THE FALLING SWORD
by Ben Kane
(Orion £14.99, 400 pp) The Macedonian Wars (214-148 BC) saw the Roman Republic fighting it out with Greek kingdoms in the unstable eastern Mediterranean. In 198 BC, the feared Greek phalanx and the Roman legions assemble once more for another confrontation.
The Roman General Flamininus knows that he is facing Macedonia’s wily Philip V and the battle will be vicious.
Among the soldiers are Felix and, on the opposite side, Demetrios. Battle-hardened as they are, their lives are in the balance.
To read one of Ben Kane’s astonishingly well-researched, bestselling novels is to know that you are, historically speaking, in safe hands. There’s not much he does not know about battles, equipment, life in the armies, the terrain and the slang.
This second tale in the Clash Of empires series evokes an intensely masculine world, and Kane pulls it triumphantly into close focus.