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Spartacus: Talons of an Empire [Paperback]

Robert Southworth
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

15 Nov 2012
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 in vivid prose, and the events of the period re-imagined from a fictional perspective. The work is sure to appeal to fans of Roman history, as well as those enamoured by stories of action and adventure. Whilst the figure of Spartacus continues to hold massive appeal for contemporary audiences, this work will be well placed upon the market for hungry fans of the genre.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Claymore Press (15 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781590842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781590843
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 759,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Robert Southworth an author from Warwickshire in England. I suppose the best way describe myself is a lover of all books. Although my first three novels are based in ancient Rome, i wouldnt tie myself down to the era or genre. I love history through the ages, but i am also just as happy picking up a sci-fi or fantasy novel. My favourite authors are Scarrow, Cornwell, McGee which i know are all masters at historical fiction, but i also love Pratchett(absolute genius) and Robert Rankin (absolute bonkers). I am a traditionally published author but have decided to self publish my next couple of novels, which means hopefully i will be able to place my work before my readers a little more quickly.
Me as a writer: I have no wish to make my readers think deeply on the social issues of the world. There are plenty of authors and other types of media which do that. I consider myself a story teller and i attempt to entertain, i would much rather draw a contented smile than a political debate.
I hope that you all enjoy my books.

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.

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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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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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus 5 May 2014
By A.J.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
New author to me but thoroughly enjoyed this book looking forward to reading the second book in this series would finally recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good storyteller, just needs a good editor. 23 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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. The only really distracting thing is that he jumps from one scene to another without a space or pause and it takes a moment to realise that we have left one scene and are now elsewhere. Recommended though, and I will definitely be buying more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all like the Film 10 Feb 2014
By wools
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Utterly absorbing and very informative even to someone like me who is captivated by Roman history and has been for over 50 years . Gibbons Decline and Fall started me off and it's never left me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An all-action 'sword and sandal' story 7 Feb 2014
By MarkOne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is fiction but it doesn't take too many liberties with the known characters or the period in which it is set. It is very much an action tale in the 'Boys' Own' tradition. I enjoyed the escapism and would happily read other books in the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 1 month ago by MR G GRAVES
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 5 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 5 months ago by Stuart Orman
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 7 months ago by gravel
Published 8 months ago by David Magee
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
Well paced and well written. Characters well developed. Looking forward to the next instalment. I hope the author can maintain the same high level.
Published 8 months ago by History Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Should of been the next season in the Stars Spartacus T.V. series
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. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
This book is amazing! The story takes place after the slave rebellion a "what if" Spartacus survived. This is a thrilling action packed adventure! highly recommended!
Published 9 months ago by C
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