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I love an anti-hero as you're never sure which way things are going to go. After all they're unbound by the usual set of ironclad rules that most have to stand by and for that reason the wonderfully dark as well as delicious Brother Aelric is a cracking change from the norm.

In this historical adventure (the sixth title for our hero) we get to see his own brand of trouble in Constantinople as a man of rank. It has great prose, some wonderful twists and of course with a lead character that you're never 100 percent sure on then you know that its going to be a whole lot of fun. The only problem that I have with this type of book, and its been a bug bear for years to me, is that I hate books being a look back on a characters life from their own point of view. It means that there's no danger to the characters person, that they're always going to get out of a situation which really does take a huge edge off the plotlines.
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on 10 December 2013
Richard Blake has written another book so over the top that it makes a continuous good read. Goodness knows how he will top this but I look forward to reading the next one.
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The Curse of Babylon is the sixth in Richard Blake’s Aelric series of books. Those who have read previous instalments will not be disappointed as it contains all the qualities that places it several notches above most historical romps. Equally, it is a volume that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.

Set in the early seventh century, its youthful protagonist has risen to high office in the Eastern Roman Empire. Despite his humble ‘barbarian’ English origins, he lives in some style in Constantinople as Lord Treasurer. However, his fiscal duties are disrupted after he is presented with a possibly maleficent artefact and comes into contact with a mysterious young woman. Events move quickly thereafter with treachery in high places and the threat of a Persian invasion much to the fore.

Two features of the novel stand out. The first is a wonderful evocation of time and place. Constantinople may be the capital city of a great, albeit declining, empire, but it is also – as described – a place of terrible poverty, full of schemers and plotters, where episodes of lurid violence are commonplace. The second is a narrative that unfolds swiftly and often surprisingly, leading to a final showdown with possibly the most sadistic fictional bad guy I’ve ever encountered.

Notwithstanding the above, the tone is frequently darkly comic. My favourite moment comes when, against the odds, Aelric effects a daring escape from his pursuers and crashes through a window only to find the grossly obese City Prefect in a somewhat compromising position. All in all, highly recommended.
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on 3 March 2014
great read and historical story. Richard Blake at his best and well researched and written.. I enjoyed it end to end..............
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on 3 March 2014
Yet again Richard Blake has produced a magnificent story, so over the top that it does not matter, which is great fun to read.
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on 21 August 2014
This is another excellent read. Richard Blake is obviously extremely knowledgeable about Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon as well as the historical background of the Western Roman Empire. Apart from being an excellent read, you will learn about history. My only quibble is Aelric is 90yo, however that does mean the Author has his intervening years yet to write about.
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on 21 April 2014
Very amusing writing, can't put the book down
The series as a whole is outstanding
I would recommend all of the books
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on 18 April 2015
First class
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