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  • Clash of Empires

  • Clash of Empires, Book 1
  • Written by: Ben Kane
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Clash of Empires

Written by: Ben Kane
Narrated by: Steven Pacey
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Publisher's Summary

When a new empire rises, and old one must fall 

After 16 years of bloody war against Rome, Hannibal Barca is on the verge of defeat. On the plains of Zama, Felix and his brother Antonius stand in the formidable Roman legions, ready to deliver the decisive blow. Victory will establish Rome as the preeminent power in the ancient world. 

But in northern Greece, Philip V of Macedon is determined to restore Alexander the Great's kingdom to its former glory. Charismatic leader, ruthless general, he will use the unforgiving might of his phalanx to unite Greece and to fend off Rome's grasping fingers. 

In Rome, young senator Flamininus is set on becoming one of the Republic's greatest military commanders. With Hannibal on the verge of defeat, the as-yet-unconquered Macedon and Greece are ripe for conquest. Strategist and spymaster, politician and general, Flamininus will stop at nothing to bring Philip V to heel. 

Demetrios slumps on the rowing bench of his Macedonian ship. Thirsty, hungry, burnt by the unforgiving Mediterranean sun, dreams are his only sustenance. Dreams of the perfect thrust of a 15-foot sarissa spear, of the unyielding phalanx wall, of the glory of Macedon. 

The Roman wolf has tasted blood, and it wants more. But the sun of Macedon will not set without a final blaze of glory. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2018 Ben Kane (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What the critics say

"Who is the rising star of historical fiction? I say Ben Kane." (Wilbur Smith)

What listeners say about Clash of Empires

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Novel. Weak Narration.

Ben Kane knows his military subject matter. This novel - following the experiences of peasant soldiers, frontline troops, mid-level commanders, senators, and kings - is exhaustively researched, informed by the wars between Rome, Carthage, and Ancient Greece two centuries before Christ, and geopolitical in scope. At the same time, Kane recounts a viscerally realistic narrative from the perspective of the men who lived the events. The pacing is excellent, the descriptions vivid, the dialogue believable, and the plot immersive. To be sure the character development isn't great: Kane's chief figures are annoyingly typecast (the rich and powerful are heartless/unscrupulous and the poor rabble are stereotypically heroic), but it's easy to set aside.

Steven Pacey, unfortunately, delivers a sub-par performance. I would describe the reading as "adequate". It's well-paced, clear, and emotive.. but too many of the chosen character accents are nonsensical. Why a Greek Peasant would have a heavy Highlands Scottish accent is baffling.

This is a Ten-Star novel. But a weak narration brings my rating down to 9 stars out of 10. Still, I will be listening to Book 2 in the series - the storytelling is just so captivating.
Don't get me wrong.. the production here is still very good and worth a listen.. but if you can get a paper copy, buy it.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Liz
  • 2019-08-21

Favorite author!

Ben Kane has become one of my favorite authors. I have binged multiple books and series of his. This one doesn't disappoint either!!! Amazing author! Amazing book!!!

The narrator is also fantastic! I love the British accents. I wish ALL books like this had narrators this good!!!

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