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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant end to a brilliant trilogy
For anyone who has read the other two books in this series (Hannibal and Scipio) this book is a must.
It is every bit as beautifully written as the others, making the classical events it deals with accessible for modern readers with very little ostensible effort. Some authors will put modern coloquialisms and forms of speech into the mouths of their historical...
Published on 16 Aug 2001 by ben.seale@current-trends.com

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Historcal fiction with no history!
I was somewhat surprised by the format of this book - a series of letters and extracts from "Borstar's journal" - and my first reaction was that it was more like a school composition exercise than a novel. But, as I read it, I had to agree that it is well written. However, as I ploughed through it, I became more and more confused. A bastard son of Scipio Africanus? No...
Published on 18 Dec 2007 by Iphidaimos


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant end to a brilliant trilogy, 16 Aug 2001
This review is from: Carthage (Paperback)
For anyone who has read the other two books in this series (Hannibal and Scipio) this book is a must.
It is every bit as beautifully written as the others, making the classical events it deals with accessible for modern readers with very little ostensible effort. Some authors will put modern coloquialisms and forms of speech into the mouths of their historical characters, which I find jar on the ear at times. However, Leckie is so subtle with his choice of language that you feel truly immersed.
Carthage provides a nice sense of closure to the series as the two sons of of the previous heroes confront each other to enact the final destruction of Carthage. Starkly and brutally described as ever, this huge event is taken onto a deeply personal level as Leckie puts you right into the minds of his main characters. Carthage is written entirely in the form of diary entries; so the characters' voices come striaght to the reader, seemingly without the author's intervention. This heightens the sense of realism even further.
On the whole I would say it's a great, well crafted book. It's just a shame there isn't more of it as I raced through it in a day.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Historcal fiction with no history!, 18 Dec 2007
This review is from: Carthage (Paperback)
I was somewhat surprised by the format of this book - a series of letters and extracts from "Borstar's journal" - and my first reaction was that it was more like a school composition exercise than a novel. But, as I read it, I had to agree that it is well written. However, as I ploughed through it, I became more and more confused. A bastard son of Scipio Africanus? No such figure existed in history and no Roman would recognise such an illegitimate son born to a none Roman mother (even Caesar drew the line at this, adopting Octavius as his heir rather than recognise Caesarion, his son my Cleopatra). There was a Scipio at the fall of Carthage, but he was the grandson and Scipio Africanus - why make up another Scipio? Then it struck me - it is a device to join up the other two novels to this third and final one. The problem is, that to do so, the author has to conflate time, bringing the final destruction of Carthage a generation closer to the campaign of Hannibal. I presume he chose to do this because he couldn't bring himself to push Hannibal forward in time. However, whichever way you cut it, this is an historical novel without that vital ingredient - history. Just to cap it off he also invents an illegitimate son for Hannibal - Hanno - and leaves to one side the actual defender of Carthage - Hasdrubal - on the grounds that little is known about him.

As such this book is actually a complete waste of time and carelessly throws away the chance to write a really good account of the fall of Carthage. Disappointing doesn't even begin to describe it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carthage, 4 Nov 2012
This review is from: Carthage (Carthage Trilogy 3) (Paperback)
Absolutely one hundred percent spot on I was over the moon with this book it was just what I was looking for and the seller was true to their word
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4.0 out of 5 stars For those who like some flesh on the dry bones of history, 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Carthage (Carthage Trilogy 3) (Paperback)
The trilogy is excellent and very readable. I used it to plan some of my holidays in the sun and got so much out of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 1 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Carthage (Hardcover)
ross leckie delivers yet again with a book that loads up on fact and fiction that sit hand in hand what a great writer this man is i hope he does more 10/10
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3.0 out of 5 stars short!, 29 Sep 2013
This review is from: Carthage (Carthage Trilogy 3) (Paperback)
This book is comprised of various letters, memoirs and other documents apparently written by a selection of those involved in these incidents. I liked the format but at times was confused by who was writing to whom and when. The book is much shorter than the other two and I felt I never really got to grips with some of the characters. I knew nothing about this era in history before I started on the trilogy and suspect I am probably no better informed at the end of it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst example of historical fiction, 1 Mar 2011
This review is from: Carthage (Carthage Trilogy 3) (Paperback)
A lot of people criticise historical fiction when it isn't 100% historically accurate. To them I usually say if you want historical accuracy read a history book, not a work of fiction. However, there are certain comments I have to make about historical fiction: 1) it has to be believable, even to the reader who may not know much about history, and 2) if you've chose a historical person/event that you want to write about, and then feel you have to make most of it up, then either you've chosen a poor event, or you're a poor writter. Unfortunatly this book fails on both fronts.

This book is the third in a trilogy about the wars between Carthage and Rome, and is by far the worst. Leckie has chosen to write about the Third Punic War, a facinating and often neglected period in history. However, he freely admits that he has gummed the history, purly for the purpose of having Scipio and Hannibal's (no-existant) sons be the pro/antagonists. Bizarrly, he chose to tell the story from the Cartheginian point of view (the point of view we know the least about, probably to give him an excuse to make it all up), despite the fact that using the romans point of view would have be a superb tale of political machinations, military incompetance and the final victory of Scipio. Leckie's glossing over of the Roman political system (magistrates are appointed in his book rather than fighting it out in elections) does not allow for the political wheeling and dealing that actually occured. Why choose the third Punic war if you're going to miss all of this out and instead focus on an imaginary character?

Second problem: believability. Even those ignorant of history would stop and think about a bastard being incoporated into the aristocracy of two world powers, and almost immediatly being given command of one of the most important wars in history. Scipio's transformation from provintial farmer to superb general beggers belief.

To be fair, its a interesting writting style (the memoirs and letters of various characters), but it is limiting. The only characters who receive even the smallest development are Bostar and Hanno. The Roman characters (the ones we have the most information about, and arguably the most interesting) are almost ignored, or are extremely one dimensional.

In conclusion, if you're interested in a fun read, buy, but have very low expectations. If you want to buy it to complete the trilogy, don't bother, Leckie should have stopped at the other two. And if you want good historical fiction...do I need to spell it out?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy end to a great trilogy, 14 Jan 2007
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Carthage (Paperback)
Having immensely enjoyed 'Hannibal' and 'Scipio' I eagerly turned to this last part in the trilogy, and I was not in the least disappointed. It's as good as those first two parts, and I would urge any of you that likes historical fiction to buy all three at the same time. All that's left to do then is sit back and enjoy!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant account of the life and struggles of Hannibal, 31 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Carthage (Hardcover)
In many ways similar to Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield in that both show a very real and gritty account of life in the Ancient World. Not afraid to confront the dark side of human nature. Very informative as well.
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Carthage (Carthage Trilogy 3)
Carthage (Carthage Trilogy 3) by Ross Leckie (Paperback - 5 Mar 2009)
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