The Terror of Constantinople (Death of Rome Saga Book Two) (Aelric 2) Hardcover – 5 Feb 2009
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Vivid characters, devious plotting and buckets of gore are enhanced by his unfamiliar choice of period. Nasty, fun and educational. (Daily Telegraph)
He knows how to deliver a fast-paced story and his grasp of the period is impressively detailed. (Mail on Sunday)
A rollicking and raunchy read . . . Anyone who enjoys their history with large dollops of action, sex, intrigue and, above all, fun will absolutely love this novel. (Historical Novels Review)
The best historical novel I've ever read. (L. Neil Smith on Conspiracies of Rome: Death of Rome Saga Book One)
The second in the brilliant new trilogy set in the dying days of the Roman Empire, introducing the most interesting anti-hero since Flashman.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Aelric is a young, smart and rather cynical Briton that gets embroiled in a web of conspiracies woven by the Church and the Emperor. He is sent by the Pope's right-hand man to Constantinople, but soon realises that his official mission is mere cover for something far more sinister and dangerous. Through ambushes, some raunchy escapades and double-games of deception, he fights tenaciously to overcome the obstacles lain in his path. His primary objective is to save his own skin. His secondary objective is to save the Empire, the Church and Civilisation itself.
Why read heroic fantasy when you can have something equally exotic set in our very own history? Through meticulous research and repeated trips to the region, Richard Blake has reconstructed an incredibly detailed, evocative and realistic universe where our hero moves with agility. This is not a time and place of which you have learnt at school: history textbooks gloss over these centuries in one line or two - yet this epoch has so much to teach us.
Some doomsayers say that our Western civilization has entered a phase of terminal decay and its fabric is starting to tear up at the seams. What would it feel like to live in an age of turbulence where politically connected elites spend more time plundering us than protecting us? Reading The Terror of Constantinople is the fun way to find out.
"Terror of Constantinople" marks the second outing for Aelric, a young Saxon nobleman transplanted to early seventh century Rome from England. Initially sent on a mission with his mentor, the priest Maximin, to collect books for the Roman Church in Britain, clever, cynical Aelric has proven a useful tool for the venal, power-hungry clerics of the Church in Rome, and is not planning on returning to his bleak, benighted homeland anytime soon.
His previous assignment as investigator and hatchet man for the Dispensator of the Church of Rome successfully completed, Aelric looks forward to settling into his nice new home in one of the few remaining suburbs of Rome still in working order. He's coining it on the trading market, collecting books by the dozen for his library, and about to marry his pretty, ditzy mistress and become a father. Life looks good.
However the Dispensator hasn't finished with Aelric yet, and blackmails him into accepting a new assignment, this time in Constantinople. Aelric soon finds that beneath its sophisticated veneer the city is suffocating in fear, controlled by a terrifying secret service which scoops up people at random on charges of treachery, sending them to torture and death in the cells beneath the sinister Ministry. Agents provocateur infiltrate all levels of society and citizens are encouraged to denounce each other at will.Read more ›
The protagonist is definitely selfish, vain and in some ways less than morally spotless individual, yet for all his failings possessed of a charm all his own, often given to bouts of generosity or insight. The readers' ability to relate to him / accept him, will be the significant determinant of whether they like the book or not.
The surroundings are definitely based on sound historical research and Aelric finds himself in Byzantium in the final days of the rule of Phocas. While the lesser historical personalities are then - as usual in such writing - occasionally fictional, the reader will still get a basic understanding of the period and issues faced at the times.
The writing is fairly conversational and modern - in the sense that it will not require any sort of adjustment for a 21st century reader to read the book. Whether this is a step too far in bringing the subject matter closer to modern readers will need to be judged by each one separately but it may very well alienate the more traditional ones.
Overall I found the book quite interesting and definitely easy to digest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very human side to the history of Rome and the Roman church it will torch through your preconceptions of imperial rule and the church in the dying days of the Roman Empire... Read morePublished 17 months ago by D. Howson
A well-written, sparky novel with plenty of interest in it, and with an active and engaging main character ( & supporting cast :)
Personally, I think the first in the... Read more
blake has done well with this novel set in an obscure period of byzantine history form which no contemporary histories survive the bloody reign of te usurper tyrant phocas... Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2011 by mark1000
I first chanced upon the work of Richard Blake a year or so ago when perusing the recent-fiction section of a prestigious Sydney bookshop (yes, there are such things) on the scout... Read morePublished on 5 Sept. 2011 by Jim Packer
Having come across this offering by accident, I put off reading it for a little while and to be honest regretted it after starting. Read morePublished on 7 Aug. 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
As an avid reader of historic fiction, this was my 1st Richard Blake novel and was (from the start) very dissapointed. Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2010 by D. E. Wrench
I tired of this book rather quickly as the offhand, unerudite style of writing just irritated after a while and the central character just seemed very unconvincing. Read morePublished on 24 April 2010 by Mr. Wol Wallace
Very good. First book I have read from Richard Blake and I would buy more on teh strength of this offering. Read morePublished on 13 April 2010 by S. Glossop
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Crime, Thrillers & Mystery > Action & Adventure
- Books > Crime, Thrillers & Mystery > Thrillers
- Books > Fiction > Adventure Stories & Action
- Books > Fiction > Contemporary Fiction
- Books > Fiction > Family Sagas
- Books > Fiction > Historical
- Books > Fiction > Literary Fiction
- Books > Fiction > War
- Books > Romance > Contemporary
- Books > Romance > Historical Romance > General
- Books > Romance > Sagas