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Slaves of the Shinar by Justin Allen
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Slaves of the Shinar

by Justin Allen

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"Slaves of the Shinar" is an historical fiction set in Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age. There's a wealth of characters in this story, the most notable being Uruk. This lovable loner and hero of the story has left his home in the jungle of Sub-Saharan Africa following the death of his childhood sweetheart. He survives as a thief, but his strong moral code alienates him from his peers. In his travels Uruk befriends a dog who becomes a loyal companion and Uruk's best friend.

The antihero is Ander, a native of the Mesopotamian region whose light-skin and unknown parentage has left him as equally outcast as the very dark-skinned Uruk. Unlike Uruk, however, Ander hasn't been as successful at overcoming life's obstacles. Treated as little more than a servant by his adoptive parents, Ander's childhood was harsh. He is then captured by the warlike Nephilim who force him into a life of slavery. His cunning wit allow him to eventually escape the Nephilim, but more than his freedom Ander wants revenge.

This was a good book, but the plot was very complicated and difficult to follow at times. I also found that I wasn't quite convinced by Ander's sudden, dark turn later in the story. With that said, Uruk is an enjoyable character and his relationship with Dog brought to mind Drizzt and Guenhwyvar in the Forgotten Realms series.

Justin Allen is a promising new author and I look forward to more work by him. His latest book, "Year of the Horse," was spectacular. ( )
  aleahmarie | Nov 11, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 158567916X, Hardcover)

The storied land of Shinar can be both brutal and forgiving. For two men making their way under its harsh sun, it is a land of fate, blood, and strife. Uruk is a nomadic thief from the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa braving the hard walk across the desert. His destination is nothing less than the fabled city of Ur, its temples swollen with riches. Ander is a slave, and has been since youth. But when a chance at freedom presents itself, he strikes, vowing to destroy his captors by whatever means necessary. As these two men navigate the world they share--an ancient world, which first-time author Justin Allen has painstakingly researched--their stories converge in a tale of destiny, triumph, and death.

Slaves of the Shinar is the story of a land consumed by war, of a people trying to survive, and of two men in the middle of it all, redefining themselves and their futures. Set against the chaotic and bloody backdrop of the Middle East's first great war, this fantasy epic--part Homer, part Tolkein, part R. Scott Bakker--brings us into a gritty, realistic world where destiny is foretold by gods, and death is never more than a sword-stroke away.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:33 -0400)

"The storied land of Shinar can be brutal and unforgiving. For two men making their way under its harsh sun, it is a land of fate, blood, and strife. Uruk is a nomadic thief from the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa. His destination is the fabled city of Ur, its temples swollen with riches. Ander has been a slave since youth. But when a chance at freedom presents itself, he strikes, vowing to destroy his captors by any means necessary. As these two men navigate the world they share - an ancient world, which first-time author Justin Allen has painstakingly researched - their stories converge in a tale of destiny, triumph, and death." "Set against them are the legendary Niphilim, a race born for conquest and bred for killing. They are the world's greatest fighters, capable of nearly superhuman speed, strength, and endurance. As an army of thousands, led into war by a captain of unsurpassed cunning and strategic mastery, and armed with the world's first iron weapons, the Niphilim are a force of nature. Uruk and Ander must make their stand against this unstoppable juggernaut, or else be wiped from the face of history." "Fortunately, Uruk and Ander are not alone. With them are a motley crew of warriors dredged from the bottommost rungs of society: Barley, a half-blind farmer; Doran and Isin, two priests thrust into military duty; the Falcon, an old soldier whose best days are behind him; Jared, the King of the Thieves; and an army composed of young boys, day-laborers, holy men, burglars, cooks, slaves, self-important politicians, the dirt-poor denizens of the Shinar's worst slums - and a vicious dog that Uruk rescued from starving to death in the desert." "Slaves of the Shinar is the story of a land consumed by war, of a people trying to survive, and of two men in the middle of it all, redefining themselves and their futures. Set against the chaotic and bloody backdrop of the Middle East's first great war, this fantasy epic - part Genesis, part Gilgamesh - brings us into a world where destiny is foretold by gods, and death is never more than a sword-stroke away."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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