THE FALL­ING SWORD

Daily Mail - - Books Fiction -

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.

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