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The Sword of Damascus (Aelric)

The Sword of Damascus (Aelric) [Kindle Edition]

Richard Blake
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Vivid characters, devious plotting and buckets of gore are enhanced by his unfamiliar choice of period. Nasty, fun and educational. (Daily Telegraph on THE TERROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE)

He knows how to deliver a fast-paced story and his grasp of the period is impressively detailed (Mail on Sunday on THE TERROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE)

A rollicking and raunchy read . . . Anyone who enjoys their history with large dollops of action, sex, intrigue and, above all, fun will absolutely love this novel. (Historical Novels Review on THE TERROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE)

'Fascinating to read, very well written, an intriguing plot and I enjoyed it very much.' (Derek Jacobi on CONSPIRACIES OF ROME)

Book Description

The triumphant Muslim capital is the setting for the fourth in the brilliant series set in the dying days of the Roman Empire, featuring the most compelling anti-hero since Flashman.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 659 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1444709666
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (9 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZKVF3C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,264 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Richard Blake is a historian, broadcaster and university lecturer. He lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.

For Hodder & Stoughton, he has written the following six historical novels: Conspiracies of Rome (2008), Terror of Constantinople (2009), Blood of Alexandria (2010), Sword of Damascus (2011), Ghosts of Athens (2012), Curse of Babylon (2013). These have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Slovak, Hungarian, Indonesian, and Chinese.

He also writes as Sean Gabb. His latest novel written under this name, The Break, has been nominated for the 2015 Prometheus Award.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars deep historical read, but at a slower pace. 21 Jun 2011
The Sword of Damascus (Aelric) [Hardcover]
Richard Blake (Author)

Having read Richard Blakes previous books I knew that it was a book that I had to be in the right frame of mind to read, different authors have different styles.
Your Simon Scarrows, Conn Igguldens and Anthonys Riches type novels whilst containing plenty of history are written in that fast paced action style that many class as Swords and Sandals, or Blood and action. I would put Richard Blake more in the Harry Sidebottom category, Both authors who provide a fantastic rich deep historical read, but at a slower pace. The action is still there its just tempered with a bit more informative history. This is by no means a text book though, as usual for Blake there is plenty of intrigue, the characters are excellently written and the authors passion for his subject period is blatantly obvious.
If you have not read any of this series then I strongly suggest that you go back to the beginning and start there (but that's a personal preference, I hate starting a story part way through)

Mr Blake will remain on my to buy list for future titles, I recommend this for the history lovers and the swords and sandals types...Just be aware its not as pacey as some you read
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aelric conquers old age 15 Sep 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Here's Aelric as an old cleric teaching greek and Latin classes in an old monastery in Britannia, far from the turmoils of civilized world. But suddenly, the monastery is under siege and aelric finds himself once again plunged in the dangers og history. Victorious moslems are thwarted in their drive to conquer constantinople and what's left of the eastern Roman Empire by the formidable weapon calle "Greek Fire". Many factions vie for exacting Aelric's help on the matter, or at least preventing him to give it to others. And a miracolously rejuvenated aelric must again fight one actin against another to save history as we know it. Written in the usual sardonic, if at times bittersweet mood, this book is a worthi addiction to aelric's saga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aelric wins again 5 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Aelric comes up trumps once more in this fascinating series which combines a boys own joy of adventure and smut, with some pretty decent historical narative and analysis.
Priscus is undoubtedly the heir apparent to all arch villains from Von Stalhein to Moriarty. it is a pitty he does not feature, except in the shadows.
Unlike other reviewers, I thought Sword Of Damascus scampered along at quite a rate of knots. it constantly displays the great talent of Blake for fitting contempory notions into a believable past with both humour and pathos. These do not knock you over the head but instead induce a fundamental trust in the reality and likability of the characters. back stories are strong here which further enhances the sense of immersion into this perilous and overlooked period.
Aeleric is rotten, luxurient and full of himself. I would be too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read 21 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a good read,i have enjoyed the series so far, they are well written & within the bounds of possibility,i look foreward to further books from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good for old aelric 7 Nov 2011
there were times when this novel read like a clip show 25th anniverary novel bringing together the old cast and the may pages of old old aelric spending most of the time reminiscing to his mini me edward about his imperial service stories that promised better plotlines than this adventure
but i do believe the putting the 97 year old hero central stage in what to date was the best adventure was an original and excellent plot device of blakes
better charactors and villains were introduced and very good villains too but any novel without priscus is a boon despite the fact of the 97 year old hero with his wig, dentures and glasses and that he could still take out every asassin sent his way and foil the best plots much backstory was revealed and far from being a stop gap clip show this book revitalized aelric and made me want more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unlike the previous installments in this series, this one is recounted by Aelric in his extreme old age, as he approaches the century mark. Decades after Aelric preserved Egypt (and its grain shipments) for the Empire, and after the armies of the Caliphate rendered it all wasted effort, he spends his final years in a Kentish monastery teaching classical languages to the children of Anglo-Saxon peasants.

...Until he is sucked back once again into the politics of clashing empires.

The Umayyad Caliph Muawiya, having defeated the partisans of Ali in a civil war, reigns from the recently conquered city of Damascus. The Caliphate conceals barely suppressed political divisions, as the family and close associates of the Prophet simmer with resentment back in the Hejaz, and Muawiya creates a new aristocracy of his own from converted Greeks and Syrians. Of course the Byzantine Empire, shrunk to a core of the City and its European provinces, has its spoon in the political stew of the Caliphate. And all these factions, each for reasons of its own, want Aelric -- who once saved the City with his invention of Greek Fire -- in Damascus.

The first-person perspective, from Aelric's extreme old age, of the transitoriness of human affairs, and overshadowed by the prospect of his mortality, give this story bittersweet overtones lacking from the others.
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