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Fire and Sword Hardcover – 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2008
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Headline; Second Impression edition (2008)
  • ASIN: B00BO4H144
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Simon Scarrow's passion for writing began at an early age. After a childhood spent travelling the world he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer in 2005. Simon's Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro first stormed the book shops in 2000, and Simon continues to create one new adult Roman novel each year. Simon has many other literary projects in hand including a young adult Roman series and THE SWORD AND THE SCIMITAR, an epic tale of the Siege of Malta in the sixteenth century. To find out more about Simon Scarrow and his novels, visit www.catoandmacro.com and www.scarrow.co.uk.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
As another reviewer noted, Fire and Sword, the third in Simon Scarrow's quartet of books following the lives and careers of Napoleon Bonaparte and Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, is a very different animal to any of the author's 'Eagle' series of novels set during Roman times. Whereas the books following the adventures of centurions Cato & Macro, all of which I can highly recommend, are works of pure fiction with a focus on action and adventure, Fire and Sword along with the two preceding volumes are a mix of historical fact and some fictional license that seek to offer an accurate portrait of the lives of two undoubtedly great (if flawed) men.

In pursuit of this aim both 'Young Bloods' & 'The Generals, the earlier volumes, succeeded admirably and 'Fire & Sword' maintains that record. Sticklers might quibble over idioms of speech the author uses, some of the traits individual characters display or the accuracy of some minor historical facts, but as a work of part fact and part fiction, or 'Faction', 'Fire and Sword' works admirably. It is informative without being dull or dry, holds the reader's attention and imbues the iconic figures on display with real humanity.

Simon Scarrow must also be congratulated for again crafting a book that is so satisfying out of real historical events without the need to substantially alter the facts. The twists and turns of history, whilst often fascinating, do not always unfold in a way that makes for smooth story-telling. Battles aren't always won when they should be and big events don't always coincide with the timing of a book's big finale. With straight bio-graphical history this is not a problem but with a novel like Fire & Sword however, it can be.
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Comment 39 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
One of the problems with books written in a series - this being the third of (reportedly) four - is waiting for the next one to be published! After waiting for some twelve months for this one, and having read it within two days over the New Year, I am going to find it very difficult to wait for the final volume in this fascinating series. I just couldn't put this one down. By the author's own admission these are fictional accounts based on historical fact, but they are truly engrossing for anyone interested in Wellington, Napolean and this period of European and British history. Please hurry up with the next volume!
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Format: Hardcover
As a constant reader and reviewer of historical fiction, or more the point 'faction' I believe this genre has recently been labelled, Simon Scarrow is one of my favourites with Iggulden & Cornwell. This is much more recent than his Roman novels, and it that aspect much more accurate. As normal with Scarrow, he has an excellent way of telling a story, keeping you engrossed whilst teaching you a history lesson at the same time. OK, this is probably biased against the French and pro British, especially in the way in this novel he talks about Arthur and Napoleon, however he certainly doesn't hold back from criticising the British when he needs to, especially about the politics, old school army generals and the treatment of the Irish. This once again is a superb, gripping tale, but as with some of the other reviewers on here I am frustrated that I probably won't be able to read the last instalment for another year.
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By Jeff VINE VOICE on 11 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I felt this series started fairly well and then improved hugely with Book 2. Sadly, I feel this one is a slight blip ahead of what I'm confident will be a barnstormer to finish. There's a lot of politics here, inevitably I suppose, both in Britain and France and I'm afraid I tended to lose interest in Napoloeon's long slog in Austria. Whether it's me, or Scarrow, or both [?] but I felt he was much better when dealing with Sir Arthur. However, one thing the book achieved was to make me dislike both leaders who come across [probably rightly] as avid warmongers when the common people of both Britain and France were crying out for peace. Scarrow's research throughout is excellent but it's important to realise that this series is non-fiction. He's tried fairly successfully to make it read as a novel but there can be no getting away from the facts, given what he's set out to do. There is no Sharpe here, who can do more or less what he likes within broad historical parameters. Wellesley can't do that, any more than Napoleon. Book 4 will clearly be about the Peninsula and as such I look forward to it very much. Those who've read Sharpe will be at home! One more thing - the cover. It mentions that the book is about Wellington [sic] and Napoleon's attempt to dominate Europe. Then adds the idiotic question 'Who will win?'. And anyway, he won't be 'Wellington' until Book 4. It's the publishers' fault but I'm surprised Scarrow allowed it.
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Format: Hardcover
Originally designed to be a trilogy Simon took the step to extend the series by another book so that it wouldn't be rushed in any way. This I feel was not only a brave step by the author but a necessity as otherwise a lot of the beautiful prose along with descriptive work that has carefully been laid down in the previous two books would have been for nought and really not done justice to the pair of historical nemesis. Its well written, lovingly crafted by an author who cares for what he creates and above all deals with a period of history that France and Britain are both proud. It's going to be interesting to see the final build up to the epic conclusion of the series and one that's really going to enthral fans of historical fiction even though the outcomes set in stone. An author I sincerely wish I'd had teaching me history at school.
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