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Empire of Dragons - Valerio Massimo Manfredi

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Valerio Massimo Manfredi / Edition: New Ed / Paperback / 288 Pages / Book is published 2006-10-06 by Pan Books

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      19.09.2008 20:52
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      Worth a read.

      I brought this book because I was so fond of the alexander series written by Valerio Massimo Manfredi and the Roman era it is set in. It isn't really historical fiction as all the characters are fictional, but it does its best to capture the essence of the period its set in to begin with.

      However it soon loses this because as the story progresses the location changes from Rome to China. The story is about a commander in the Roman army who is captured, he escapes with his men to find that he must go to the ends of the earth before he can even think about returning. He finds that in even such far away place as China there are disturbing parallels between his world and theirs and that he must fight for the same cause that he left at home.

      The book moves fast through just under 400 pages and doesn't linger on events for more than a chapter or so. There is little character development, except for that of Dan Qing, the Chinese prince and Metellus, The Roman Commander, and this only develops near the end of the book. I enjoyed the story and thought it was a new approach to the genre. It reminded me a little of the story of the last Samurai.

      The book needed more depth and seemed rushed, especially the "last battle" which seems rather anti-climatic. The language and structure isn't very advanced and some is rather cringeworthy but you get use to it and don't notice it as the story progresses. However I did feel that the end was satisfying and leads up to a sequel oppurtunity which I would also give a chance and read.

      So don't be put off by bad reviews if you like a light read with an intriguing and different story line, then give the empire of dragons a chance.

      *previously written on amazon

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