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Spartacus: Talons of an Empire (Spartacus Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

R. C. Southworth
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This enthralling piece of work by first-time novelist Robert Southworth explores the avenue history could have run down if Spartacus had survived the slave rebellion in 73BC, an uprising whose aftermath didn't deliver the remains of the famous slave leader. The brute force of this famous figure of Roman history is relayed, and the events of the period re-imagined to great effect. The work is sure to appeal to fans of Roman history, as well as those enamored by stories of action and adventure. Whilst the figure of Spartacus continues to hold massive appeal for contemporary audiences, this work offers a fresh vision of the Roman era; a dark and brutal reenactment of high gladiatorial drama.

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Product Description


Spartacus: Talons of an Empire is a fine adventure tale full of derring-do and hand-to-hand combat. Southworth's Spartacus is the man as we would like him to have been: goodhearted, charismatic, tough, loyal to his friends, and deadly to his enemies. He is a man who deserved a better fate than to die by crucifixion. Perhaps, just perhaps, he did survive... Ancient Warfare

About the Author

R.C.Southworth was born in 1971 in Warwickshire, England. A varied career which includes the British army, engineer and retail management has never dulled the urge to become a novelist. Always a keen reader of literature both fact and fiction. Authors such as Terry Pratchett, Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow and James Mcgee all having a profound impact upon his wish to read further and to begin to write himself.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 578 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Claymore Press (14 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,120 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first novel 4 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This, Robert Southworth's debut novel, is billed as an "alternative history" tale. That's not really a genre I've read much of, other than the odd Philip K. Dick or Harry Turtledove novel. However, Spartacus, Talons of an Empire can quite easily be read as a "straight" historical novel so don't be put off by the "alternative" tag.
The idea here is that Spartacus survived his famous rebellion, and is then put to bloody work for the hateful Roman overlords in return for his freedom. It's a fine premise to base a story on, but to be honest, you can imagine the protagonist as any gladiator and it'll make no difference to your enjoyment of what is a fine book.
What we have is a group of men - almost a "Dirty Dozen" of the Roman-era - taking on a dangerous mission through hostile lands and, ultimately, fighting to the brutal end in the arena.
The author sets the scenes well, drawing vivid pictures of each place in the reader's mind so it's easy to become drawn into the action as if we were right there.
The characters are fairly varied and there are some poignant, gentler moments scattered throughout which serve as an interesting and welcome diversion from the brutal action and let us see the human side of these hard fighting men.
There were a few places, though, where I felt the action jumped a little too quickly - it might have been nice for certain scenes to have lasted a bit longer, building the tension before cutting to another part of the story - but in general the pacing is very good.
I also struggled somewhat with a couple of characters' (Cassian and Spartacus) reactions - both at the time and subsequently - to certain deaths.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept on the edge of my seat! 19 Jan. 2013
By Lauren
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was my favourite book of 2012!!. From start to finish i was hooked and taken on an action packed adventure that had me rooting for Spartacus and his companions as they fought their way to the bloody arena of Carthage to wage a hidden political war that will send ripples through the Roman empire, i can't wait for the next book in the series =D
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 'What If?' Tale 17 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The book opens with a brief retelling of the start of the slave rebellion so familiar to the tale of Spartacus and moves swiftly on to the climatic battle as the legions of Rome finally crush the slaves and crucify the few not slaughtered in battle.
So far, so familiar.
This is where the story really starts. Spartacus is captured along with his family and faced with an impossible choice: serve the hated Romans or watch his beloved family be slaughtered before his eyes!
Robert Southworth tells a wonderfully engrossing tale from the slopes of Vesuvius, to the villas of the rich and across the Inner Sea to the sun bleached shores of Carthage introducing a host of memorable characters along the way as Spartacus is forced to train a team of warriors for the ultimate contest between gladiators.
There are several great scenes here as the story builds towards the final showdown on the bloodsoaked sands of the arena where Spartacus and his men face victory of death.
The story is well paced, well written and builds the story nicely with several strands as Spartacus and his men are used as pawns in a bloody political power struggle between rich senators.
I look forward to reading the second instalment in this series.

I received a copy of this book as a prize in a competition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star all the way 3 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic. That word is not good enough for this book. For a first novel, I am amazed and cannot wait to read the second and third one. Totally engrossed and can quite easily read it again. Very well paced and completely non stop action all the way through the book.
Characters, places, actions all described with perfection. Completely described to the point where I found myself reading this as though I was watching it!
I recommend this book to anyone at all that love the Roman history books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus talons of an empire 27 Jan. 2013
This is a must read book it's full of action and adventure,it is by far the best book I have read in years,it keeps you totally engrossed!! Brilliant book cannot wait for the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a TV miniseries 20 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Writing about Spartacus, Robert Southworth had a daunting task. There are several Spartacus novels out there on the market. Many of them resemble each other. It's not enough to put "Spartacus" in the title. You have to modify the title. In this particular instance, it's "Talons of the Empire". Southworth's retelling of the story stands out from the rest. The hero's human side is explored. He is more than just a martyr/rebel/avenger. He is a father and lover trapped in a situation you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy. The pacing of the novel lends itself to a screen adaptation. The novel reads like a miniseries. Even after you put your book aside and turn off the light, you can still see the images passing before your eyes, with sound effects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I owe a lot to the Stars T.V. Company for my fascination of all things Spartacus of late, Stars created a phenomenal t.v. series. However if only the producers had read Robert Southworths brilliantly written first novel Spartacus Talons of an Empire, the outcome of the final season might have been different,
You see Robert Southworths book is that good, from the 1st page to the last, and it reads fast because the action is none stop, the characters are brilliant written too, you really do care for each and everyone of them by the end of their journey,
For the price Amazon is charging for this book, your getting a steal, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better Spartacus book, even by the likes of Ben Kane,
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read
I'm sure that for anyone who grew up when I did, Kirk Douglas was Spartacus, a brilliant but historically incorrect movie. In Spartacus: Talons of an Empire, Mr. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks like a great author is up and coming and i ...
wowsers, first time of reading a book of this nature, and what a read it was. Very descriptive, could almost feel the characters and setting. Read more
Published 7 months ago by susan bird
5.0 out of 5 stars great storyline
Suitable for an easy read even if you get interrupted! Keeps your interest to the end and to read the follow up!
Published 9 months ago by bugsbid
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 12 months ago by Gazza
5.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus
New author to me but thoroughly enjoyed this book looking forward to reading the second book in this series would finally recommend this book.
Published 16 months ago by A.J.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good storyteller, just needs a good editor.
A good story, with a competent editor this author could be up there with the best of them. Most errors are small, grammatical or incorrect use of punctuation. Read more
Published 16 months ago by sean Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars better than expected
Talons of Empire, Kindle edition
Could anyone expand on what we all know of this story? This author does a fine job in doing so, he uses the story as a starting point then... Read more
Published 16 months ago by David Procter
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
Appealing to roman history fans and action nuts alike as Spartacus survives his slave rebellion and works to send shivers through the empire, working for the shadowy figure of... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Stuart Orman
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all like the Film
Utterly absorbing and very informative even to someone like me who is captivated by Roman history and has been for over 50 years . Read more
Published 18 months ago by wools
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too "boys own"
Quite a good story & my main criticism is that all of his friends seem to be perfect in every way & all his enemies are the epitome of evil. Read more
Published 19 months ago by gravel
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