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King of Kings: Warrior of Rome: Book 2 Paperback – November 29, 2011

Book 2 of 6 in the Warrior of Rome Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Warrior of Rome (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Books; Reprint edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159020686X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590206867
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sidebottom's prose blazes with searing scholarship."
-The Times (UK)

"He has the touch of an exceptionally gifted story teller, drawing on prodigious learning."
-Timothy Severin, author of The Viking Trilogy

"The best sort of red-blooded historical fiction."
-Andrew Taylor, author of The American Boy

"At last a piece of Roman historical fiction for grown-ups"
-Robert Low, author of The Oath Sworn Series

"Sidebottom provides a well-constructed, well-paced and gripping account ... which, as a good series should, leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the next installment."
-Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Harry Sidebottom is best known for the Warrior of Rome series of novels, published by Overlook. He teaches classical history at Oxford University, where he is a Fellow of St. Benet's Hall and a Lecturer at Lincoln College.

Customer Reviews

Overall this novel flows very well and keeps you entertained throughout.
Daniel G
Sidebottom work an excellent historical fiction, I also considered the plot very predictable.
Anibal Madeira
This is the secoond book in the series I have read and I was not disappointed.
Robert I. Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Williams on December 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the secoond book in the series I have read and I was not disappointed. I was initially intriged by the title of the first book because of its premis of East vs West and dating that conflict back historically hundreds of years. Mr. Sidebottom is a brilliant historian and an even more gifted story teller. If you like reading about what it takes to be a commander, the thought process, the attention to detail it takes to command effectively and how one must be prepared to deal with the unexpected at the most in opportune times, then this is a great read of historical, fact based fiction.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anibal Madeira on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
In the first installment of this series I gave a 4 Stars because although I found Prof. Sidebottom work an excellent historical fiction, I also considered the plot very predictable.

At the beginning of this second volume I consolidated my former opinion - great details, a consummate Historian who is a good writer, but the story in itself was very straightforward: the bad guys were filled with hubris, arrogance and somewhat stupid; the good guys (although not good in a "modern" humanist, jewish-christian way of thinking - which shows that the author can really immerse himself in classical paradigms) are wiser, kinder, more humane.

And then the plot unfolds and suddenly everything makes sense. Congratulations Professor Sidebottom, this was a great story. It's almost impossible to stop reading this epic.

Great characters, including some secondary ones like Ballista's Wife and her powerful political acumen, the loyal Irish (Hybernian) bodyguard or the leader of the frumentarii and his hidden ambitions.

The Sassanid Persians are the terrible menace, led by a great king - Shapur. I hope that in the third volume, more Persian characters get the same development that the author gave the Romans.

Usually in Historical fiction (and most fiction), few look at the cover image for long after buying the book (although its an efficient marketing tool); but I must commend Larry Rostant and its exceptional cover, not only his technical quality, historical accuracy (almost perfect), and the rising sun that's all for Mazdaists - the illustrator really captured the essence of the book.

Good maps, index of characters (NEEDED), historical notes and very complete glossary helps the reader to understand the period, the places and the events.

Highly recommended, waiting for the third in the series - Lion of the Sun.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chris Ward VINE VOICE on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I liked Sidebottom's first book, "A Fire In The East," just fine. It told a simple story well and contained literally hundreds of fascinating embellishments that put you right there in the 2nd century in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. It ended where "King of Kings" picks up, with our protagonist Ballista on the run from his misfortunes at the hands of the Sassanids and their "King of Kings," Shapur.

This second volume is not as unified thematically, with Ballista wandering hither and yon, dodging assassination attempts and serving in several viscerally exciting battles along the way. It also ends in cliffhanger fashion, but the closing here is almost arbitrary, as if the words TO BE CONTINUED need to added. So: don't read this if you haven't read the first book in the series, and don't read it if you don't intend to read the last 400 pages in the third (and presumably final) volume when they emerge in a year or so.

Plotting and characterization are weak overall, but Sidebottom's historical acumen and descriptive powers mostly make up for it. Historical fiction fans will enjoy-- it's fun to see the Christians characterized as "atheists" throughout and see the jousting between various ethnicities, nations, religions, and classes in a time so very different from our own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blue on March 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Sidebottom's work. The characters are interesting and well written, definitely individuals. I enjoyed the first installment and this was a worthy follow-up. For me, these rank with the best of Cornwell's writing, with the first installment being slightly better than this second book. I await and will purchase the third.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Brice on March 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well researched and well written. The action never stops and the characters are well fleshed out. A few typos but that seems to be the norm in today's publishing world. Any lover of historical fiction will enjoy this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ingela on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This 2nd book is every bit as good as the first. It is a must for anyone interested in ancient Rome, the ancient near east, ancient Roman warfare and/or ancient Persian warfare. That is not to say this is just a war book - the early persecution of Christians is portrayed in an important part of the book, and there is a wonderful description of Roman chariot racing. Best of all though is the Woden-born Ballista. He is not only likeable, he is believable.

If you liked the first book you won't be disappointed by the 2nd.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Smedes on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am very glad that I cam e across this series of books. I find them very informative about warfare in this time and about the people of history. I have enjoyed this series imensly. I know I can't spell.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steveabe on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book. although not perfect, it was entertaining, good story, good characters, it was just a good read.
If you like historical fiction about Rome, you will like this. Highly recommend this
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King of Kings: Warrior of Rome: Book 2
This item: King of Kings: Warrior of Rome: Book 2
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