure. We are in AD260 with a Roman outpost close to the Persian Empire where betrayal, capture and slavery overtake us. On eventually, with an Arab trader, we enter China, learn about Tao and are part of a fabulous strategy. All in all a very good story indeed.Similar this month: None.Comparison: Steven Pressfield, Conn Iggulden, Wilbur Smith.
An epic adventure winding through the forests of India, the Himalayan mountains, the deserts of central Asia, all the way to the heart of China. From the author of the bestselling Alexander trilogy comes this enthralling historical tale of two great civilisations. Action-packed with battles, inhuman trials, and even a bit of passion; you'll be gripped the whole way though.
A prolific writer of ancient history adventures who always spins a good yarn (some a bit far-fetched, but hey, they are fun), sets his latest in Sicily in 412 BC. It is the story of Dionysius, this one steeped in historical fact as this complex Tyrant is sympathetically portrayed.Comparison: Christian Jacq, Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell.Similar this month: Steven Pressfield, Stel Pavlou.
Renowned for his excellent ancient historical thrillers, Manfredi changes gear a little and gives us a dual time tale, Greece 1983, an archaeological dig in 1973, and the ancient world of The Odyssey in the twist. He is an Italian history scholar so you know you are getting the genuine stuff. Personally I love to be educated and thrilled at the same time. He’s good. Comparison: Dan Brown, Wilbur Smith, Christian Jacq.Similar this month: Guy Walters, Jeffery Deaver.
Linking historical and mythical events, The Last Legion is a thrilling novel set around the collapse of the Roman empire. the Last Legion have the task to free Emperor Romulus Augustus. You won't want it to end. It has been adapted into a film which is coming out next year, starring Colin Firth.
From the international bestselling Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Wolves of Rome is a historical thriller about two brothers and the betrayal of Teutoburg Forest that devastated the Roman Empire. This is a must read for fans of Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane and Conn Iggulden. Bound by Blood. Divided by an Empire. Deep in a dark, foreboding forest, the Roman Empire will face its bloodiest test. 3 BC. Two wild Germanic brothers, Armin and Wulf, are held hostage in Rome to keep their father from rebelling against the Empire. As the years pass, they are moulded into ideal soldiers: brave, disciplined, ruthless. Attributes that are to be tested when a conspiracy arises, threatening their emperor and the Empire's future . . . As serving Roman soldiers, the brothers are separated at opposite ends of the Empire, each proving their bloody might on the battlefield. But Armin begins to realize that no matter how far he travels and how many lives he takes, he has an inescapable bond to his father, mother and the tribes of Germania. His goal: to unite them all under one banner. Wulf, though, remains loyal to Rome and it soon becomes clear that both he and the might of the Roman Empire are the only obstacles standing between Armin and his dream of freedom for the Germanic people . . .
Anatolia, AD 260. The Roman outpost of Edessa is on its last legs after the Persian siege, and Roman Emperor Publius Licinius Valerianus agrees to meet his adversary to negotiate peace. But the meeting is a trap and the Emperor ends up in enemy hands, along with the commander of his personal guard, Marcus Metellus Aquila, and ten of his most valiant and trusted men. Their destiny is sealed: they will rot away in a mine, forced into slavery. But Metellus - legate of the Second Augusta Legion, hero of the empire - and his men break free and find shelter at an oasis, where they meet a mysterious, exiled prince. The Romans become the prince's private militia, agreeing to safeguard the prince's journey back to his homeland, Sera Maior, the mythical Kingdom of Silk - China. And so they begin an extraordinary and epic journey through the forests of India, the Himalayan mountains, the deserts of central Asia, all the way to the heart of China - as the very survival of the world's greatest two empires is at stake.
A castaway tossed onto a deserted beach is the last survivor of a world that no longer exists. He has a terrible, fascinating story to tell - the true reason for which the Trojan War was fought ... The protagonist of this tale is Diomedes, the last of the great ancient Greek Homeric heroes, who seeks to return to his beloved homeland after years of war against Troy. But destiny has other plans for him. Betrayed by his wife, who plots to murder him and persecuted by hostile gods, he has no choice but to turn his sails west, towards Hesperia, the mysterious mist-shrouded land that will one day be called Italy. He ventures boldly into this new world, for he carries with him the magic Talisman of Troy, a mysterious, powerful idol that can make the nation that possesses it invincible ...
