An extremely entertaining read from start to finish, I couldn't put the book down and managed to finish it within a few days! It was refreshing to read a story with factual snippets about the Persians and how brilliant they were. The battle scenes came to life with the author's fantastic storytelling and I can't wait until the hard copy comes out so I can keep it in the book shelf forever!
I am always apprehensive about reading books by a an author I've not read before, but I was keen to read this story so took the plunge. I am so pleased I did, after a slow start i've been thoroughly absorbed and find it hard to stop reading chapter after chapter. If you enjoy Bernard Cornwell and Conn Igullden as I do, I highly recommend you read this.
First, a confession - I did not expect to like this novel as I had little knowledge of the period other than poorly remembered junior school history classes about the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and it's position as the first recorded civilisation. I recalled The Hanging Gardens of Babylon but had no appreciation of the Persian Empire other than its supposed destruction by Alexander the Great.
Imagine my surprise to realise just what a massive and long-lived empire it was. The story line gripped me - always a prerequisite for enjoying a lengthy novel! Indeed, a week after finishing it I took it with me on holiday to read again! Well I needed something to interest me while waiting to download Bernard Cornwell's new Warrior Chronicle on it's release... Reading it a second time brought me better understanding of the story, as did reading the authors own notes about his extended residence in one of the locations important to the tale - Egypt, at a rather delicate period in that nation's history following the 'Arab Spring' and Musharraf's downfall.
Overall I would rate the novel as very good and the author's efforts as outstanding. I will look forward to a follow-up novel from his word processor!
I'm not often moved to the exertion of writing a book review, and though I read many books I abandon a high percentage of them after a couple of pages or a first chapter when I realize that I'm reading the words with my mind elsewhere. But I couldn't put this book down. When I got to the final third I couldn't do a thing but stay in bed and finish it. It is that compelling. Its author, Andrew James, reveals a fascinating, little-known world of Persia 1,000 years before it was conquered by Moslems. His energetic style brings this distant world close up to us breathing life into his characters and their adventures of love, hate and a constant struggle for power. It's difficult to believe that this masterly work is a first novel.
According to the blurb, James had a "highly successful career at the English Bar". Is this anything like the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel? Does it mean he likes his drink or was he a lawyer? One thing is for sure, he can certainly write and I look forward to more - much more - from Andrew James.
This was a 'shot in the dark' and it really paid off. The book is an enjoyable and adictive read. I was reading on the beach and time just seemed to vanish. There was a desire to find out what happened next and to learn more about the characters. I don't know what life in the desert is really like, but if Andrew James has been even 50% accurate ... then I for one am happy to read about it at a safe distance! This is a book to enjoy and fits with many of its genre - Try Parthian and its follow-ups for a similar read.
I don't normally purchase on recommendation as tastes vary. However, I am so pleased I was persuaded to read Blood of Kings. I will admit to reservations both with a new author and subject matter. It may be a cliche to say I couldn't put the book down but it really was such an easy and compelling book to read.There are great battle scenes and the characterisation was excellent. There are some wonderful characters both good and bad. There was a highly entertaining love interest in the form of Parmys. All in all I would say this book is a hidden treasure.
This is such an evocative book and the descriptions so colourful you really feel you are there. A film or tv would not do this book justice. It was also my first novel to read on the Kindle and both experiences were joyous.
Good adventure read with historical fact thrown in, a little formulaic in places with a nod towards similar Wilbur Smith novels but no bad thing, easy to pick up & put down, perfect for lazy summer days or a holiday read.