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May 2013 eBook of the Month.
Author Andrew James spent three years living in a snake and scorpion infested oasis, in the shadow of the Oracle of Ammon, the ram-headed Egyptian god, to research and write the historical fiction epic Blood of Kings. The result is a compelling, highly accessible book that is full of evocative scenes of the desert, vividly capturing both the savagery and the beauty of the Sahara. Perfect for fans of Christian Cameron, Christian Jacq or Conn Iggulden. Blood of Kings is his first novel.
Click here to read an extract from this book.
A 'Piece of Passion from the Author...
'I was standing on a wet, grey mountainside in Iran staring up at something almost out of my eye's reach. Suddenly it hit me just how astonishing this place was - a rock carving 2,500 years old that had survived invasions, vandalism and the weather, and still had the power to draw people like me thousands of kilometres from home to see it.
The Bisitun Inscription tells the story of how Darius the Great became King of Kings of the ancient Persian Empire. Nearly 200 years before me, another eccentric Englishman, Sir Henry Rawlinson, had suspended himself precariously on a rope contraption high up on the same mountainside, to copy and later decipher the inscription. Amazingly, the story he discovered fitted in its important details with that told by Herodotus in his Histories - also written 2,500 years ago.
It was these two great ancient artefacts - the Bisitun inscription and Herodotus' Histories - which inspired me to write Blood of Kings. The Histories is full of amazing historical tales, which explains why people still love to read it after thousands of years.
I wondered why no one had ever turned some of these marvellous tales into a novel. And so I decided to try....'
It is 530 BC and Cyrus the Great has carved out the largest Empire the world had ever seen, making Persia the undisputed superpower of the ancient world. But there is treachery afoot, and Cyrus's life is in danger. When Darius, dispossessed prince of the Royal House of Parsa, tries to save the King of Kings, he is arrested and falsely condemned for treason. In a fast paced tale of love, betrayal, war and revenge, Blood of Kings sweeps the reader up on an epic journey from the mud brick cities of Ancient Persia to the burning heart of Pharaoh's Egypt.Packed full of dramatic and authentic battle scenes, it recreates the sweat, blood and fear of ancient warfare, as Persia smashes Egypt's army and brings the reign of the Pharaohs to a violent end. But it is also a book that will delight Herodotus fans, bringing the ancient Greek historian's characters to life like never before, as it follows the doomed 'lost army of Cambyses' into the Libyan Desert, marching towards a fate that would baffle archaeologists for millennia to come.
"This is a brilliantly written and scrupulously researched historical novel that uniquely captures the atmosphere surrounding the rise to power of Darius, the greatest king of Ancient Persia. His story is interwoven with parallel events in Egypt and Greece, making this novel of absorbing interest to anybody with an interest in the ancient world." Dr John Curtis, OBE, FBA, formerly Keeper of the Department of Middle East, the British Museum
Publication date: 07/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Penguin
|Publication date:||7th March 2013|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd Penguin|
|Genres:||Action Adventure / Spy, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,|
|Categories:||War & combat fiction,|
Andrew James was born in London and educated at state schools, before studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford. After further time spent studying at the College of Law, he eventually decided to become a barrister. Called to the Bar in 1996, he practised as criminal defence counsel for twelve years. In 2008 Andrew left the Bar to go and live in Siwa Oasis, in Egypt, where he spent three years researching and writing his first book, Blood of Kings. As well as a fascination with the ancient world in general, and military history in particular, Andrew is a keen ...More About Andrew James