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Empire Rising (Eskkar Saga)
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Barone returns to the cradle of civilization in his sanguinary sequel to Dawn of Empire. Lord Eskkar, a former barbarian who earlier saved the city of Akkad from almost-certain defeat, and Lady Trella, an erstwhile slave and his wife, now rule the "biggest city on the Tigris." Hoping to crush the bandits marauding in the countryside and extend Akkadian rule, Eskkar dispatches one band of soldiers south from Akkad and leads another north. In Eskkar's absence, Korthac, a newly arrived Egyptian warrior posing as a trader, schemes to infiltrate the city with his followers and seize power. Korthac sends assassins to track down Eskkar, and bandits south to ambush the returning Akkadian soldiers. Inside the city, his followers attack the soldiers left behind to keep order and take a pregnant Lady Trella prisoner. The ruthless Korthac plans to kill Trella once his rule is established, but, unknown to him, Eskkar survives and is preparing to retake the city. The frenetic action might be predictable, but it's never boring. The setting is convincingly rendered, and the characters-heroes and villains-are sharply drawn. Fans of ancient historical fiction will enjoy this instructive journey to the dawn of civilization. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

This sequel to Dawn of Empire opens just a few months after the climactic battle for the walled city of Akkad in Mesopotamia. Eskkar, former barbarian warrior, finds the responsibilities of ruling a city during peacetime boring and burdensome. In an attempt to put his time to good use while waiting for the birth of his first son, Eskkar leaves his young wife, Trella, to govern the city so he and half his soldiers can ride into the nearby lands to discourage outlaw activity and establish secure lines of trade and commerce. Taking advantage of his absence, an unscrupulous Egyptian trader captures Trella and gains control of Akkad, threatening the lives of its citizens. As he did with his first novel, Barone is likely to garner rave reviews with his second. Characters who may have been a bit underdeveloped previously are vividly fleshed out here. Additionally, Barone continues to do what he does best-write excellent detailed description of warfare during the Bronze Age. Few writers of historical fiction can rival Barone when it comes to bloody, gruesome, page-turning battle scenes. It might appeal to male readers who enjoyed the film 300. Recommended for public and university libraries.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"[A] compelling first novel ...Readers will find it hard to put down this dramatic tale of conflict."--Library Journal
"Equal parts history lesson, love story and war saga, Barone's first historical will have readers turning pages."--Publishers Weekly
"[A] wonderful book! Big, passionate, powerful, epic...sheer story-telling prowess. I couldn't put it down!"----John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of THE HUNT CLUB
"Barone knows his stuff and writes fluently of life, love, and war."--John Lescroart
"EMPIRE RISING is a winner from the first page to the last. Highly recommended."--John Lescroart
"If Bernard Cornwell and Diana Gabaldon decided to collaborate on a novel, the result would be something like this."--Arizona Republic
"Never boring...the setting is convincingly rendered, and the characters--heroes and villains--are sharply drawn."--Publishers Weekly
"Beautifully imagined and researched adventure, with terrific action!"--Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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