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Spartacus: Talons of an Empire (Spartacus Chronicles Book 1) by [R. C. Southworth]
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Spartacus: Talons of an Empire (Spartacus Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Length: 208 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


Spartacus: Talons of an Empire is a fine adventure tale full of derring-do and hand-to-hand combat. Southworth's Spartacus is the man as we would like him to have been: goodhearted, charismatic, tough, loyal to his friends, and deadly to his enemies. He is a man who deserved a better fate than to die by crucifixion. Perhaps, just perhaps, he did survive... Ancient Warfare

About the Author

R.C.Southworth was born in 1971 in Warwickshire, England. A varied career which includes the British army, engineer and retail management has never dulled the urge to become a novelist. Always a keen reader of literature both fact and fiction. Authors such as Terry Pratchett, Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow and James Mcgee all having a profound impact upon his wish to read further and to begin to write himself.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 578 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Claymore Press (14 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,905 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This, Robert Southworth's debut novel, is billed as an "alternative history" tale. That's not really a genre I've read much of, other than the odd Philip K. Dick or Harry Turtledove novel. However, Spartacus, Talons of an Empire can quite easily be read as a "straight" historical novel so don't be put off by the "alternative" tag.
The idea here is that Spartacus survived his famous rebellion, and is then put to bloody work for the hateful Roman overlords in return for his freedom. It's a fine premise to base a story on, but to be honest, you can imagine the protagonist as any gladiator and it'll make no difference to your enjoyment of what is a fine book.
What we have is a group of men - almost a "Dirty Dozen" of the Roman-era - taking on a dangerous mission through hostile lands and, ultimately, fighting to the brutal end in the arena.
The author sets the scenes well, drawing vivid pictures of each place in the reader's mind so it's easy to become drawn into the action as if we were right there.
The characters are fairly varied and there are some poignant, gentler moments scattered throughout which serve as an interesting and welcome diversion from the brutal action and let us see the human side of these hard fighting men.
There were a few places, though, where I felt the action jumped a little too quickly - it might have been nice for certain scenes to have lasted a bit longer, building the tension before cutting to another part of the story - but in general the pacing is very good.
I also struggled somewhat with a couple of characters' (Cassian and Spartacus) reactions - both at the time and subsequently - to certain deaths.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most of us are aware of Spartacus, from the Kirk Douglas film to the Starz TV series. It is a tale of a gladiator slave thrust into the position of commanding an army of rebellious slaves, fighting for their freedom from the hated Roman Empire. The eventual defeat of Spartacus, as the military might of Rome concentrates on his downfall, is where his tale usually ends, but not in Spartacus – Talons of an Empire; this is where the story begins.
His army slain or back in chains, Spartacus expects nothing but a slow death by crucifixion, but instead he finds himself before a haughty young Roman called Cassian. Cassian has a proposition for Spartacus, one that he can’t ignore if he wants his family to live. To enforce his point Cassian has a legionary slay Spartacus’ youngest son before his eyes.
With no choice but to comply Spartacus accepts Cassian’s offer; he is to use his particular skills as a gladiatorial killer in the service of Cassian’s ruthless employer. It was this same mysterious figure who ordered Cassian to kill Spartacus’ son. Cassian promises the gladiator that his family will be safe on his own estates and then, with a handpicked team, and with promises of gold if successful, Spartacus, Cassian and their comrades embark on their mission.
From fighting the Roman Empire Spartacus now finds himself a tool of one of political power brokers, striving to curtail the power of their rivals. To do this Spartacus, Cassian, et al, must fight through corruption and lawlessness only to risk all in a near suicidal gladiatorial contest.
Spartacus – Talons of an Empire is certainly action packed, with fights aplenty. The reader experiences victorious triumph and grieving loss. The villains are fantastically corrupt and evil and treachery is an ever present threat.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my favourite book of 2012!!. From start to finish i was hooked and taken on an action packed adventure that had me rooting for Spartacus and his companions as they fought their way to the bloody arena of Carthage to wage a hidden political war that will send ripples through the Roman empire, i can't wait for the next book in the series =D
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Spartacus, by Robert Southworth, is built on a what-if premise - what if Spartacus was not killed at the end of the slaves' rebellion in 73-71 BC? What if instead he was captured, and turned by one of the Roman factions into an agent to carry out hazardous missions - a sort of Jason Bourne of the Roman world? As a premise it makes sense, as he was highly skilled as a fighter both by natural talent and on-the-job training. Too good to waste by execution, really, so long as there was a reliable way to keep him under control.

That accomplished, Spartacus comes under the direct leadership of a man he learns to respect, and gathers around him a diverse band of other fighters. The scene is set for a challenging tour of operations involving hazardous journeys by land and sea, trickery and betrayal, and a final showdown as the climax of the book.

A multi-layered vision is painted of Roman society. The life a man can build for himself is defined partly by innate or learned skills, but overwhelmingly by the power of the patronage he can find. We are introduced to hierarchies of power in the Roman world, most of which are ruthless in the pursuit of their own interests and brutal towards their enemies. The picture is effective, and it didn't take long for me to decide that I would not have enjoyed living in that culture - and most likely would not have had a very long life within it.

Difficult for men, then, and many times more so for women. For them, powerful protection in the form of husband or master was a necessity, and there was basically no legal recourse against brutality. In Robert's book, women provide a background element of stability and passionate release, a desirable goal to yearn for when the fighting is done.
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