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The Sword and Scimitar Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books; Unabridged edition (1 Jan. 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1445025159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445025155
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 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.

Product Description

Review

[T]his lively, absorbing novel will not disappoint (Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

The Sunday Times bestselling author turns his fantastic writing talent to one of the bloodiest and most fiercely contested sieges in history, and tells an epic tale of romance, danger, and, ultimately, sacrifice --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. J. Nicholls on 27 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simon Scarrow is one of very few authors whose new book I'll buy without checking synopsis or previews, and this doesn't disappoint. It's a very personal view - so necessarily one-sided - of the Siege of Malta by a once-disgraced knight, who is summoned to the desperate fight to halt the advance of the Moslem armies. There are plenty of bloody battle scenes, reflecting the desperate plight of the Christian defenders and the determination of their enemy. The hero has grown to doubt his belief in God, a heretical view in those times; we may wonder at the fanaticsm, and the willingness of the knights and others to "die for the faith" rather than surrender, but it makes for a gripping read. A natural five-star read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 100 REVIEWER on 16 May 2013
Format: Paperback
This is actually my first Simon Scarrow novel though I'm aware of his books having seen them on shelves - he writes historical/military books and "Sword and Scimitar" is exactly that.

SAS is about the Siege of Malta from 1565, a battle that changed the course of history - the Ottoman Turks, 35-45,000 of them were headed to Europe and were stopped by less than 10,000 including the diminished ranks of the Knights of the Order of St John. It was a massive event as, had the Knights and the defenders lost, Europe may well have become Muslim and the world would be a very different place today.

The story centres around Sir Thomas Barrett, an exiled knight from the Order who is nonetheless brought back into the fold as every knight is needed to meet this threat. Sir Thomas is a man undergoing a crisis of faith while fighting in the name of Christianity. There is also a sub-plot involving Queen Elizabeth I being blackmailed and Sir Thomas looking for a scroll that could ignite civil war in England.

Not being a man of any religion, I found the core of the book based around two of the world's biggest religions and the fanatics that support them to be a little distasteful. That said, Scarrow doesn't take sides with either religion, he just tells you what happened and lets the reader make of that what they will. It does show that religion as a concept is a powerful force for great pain and suffering and that in nearly half a millennia we haven't gone much further in our views on religion.

The story isn't badly written but it's not well written either - the prose is flat and uninspired and even in scenes where I thought I should be feeling something more than boredom toward a character, Scarrow's words failed to elicit anything emotional from me.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Review

This book covers an amazingly complex time in history, and a particularly thorny issue in modern times. In nearly 450 years we really have not come that far in terms of religion. What amazes me is how little I knew about the siege of Malta and the total change it would have had on the face of europe if the Knights of the Order of St John had lost.

I have been to Malta a few times and have seen so many of the places, stood on some of the streets and monuments written about in this book, and yet I still didn't truly comprehend the momentous battle that took place. To have lost would have probably meant the sweep of Islam into western Europe, changing the entire face of history. There are very few times in history when the world and its current order have been balanced on a knife-edge.

Other moments in time that spring to mind (with great books attached) The Mongols sweeping into Europe, if not for the death of Ogedai they would have carried on unstoppable all the way to the English Channel and beyond (read Conn Igguldens Conqueror series) also the battle at Marathon, where a Greek loss would have meant Greece falling under the dominion of Persia, there would have been no classical period, there may possibly have been no Rome or at best a greatly altered Rome. So much art and culture lost and changed, the whole mediterranean dynamic would have changed, (Read the Long War series by Christian Cameron).

When you understand the above it makes the writing of this books seem so ambitious to border on nuts. Yet Simon Scarrow in his own unique style provides the perfect narrator in the form of Sir Thomas Barrett.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela on 10 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Sword and Scimitar follows the story of Sir Thomas, a knight of the order of St. John, through the siege of Malta. In the 16th century the main threat was the Sultan's Muslim army, and this novel charts the struggle against the invasion.
I had not read any of Scarrow's books before, and had a few misgivings in the first few chapters. It is not politically correct, Muslims are called every name under the sun during fights, this does make the reader feel uncomfortable. It is corrected when the main character realises that faith does not make someone subhuman, so stick with it. There's a lot of detailed fighting and some quite gruesome moments. If you want to know the techniques and strategies used in battle at that time, then you will learn a lot reading this. I'd never heard of the siege of Malta before, so did not know what was going to happen next, and I think this is a definite advantage.

It was the story that made me carry on reading. Concepts of honour, and love are explored, and this could make this novel appeal to a wider audience. The love story is quite sweet, if somewhat predictable. There's a decent subplot involving spying for Elizabeth 1, and that does add a great deal to the book. The characters are all well written and are not two dimensional. The main character is your basic decent guy, who se circumstances conspire against him.

This may appeal to fantasy readers because there is definitely something epic about this story. Reading groups would have a lot to talk about, from the history, depiction of races, to the love story and characters. A decent read.
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