Alexander: Child of a Dream is Valerio Massimo Manfredi's magnificent story of one of history's greatest characters and his quest to conquer the civilized world. Who could have been born to conquer the world other than a god? Mesmeric beauty, consuming desires, an insatiable hunger. Then premature death. This is the story of a boy, born to a great king - Philip of Macedon - and his sensuous queen, Olympias. It tells of the stern discipline of Philip and the wild passions of Olympias, and how, together, they formed Alexander, a young man of immense, unfathomable potential, capable of subjugating the known world to his power, and thought of by his contemporaries as a god. Alexander's swift ascent to manhood, as a protege of Aristotle and close friend of Ptolemy and Hephiaeston, and the start of his great adventure to conquer the civilized world is recounted in this awe-inspiring novel. This is a wonderful evocation of the far-off and fascinating civilization of ancient Greece, revealed in vibrant tones and scholarly detail.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Tower is a modern thriller solving an ancient mystery. AD 70. A ferocious, mysterious force hidden in a solitary tower annihilated a squad of Roman soldiers advancing through the Sahara desert. There was a single survivor: the Etruscan diviner Avile Vipinas, who later described the horror of the creature in the tower and suggested how it could be destroyed. Nearly 2,000 years later, to find the tower and solve its unutterable mystery, three men venture into the heart of the Sahara: an archaeologist following the traces of his father, a colonel from the Foreign Legion thirsting for revenge, and a priest who puts his faith to the ultimate test. Just what is the dark being that slumbers in the tower?
Valerio Massimo Manfredi's Pharaoh is a thrilling archaeological mystery. Jerusalem, 586 BC. The kingdom of Judah is on the verge of annihilation by the Babylonians. In the chaos, the prophet Jeremiah saves the sacred Ark of the Covenant and hides it in a cave. He returns terrified, having made a discovery that appears to have sent him mad. The Middle East, early in the second millennium. Professor William Blake, renowned Egyptologist, has a surprising visit from representatives of an American mining corporation. They have discovered a strange Egyptian tomb, which risks exploding the powder keg of Middle Eastern geopolitics. Blake finds himself facing the most mysterious case of his life. The tomb of the Pharaoh lies in the middle of the desert, miles from the Nile and the Valley of the Kings. As he starts to unravel the Pharaoh's story, a disturbing theory forms in Blake's mind as to the identity of this mysterious ruler - a theory that could destroy the balance of the modern world.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi's Empire of Dragons is set in Anatolia, AD 260. The Roman outpost of Edessa is on its last legs after the Persian siege, and Roman Emperor Publius Licinius Valerianus agrees to meet his adversary to negotiate peace. But the meeting is a trap and the Emperor ends up in enemy hands, along with the commander of his personal guard, Marcus Metellus Aquila, and ten of his most valiant and trusted men. Their destiny is sealed: they will rot away in a mine, forced into slavery. But Metellus - legate of the Second Augusta Legion, hero of the empire - and his men break free and find shelter at an oasis, where they meet a mysterious, exiled prince. The Romans become the prince's private militia, agreeing to safeguard the prince's journey back to his homeland, Sera Maior, the mythical Kingdom of Silk - China. And so they begin an extraordinary and epic journey through the forests of India, the Himalayan mountains, the deserts of central Asia, all the way to the heart of China - as the very survival of the world's greatest two empires is at stake.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Ancient Curse is a thrilling archaeological mystery with a supernatural twist. In the darkest hours of the night at the Museum of Volterra, young archaeologist Fabrizio Castellani is immersed in his work. He has discovered that the famous Etruscan statue known as the 'shade of twilight' contains a mysterious object, seemingly enclosed within the sculpture itself. He is suddenly interrupted by the phone ringing - on the other end of the line an icy female voice warns him to abandon his research at once. A series of gruesome killings follow. The victims, who have all been involved in the desecration of an unexplored tomb, seem to have been torn to pieces by a beast of unimaginable size. Meanwhile, as Fabrizio excavates the Etruscan tomb he discovers something extraordinary, and chilling . . . Will Fabrizio manage to unravel these secrets without being sucked into the spiral of violence himself?
Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Oracle is a modern thriller inspired by an ancient prophecy. 1973. Professor Periklis Harvatis, working alone and late into the night on an important archaeological dig, unearths a magnificent golden vase upon which the enigmatic images of a long-lost second Odyssey are engraved, showing the mystery of Ulysses' final voyage. But in the very same chamber, the Professor sees something so frightening that less than seven hours later he dies . . . but not before he has ensured the safety of the vase. Ten years later, a series of gruesome deaths connected to the rape and murder during the student protests in Athens of a Greek woman, on the same night as Professor Harvatis's discovery, is perplexing the authorities. Each atrocity is accompanied by a dire quotation from the ancient sources, exposing an ingeniously cruel mind. Who is behind these murders? How are these two events connected? And what is the significance of the age-old prophecy of the Odyssey?
