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Dawn of Empire by Sam Barone

Dawn of Empire (2006)

by Sam Barone

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Defense against the siege of a town on the banks of the Tigris by its inhabitants led by a mercenary solder, Esskar, and his [almost too] wise slave, Trella. Interesting novel of Bronze Age times, how farmers defended against nomads. Not "historical" except in broad outlines. Too much sex for my taste--not offensive but I was overwhelmed by how much there was. Was this a male novelist's sexual fantasy? ( )
  janerawoof | Jun 2, 2017 |
The thing I loved about this book is that is both Epic in scale but also highly detailed.
The author paints a vivid scene of despair and hopelessness, with the 'dirt-eaters' (the early farmers of bronze age mesopotamia) who live in rudimentary settlements, accepting their role as sword-fodder for the warbands who still roam the country hunting for food and pillaging for treasure.
I felt engaged really quickly with the protagonist, Eskkar, as he struggled against his own demons and against the stubborn townsfolk who resisted his pleas to make a stand against the raiders. But Eskkar is not alone, he has a slave girl, Trella, who is as cunning and calm as Eskkar is bold and aggressive. The pair dovetail really nicely without ever coming across as infallible.
The story builds neatly, taking you on the adventure and builds towards a hectic and unforgettable ending.

A must for hist fic fans. ( )
  Gordopolis | May 31, 2011 |
A plausible historical novel, even though events and characters are a little too apt to have everything they attempt turn out perfectly. A small town needs help to prevent the nomadic, warrior tribe from burning the city down again. They ask an exiled warrior to take charge and soon Eskkar has developed leadership skills he didn’t know he had and is getting a wall built and training the citizens to defend their town. Lots of action, killings, and some torture. The citizens win but the nomads vow to return—in the next book. ( )
  EssFair | Jul 28, 2008 |
Dawn of Empire presents one possible story explaining the development of walled cities. There is lots of actions, lots of fighting and political scheming, some brutal torture. Eskkar—a barbarian driven from his tribe—is asked by the Noble Families of Orak to figure out a way to defend their village, They were burned out 10 years before and do not want this disaster repeated. To sweeten the deal they give Eskkar the slave, Trella—a very bright 14 year old girl. Eskkar and Trella—soon to become husband and wife—make a great team. In six months they design and implement a way to defend the city. Change is always hard and leads to splinter groups who weaken the defense effort. The author provides lots of action, killing, political scheming, and some brutal torture. In the end the city folk hold off the invading barbarians. But—the barbarians promise to return. Trella and Eskkar will have more to do especially since they want to provide for their son—Sargon. Look for a sequel. The only weakness—Trella and Eskkar win too success almost too easily. ( )
  EssFair | Jun 12, 2008 |
For years barbarian tribes have harassed the villagers and farmers in what we know as Mesopotamia, killing, slaving and destroying settlements periodically. However, times are changing and now a young warrior, Eskkar, is given the task to fight back.

From this setting, the book tells three intertwining stories of building the first walls and defenses around the town later known as Akkad, the love growing between Eskkar and his newly acquired slave and also his social advancement.

At parts the story is a bit naive and predictable and frankly, I'm not sure I like the fact that the main characters are inventing just about everything invented in this historical era (which reminds me strongly of Jean Auel). However, at times the historical background - and for some reason especially building the walls - were able to capture my attention, and as a whole, the book was fairly entertaining. I think there will be a sequel, so I guess I'll have to look out for that. ( )
  Pompeia | Mar 5, 2007 |
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. . . when the storm of arrows, speeded by the strings,

Shot above the shield wall, swift on feathered wings.

Every shaft fulfilled its duty, and drove the barb to goal

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The village lay before him like a lamb trapped by a pack of wolves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060892447, Hardcover)

Three thousand years before the birth of Christ. An epic conflict is about to begin. The price of victory? Civilization. The price of defeat, a return to the dark ages. The hopes of civilization rest on one man's shoulders: Eskkar, once a barbarian, now a warrior in charge of defending a small town which lies in the path of a vast barbarian war party. The last time the invaders came to Orak, they spared no one and the tiny candle of trade and agriculture that had begun there, the first in all of human history, was extinguished. But Eskkar and Trella, the beautiful slave girl he has been given by the grateful townsfolk, and the raggle-taggle army he has inherited are not going to flee. They will fight against the overwhelming odds with foolhardy bravery, subtle ingenuity and the last drop of their blood. On this tiny band the lathe of history will turn: victory or darkness?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:05 -0400)

Having learned farming and metal forging skills in the years that have passed since the last barbarian raid, the people of Orak encounter a new threat from a brutal tribe of horsemen and prepare a fighting force under the leadership of the outcast Eskkar.… (more)

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