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Clash of Empires: The Great Siege (Clash of Empires 1) Paperback – 5 Jul 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; Reprint edition (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409102831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409102830
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the son of a Church of England clergyman - like so many writers, oddly enough. I went to Cheltenham College, then Leicester University to study Philosophy, but left after a year as I didn't understand a word of it. Instead I read English at Oxford Brookes University, and then spent another five years at London, Birkbeck College, doing (and amazingly, completing) a PhD on W B Yeats - still my favourite poet. I'm afraid the main reason I did a higher degree was to avoid getting a proper job - which I have continued to avoid to this day. (Writing isn't a job. It's a hobby or passion that, if you're lucky, you might just get paid for.)
I worked part-time in various bookshops - Dillons in Oxford, Ottakars in Salisbury - which is quite useful for a budding writer; and became a part-time journalist, which I still am, currently theatre critic and book reviewer for the Sunday Times, under my real name, Christopher Hart. I previously worked as Literary Editor of the Erotic Review, and as an Agony Aunt for Time Out - though I was sacked after just a year for giving advice that was "unhelpful and sometimes offensive."
I published my first two novels as Christopher Hart as well, both contemporary, 'literary' novels - The Harvest, a tragedy set in the English countryside, and Rescue Me, a London-based rom-com. Since then I have written as William Napier - actually my two middle names - concentrating on historical fiction. But like many writers I don't really like neat distinctions between 'literary' and 'genre' or 'mass market' fiction. Isn't War and Peace an historical novel? Isn't Bleak House a crime novel? When I write a book, I just try to write the best I can. And fortunately, I absolutely love writing, and have never yet had writer's block (ink-stained fingers crossed.)
When not writing - from dawn to lunchtime, approximately - I like being outside. We live down in the south west of England, and I will either be out walking or cycling or looking after our eight acres of unkempt, wildlife-friendly meadow, orchard and river. Bliss.
If further afield, I love anything to do with mountains: climbing, mountain biking, running.
Favourite Novel: Probably still Moby Dick.
Country I most want to visit: USA ( I once spent a night in Houston airport, but I don't think that counts)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/William-Napier/478564245612409

Product Description

Review

"Napier tells the bloody and moving story of how his young hero witnesses the collision of two worlds with style and panache." (Nick Rennison SUNDAY TIMES)

Book Description

A brutal combat. A test of courage. A battle that will change history.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Hagen from Denmark on 29 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have between 90-110 "History Novels" on my shelf including C. Iggulden, S. Scarrow, Ben Kane,J. Ludlow, D. Gemmel (Troja series), ect.. Having had those reading experiences which were all ranging from good to excellent, I have no trouble rating this book FANTASTIC. I was entertained from start to end, and have only had few reading experiences where I was so sad that there were no more pages when it was well past 3 am in the morning. I was entertained by the Atilla series, but I was captivated by this one. If you are looking for that historical action read that will keep you in you chair till its finished, or one to forget that you are on a plane with bad food and worse passengers, this is it. I cant wait for his next one.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Todd Cutler on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Exhausting, because it kept me up til after 2am reading! But brilliant. William Napier tells one small but compelling episode in the great clash between Europe and the world of Islam in the sixteenth century, and the unbelievably heroic defence of Malta. The Ottoman Turks attacked with an army of tens of thousands, maybe 40,000 in all, determined to get their hands on the finest harbour in the Mediterranean, Malta's own Grand Harbour. They were resisted by no more than a thousand Knights of St John at most, the last of the old Crusading orders. Napier really scores in his characterisation, with two runway English boys and two redoubtable knights in Sir Edward Smith and Sir John Stanley, and also in showing how when a city is besieged its the whole civilian populace that gets caught up in it. This is powerful blood-and-thunder relentless stuff, a desperately brave tale which is ultimately very moving, and an absolute page-turner. Loved it.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this title with some trepidation, William Napier started what seemed like a great series about Attila the Hun, the first book was a breathlessly breakneck paced book With well written characters and a great plot, then it was followed up with book 2 of the series, that had a Tom bombadil effect of making me think he had been smoking weed when he wrote it, it oozed bizarre mysticism and spoiled the type of series it had started out as, it was like book one had miss advertised the series.
Book 3 recovered it a bit but not totally.
So Clash of empire....fantastic, well written, great plot, great pace and a subject that's not swamped right now in the genre. I loved it, and really recommend it i just hope this isn't going to be a repeat, lets keep it as is, blood guts action story and great writing.

Well recommended

Product Description (from back of Book)
1565: a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean stands gatekeeper between East and West. It is about to become the scene for one of the most amazing stories of bravery, battle and bloodlust: the siege of Malta. Formed in the Holy Land in the 11th century, a small band of knights had long sought a home. Driven from their lands by Ottoman might, they came to rest in Malta from where they watched the Turks and corsairs raid the Spanish empire. As word came from Constantinople that Malta was in the sights of the Ottoman Empire, all of Europe watched as a force of over 30,000 men besieged the island - itself only peopled by only 500 knights and a few thousand local soldiers. On that small rock an epic struggle will be played out - the story of individual men, warriors and slaves, but also the story of two worlds colliding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Woolston on 25 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read my favourite ever book about 2 years ago. It was The Religion by Tim Willocks. This book shares the same subject matter. The siege of Malta. The Religion was a darker, grittier and more viseral experience with poetic writing.

Although this is pretty dark and gory its almost "The Religion Lite" not least because its about a 1/3 the length. The Siege of Malta has it all a massive army of "bad guys" against a plucky hugely outnumbered defence (think Zulu on a bigger scale) so its great for authors to turn their hand to and this is a very good offering. Its encouraged me to buy Mr Napiers others so I'll see how I get on with them. To those that are amazed at the super hero qualities of the main protagonist, how else can you show the true scale of the events without having a character everywhere?

Give this a go if military historical fiction is your thing. If literature is your passion though read Tim Willocks first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darius on 11 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shame this epic novel of extraordinary courage and heroism lost its credibility through the unnecessary presence of a "superboy". Highly unlikely that a 16 year old boy becomes a savage killer of men and singlehandedly kills half the besieging Ottoman battle hardened troops. I can understand the author needing to have a fictional character to link up with the historical authentic characters present at the siege, but to have Nicholas involved in every single phase of the great siege, killing countless enemy soldiers and saving numerous lives, this after receiving a mere few days sword training during the voyage to Malta, seems farfetched to say the least. I still gave this book four stars because of the fast pace, great action and thrills. Although the latter part of the book describing the siege of St Angelo, seemed hurried and rushed. Just a shame the author chose to portray this "boy" as a superhuman heroe providing him with far too much focus and attention whilst other great characters remained in the background and were not fully developed. I hope that now Nicholas will go on to have more adventures as he matures telling the story of his revenge on the people who caused the death of his father back in England.
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