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Men of Bronze [Mass Market Paperback]

Scott Oden
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2006
It is 526 B.C. and the empire of the Pharaohs is dying, crushed by the weight of its own antiquity. Decay riddles its cities, infects its aristocracy, and weakens its armies. While across the expanse of Sinai, like jackals drawn to carrion, the forces of the King of Persia watch and wait. Leading the fight to preserve the soul of Egypt is Hasdrabal Barca, Pharaoh’s deadliest killer. Possessed of a rage few men can fathom and fewer can withstand, Barca struggles each day to preserve the last sliver of his humanity. But, when one of Egypt’s most celebrated generals, a Greek mercenary called Phanes, defects to the Persians, it triggers a savage war that will tax Barca’s skills, and his humanity, to the limit. From the political wasteland of Palestine, to the searing deserts east of the Nile, to the streets of ancient Memphis, Barca and Phanes play a desperate game of cat-and-mouse — a game culminating in the bloodiest battle of Egypt’s history. Caught in the midst of this violence is Jauharah, a slave in the House of Life. She is Arabian, dark-haired and proud — a healer with gifts her blood, her station, and her gender overshadow. Though her hands tend to Barca’s countless wounds, it is her spirit that heals and changes him. Once a fearsome demigod of war, Hasdrabal Barca becomes human again. A man now motivated as much by love as anger. Nevertheless honor and duty have bound Barca to the fate of Egypt. A final conflict remains, a reckoning set to unfold in the dusty hills east of Pelusium. There, over the dead of two nations, Hasdrabal Barca will face the same choice as the heroes of old: Death and eternal fame or obscurity and long life.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In 526 B.C., the kingdom of Egypt is decaying, threatened by treachery from within and by a massive Persian invasion from without. Hasdrubal Barca, a Phoenician mercenary in service to the pharaoh, has sworn to protect Egypt's eastern border from Bedouin marauders and foreign invaders. Fueled by a secret, personal tragedy, Barca is merciless and cunning in battle, feared by enemies and his own men alike. But he's steadfastly loyal to the pharaoh, so when he discovers that a powerful Greek mercenary garrison is plotting to betray him to the Persians, Barca must act to save Egypt from invasion. The traitorous Greek commander, Phanes, learns that Barca knows of the plot, so he sets his plan in motion early. As Barca and Phanes maneuver to thwart each other, the Persians draw closer, and an Egyptian priest, Ujahorresnet, conspires to exact revenge for a 20-year-old grudge. Pharaoh is weak, with a few loyal subjects competing with traitors and assassins for his trust. Amid this court intrigue, an educated slave girl, Jauharah, emerges to help Barca protect the pharaoh and save Egypt. Barca and Jauharah fall in love, which results in profound and tragic changes for both. Oden's masterful story of bloody battles, political intrigues, betrayal and romance offers a gripping portrait of the collapse of an empire. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Oden's masterful story of bloody battles, political intrigues, betrayal and romance offers a gripping portrait of the collapse of an empire."  —Publishers Weekly
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars modern pulp fiction! Nov. 13 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robert E Howard. If you like him, you will like Scott Oden. After reading the book I thought about it for days, told everyone I know who, and even contacted Oden thanking him for writing such a good book.

Men of Bronze follows Barca the Phonenician, a man filled with rage, as he and his Medjay guard the eastern Egyptian boarder for Persians and Greeks.

Pros- reads like a cross between Howard and Steven Pressfield. ALOT of action.
Cons- no sequel, I want more.

Like it?

check out Odens other books. Memnon, Lion of Cairo, and the (forthcoming, 2011) Serpent of Hellas.

and/or Steven Pressfield, Michael Curtis Ford, and Nicholas Nicastro.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters July 23 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a somewhat sad story about soldiers who are fighting a war they know they can't win, but they keep fighting anyway. The best thing about the book was it's characters, for example Barca, Calisthenes and Phanes (technically the "bad guy", but I liked him anyway). They're really well drawn, you like them, want to know what happens to them, and can relate to them. Their thoughts and feelings about what they're doing could be applied to soldiers of any place and time period. I really enjoyed this book. At times the dialogue sounds a bit like a B action movie, but that's the only criticism I have. I look forward to more from Scott Oden in the future.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Surprised it got published Aug. 18 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you like the Dungeon&Dragons books then you will probably like this.If your taste runs more to Bernard Cornwell you probably want to give it a miss.
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