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Lion of the Sun: Warrior of Rome: Book 3 [Kindle Edition]

Harry Sidebottom
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Historical Fiction
An epic historical military adventure, Constantinopolis plots out the future of civilization as shaped by a number of fascinating characters. Learn more

Book Description

Mesopotamia, AD 260. Betrayed by his most trusted adviser, the Roman Emperor Valerian has been captured by the Sassanid barbarians. The shame of the vanquished beats down mercilessly, as the frail old emperor prostrates himself before Shapur, King of Kings. Ballista looks on helplessly, but vows under his breath to avenge those who have brought the empire to the brink of destruction with their treachery. But first, he must decide what price he will pay for his own freedom. Only the fearless and only those whom the gods will spare from hell can now save the empire from a catastrophic ending. Ballista, the Warrior of Rome, faces his greatest challenge yet.

Editorial Reviews


"A starring Roman epic with explosive action and knuckle-whitening drama." — The Guardian

"Harry Sidebottom's epic tale starts with a chilling assassination and goes on, and up, from there." — Mary Beard, author of The Roman Triumph

"A book to keep you up well past your bedtime." — Evening Standard


Sidebottom's prose blazes with searing scholarship The Times A well-constructed, well-paced and gripping account Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

  • File Size: 1293 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Books (October 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0066DNZKM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,865 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best May 14, 2011
Lion of the Sun is the third book in the Warrior of Rome series. I purchased the first two in the gift shop of the Capitoline Museum of Rome --the Italian curators of the museum have thought so highly of the author's historical fiction that it was one of only three novels in English sold there.

This third book of the series has not yet been published in the U.S. I purchased mine thru Amazon shipping from dealers in the U.K. where it is already on the shelves. Should be available in American bookstores by the fall.

It is outstanding historical fiction set in the period of the Crisis of the Third Century, when the Roman Empire almost fell apart. And unlike most Roman historical fiction, it set in the East where the enemy is the Sassanid (Iranian/Iraqi) empire, not the barbarians on the Rhine.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author has done it again writing another excellent historical novel of the late Roman Empire. This one starts where the previous book left off (King of Kings) where Ballista is being led away to captivity by the Persians after the defeat and capture of Valerian in 260 AD.

What I like about this book and this author are the following.
1. This book is well researched. The author does an excellent job of analyzing all the writings and archeology of the period.
2. The book uses the research to paint a very believable picture of the period. I almost thought that I was there looking at the cities and the countryside.
3. The action is palpable. You can feel it. More than the other two books, Ballista is in the action, in one battle after another, and his family also dodges some challenges.
4. The storyline keeps you on the edge of your seat. You believe that everything will end well, but at times you wonder. At one point especially where his wife and sons were in trouble, I was challenged to jump ahead to try to find out.
5. The ending is satisfying. I won't tell you what it is, but you should enjoy it.
6. All in all, the book is very believable. In fact, of all the authors that I've read of Roman Historical Fiction, this author's stories are the most believable.

I can't wait for the next installment - mentioned in the Historical Afterward - The Caspian Gates.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Roman Empire. This is not dry historical analysis but an excellent story based upon the historical facts, as we know them today.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great adventure continues November 1, 2010
By Doglet
Format:Kindle Edition
I became a fan of Ballista and company in the first Warrior of Rome and this book did not disappoint. Fans of the great man will enjoy Ballista's battle fury as he avenges past defeats. Character development and dialogue remain as strong as ever, with enough plot twists to maintain interest.

I wanted to like this book, and I did!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lion Has Landed! December 7, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like the other previous novels, Book Three of the Warrior Of Rome series by Dr. Sidebottom doesn't dissapoint. What is unique about this wonderful series is that it is set during The Crisis of the Third Century, an underepresented era of the Roman Empire - both in novels and Hollywood. Even authoritative history books exploring this period are scarce. Another is the fact, that almost all of the characters - from Valerian and Macrianus to Shapur and Odenatus are real people. And, yes, even our hero Ballista is no made up Gladiator/Maximus-clone - he, too, is real. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A giant in the background November 8, 2011
Yes, it is no spoiler that the Lion of the Sun is the mighty king of Palmira, Odenatus. Perhaps unfairly most readers will recognize him only as Zenobia's husband. He is always in the background of the plot, and his decisions might tip the scales...but the other giant that is in the background is the author. This is only his third novel, but I truly believe that he stands tall in the competitive market of historical novels.

The plot is filled with intrigue and dread. The emperor is prisoner to the Persians! Will Ballista follows the new emperor, and which one of them? Is former friend? Or the ones that "protects" Ballista family? Will he keep the terrible oath made to Shapur? Decisions has consequences and some are dire indeed.

The action is blood drenched, visceral and quite believable, there are no Conan's here. Madness and pain can affect even the toughest and calloused protagonist.

You will also get very good maps, glossary, historical notes and list of sources and characters.

I'm waiting for Caspian Gates to arrive. Keep them coming Professor Sidebottom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Do The Romans Call Christians? Atheists!! January 17, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This third volume in the Ballista series is the best so far. Sidebottom has established all his characters and we see the rise and fall of the Emperor(s) in the east and at home in Italy as they jockey for power with Ballista as a piece on the chessboard. He takes more time with characterization and incorporates his history lessons more artfully, and the narrative is the richer for it.

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this story and look forward to the fourth (at least two more to come!) volume. Well done!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warrior of Rome series September 22, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Terrific series by an English professor of history. The primary characters are well developed, and the reader becomes invested in their well being. As near as we can tell the battle scenes are realistic; they are certainly engaging. If you like historical fiction (Bernard Cornwell), you will like Professor Sidebottom's work equally well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift.
Purchased as a gift. My grandson is looking forward to reading it.
Published 4 months ago by Miss Kitty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 5 months ago by Brtcaptain
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It is a good read about a little known historical age. An excellent descriptions of Roman combat and the twisted politics of the late Roman Empire.
Published 5 months ago by Robert Yeates
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good series
Published 10 months ago by CAT
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great third installment to the warrior of rome series. Couldnt put it down i recommend it highly. Just started the fourth one looks just as great.
Published 10 months ago by David
3.0 out of 5 stars competent storytelling but not the gripping saga of the prior books in...
This story stutters a little but gives an excellent overview of life in the late roman empire. Being part of a series it suffers a little from being a not so intense part of the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars just received - haven't read yet - in great shape
just received - haven't read yet - in great shape - I can't tell you if it is a good read because I haven't read it yet
Published 12 months ago by detroitjack
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good historical fiction
Very good book as all other in ,,Warior of Rome'' series. I just hope, that author will continue this series. Very well researched. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Darius Jokubauskas
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work
repetitive rehash had me thinking I had read the book before. Don't think I'll buy any future books by this author
Published 13 months ago by James Toro Sintes
3.0 out of 5 stars Typically good
another good ballistics novel. looking forward to more New ones and reading the older ones five more words then two words. 3 stars
Published 15 months ago by mark obrien
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