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Men of Bronze Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2006

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 483 pages
  • Publisher: Medallion Press; 1 edition (July 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932815856
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932815856
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 3.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,544,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.


"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.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling June 29 2016
By Carrie M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I usually read historical fiction set in European countries and do not have a deep knowledge of Egyptian history, but I didn't need it to thoroughly enjoy this story. So wonderfully written, I was surprised time and time again to find I was so deeply pulled into the action that it was more like the story was playing out in my imagination than words on a page.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An invincible badass becomes a man, and an immortal empire becomes a satrapy Feb. 1 2008
By Aiex Halo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The setting for "Men of Bronze" is one I'm unfamiliar with, so I can't vouch for its authenticity.

However, the story is a highly intriguing one, unfolding in two parts... the first part being the betrayal of Phanes of Halicarnassus, leader of the Greek garrison of Memphis, planning to turn over the city to the Persians, and assist in undermining the Pharaoh. This ultimately fails as one of the Medjay (the mercenaries fighting for the Pharaoh) alerts the Pharaoh and he amasses an army to deal with them. They succeed, and the second part has Persia taking the direct approach, and invading Egypt with an army.

Any follower of even the most basic history will know that Persia succeeds, as Persia acquires Egypt, becoming an essential part of the Empire.

Some of the characters are underdeveloped, but for me the most interesting and best fleshed-out would be Phanes of Halicarnassus. He starts as an arrogant man, hateful towards the Egyptians, and seeking to undermine them at every attempt, even seducing their noble maidens. As the story progresses, he becomes more power hungry, little by little, and devolves into utter madness by the end.

Then comes the main character, the Phoenician Medjay leader Hasdrabal Barca...

From the beginning, I absolutely despised the character. There was virtually nothing likeable in him, as he was ever the embodiment of the cliche' loner badass who goes into battle first, kills dozens, and doesn't ever get much more than a scratch on himself. For solidly 2/3rds of the book, he plays this stupid role, using the typical loner badass history of "my wife cheated on me, so I killed her and her lover when I walked in on them" and utilizing his rage, called his "Beast" to make him an invincible fighter, and to hell with others of great fighting skill or experience or numbers.

Then gradually the Arabian slave girl Jauhara stirs in Barca his humanity, and suddenly the easily despisable cliche' known as Hasdrabal Barca becomes a man, with emotions, fear, rage, love, hate, and mercy.

Other compelling characters include Urahorresjet, the father of Barca's murdered wife, and Callisthenes, the fat Greek trader who becomes an honorable soldier fighting for Egypt.

The action scenes are no Pressfield, but they come close, and the story, sluggish at first, quickly becomes compelling and a fast, lush read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action in an Ancient, Savage Age Nov. 28 2007
By Scott Masterton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Men of Bronze" is a story of betrayal, vengeance and finally love and redemption set during the fall of Egypt.

One reviewer used the description of the writing as "Comic Book-like"; in the sense that the characters were larger than life, I would have to agree. But the story of Barca the Phoenician (Scott Oden's anti-hero/hero) is an archetypal story. Oden uses the metaphor of the "Beast" to describe the katoleptic, killing rage that Barca uses to defeat his enemies. There is no other way to write a piece like this without making it somewhat larger than life. Most people have experienced and been shocked by their own "beast" within and readers can relate to the feelings that well up from some seemingly otherworldy source during times of extreme stress(hopefully we don't hack people to pieces with a bronze scimitar...but you get my meaning).

The message that we can change; that our lives are not out of control is an imporant one for our times. Barca has been damaged by love betrayed and paradoxically saved by love as well. Although this is an extremely violent book that pulls no punches in its descriptions of personal combat and brutal battles, ultimately the story is about the peace that can be found within.

I loved this book and will be sure to read Memnon by Scott Oden. Hopefully this writer will continue to turn out exciting historical fiction for many more years.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical novel! Dec 4 2006
By Victor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Scott Oden has done a fantastic job describing the climax of the ancient Egyptian civilization writing about the last couple of years of the last independent Pharaohs. Egypt in 6th century BCE was just free from Assyrians while keeping powerful enemies inside and outside using mercenaries, Greeks and so called Medjay (Phoenicians, Libyans and Canaanites). The peace cannot last long. First meddling regiments of Greeks are trying to usurp the power, and then the onset of the powerful Persian Empire endangers the existence of Nile civilization. Oden paints a ruthless picture of changing loyalties, honor and bravery. He intervenes into military story human feeling, rage, love, and betrayal. The book is very fast paced and it is true to its historical destiny. Egypt loses its antique identity and its heroes have to sacrifice everything they adore to complete the honorable death.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sword-and-Sandal Sept. 11 2006
By Kenneth Sohl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book opens with a battle scene, then soon afterwards starts to delve into the intrigue that will spark much of the action later on, so I don't understand why some people seem to think it starts slowly. The pace is fairly rapid with no shortage of action, yet the author never drags the action out with endless cliffhangers designed to do nothing more than take up space as a lot of authors seem to do these days. This novel actually has a story that continues to unfold right up to the climax. The characters are well fleshed-out (although at one point Jahuara seems like just a sounding board for the author's ideas of love and loyalty) and one can almost picture Russell Crowe in the role of Hasdrubal. There are one or two moments of the author going overboard in his discriptions of Hasdrubal's fighting prowess, but for the most part his prose brings his world to vivid, colorful life without interrupting the story's flow. This book is one of the better ones of this genre and I am looking forward to reading his next novel, "Memnon".