March, 44 BC. Rome, in all her glory, has expanded her territories beyond the wildest dreams of her citizens, led by Caius Julius Caesar - Pontifex Maximus, dictator perpetuo, invincible military leader and only fifty-six years old. He is a man in command of his destiny, who wields enormous power throughout the vast empire. However his god-given mission - to end the blood-splattered fratricidal wars, reconcile implacably hostile factions and preserve Roman civilization and world order - is teetering dangerously close to collapse . . . His power is draining away. None of his supporters can stop the inexorably evolving plot against him and prophecy will explode into truth on the Ides of March and the world will change forever. Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Ides of March is a political thriller laced through with all the intrigue and action surrounding one of the most crucial turning points in the history of western civilization.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi's Tyrant starts in Sicily 412 BC: the infinite duel between a man and a superpower begins. The man is Dionysius, who has just made himself Tyrant of Syracuse. The superpower Carthage, mercantile megalopolis and mistress of the seas. Over the next eight years, Dionysius' brutal military conquests will strike down countless enemies and many friends to make Syracuse the most powerful Greek city west of mainland Greece. He builds the largest army of antiquity and invents horrific war machines to use against the Carthaginians, who he will fight in five wars. But who was Dionysius? Historians have condemned him as one of the most ruthless, egocentric despots. But he was also patron of the arts, a dramatist, poet and tender lover.
The 4th century BC. A village in Syria. A woman, dressed in rags and covered in blisters and sores, is seen approaching on the road coming from the north. Suspicious of her, the villagers shout and throw rocks at her. She is struck and falls. She seems dead . . . Her story encompasses one of the great collective acts of heroism of the ancient world. She was the mistress of Xenophon, a general in the vast army of ten thousand Greek mercenaries from virtually every Greek city state that was employed by Cyrus the Younger, in his quest to seize the throne of Persia from his brother, Artaxerxes II. In The Lost Army Valerio Massimo Manfredi, one of the world's historical experts, has created a rip-roaring adventure seen from the perspective of the women who accompanied the soldiers on their long journey. An intense account of the most celebrated march in man's history, by the acclaimed author of the Alexander trilogy.
The extraordinary story of a legendary hero continues . . . After ten years of uninterrupted war, blood and agony, the Trojans have finally been defeated. Odysseus and his men begin the epic journey of returning to Ithaca. Along the way, terrifying enemies await them: the cyclops Polyphemus, the lotus eaters who feast on narcotic flowers that give only oblivion, the sorceress who turns men into swine, and the deadly, enthralling sirens. Odysseus is determined to make his way home to Ithaca, where his beloved family have awaited him for many long years. But his journey will present him with new, terrible perils - ones that he could not have dreamed of even in his wildest nightmares. In Odysseus: The Return, the second in his Odysseus epic, Valerio Massimo Manfredi gives a new voice to one of the most adventurous and fascinating heroes of all time.
Herodotus tells us that not all of the three hundred Spartan warriors died at the hands of Xerxes, King of the Persians, in the battle of the Thermopylae: two were saved bringing a life-saving message back to the city . . . Valerio Massimo Manfredi's Spartan is the saga of a Spartan family, torn apart by a cruel law that forces them to abandon one of their two sons - born lame - to the elements. The elder son, Brithos, is raised in the caste of the warriors, while the other, Talos, is spared a cruel death and is raised by a Helot shepherd, among the peasants. They live out their story in a world dominated by the clash between the Persian empire and the city-states of Greece - a ferocious, relentless conflict - until the voice of their blood and of human solidarity unites them in a thrilling, singular enterprise.
In Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Ends of the Earth Alexander's epic quest continues through the heart of Asia and on towards the mystery of India. The Macedonian Army march in search of limitless glory, crushing resistance at every turn. The beauty of Babylon is ravaged, the Palace of Persepolis burnt to ashes. An empire is destroyed and a new and bloody era begins. But there are other things on the great conqueror's mind. An ambitious project to unite the peoples of the empire in one homeland begins to obsess him, until the curious beauty of Queen Roxanna gives Alexander the strength to fulfil his destiny . . . A truly compelling and romantic book and a breathtaking conclusion to the bestselling Alexander trilogy.
Continuing the international bestselling saga of Alexander the Great, Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Sands of Ammon brilliantly describes his quest to conquer Asia, the limitless domain ruled by the Great King of the Persians. In a seemingly impossible venture, the mighty Alexander and his men storm Persian fortresses and harbours, crippling King Darius's domain. Even the legendary Halicarnassus is defeated by the Macedonian armies. But there is danger ahead. The island city of Tyre and the towers of Gaza prove to be formidable obstacles. Embattled but undeterred, Alexander's army surges forth over land and sea to the mysterious deserts of Egypt. There, in the sands, lies the Oracle of Ammon, waiting to reveal an amazing truth to Alexander. One that will change his already astonishing life . . .