Peter Darman
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
'The Cursed Kingdom' is the 8th book in Peter Darman's Parthian Chronicles series. Darman, who used to work in Military Intelligence, writes historical military fiction (and non-fiction) that balances great story-lines, fast moving plots and an attention to detail, particularly military nuances, that brings his characters to life.

'The Cursed Kingdom' differs from its forebears in that it centres in on different main characters, whilst still being firmly based on the same collection of personalities, geography and chronological era. This is a great idea - it means the series has new legs to run on and opens the door to all sorts of new possibilities.

As with the previous instalments, this is a book set in Roman times in the Middle East. It is written from the point of view of the Parthian Kingdom, and follows the trials and tribulations, often bloody and involving battles, of various kings and their families. The action does not let up and Darman keeps us entertained as ever; this is a book that someone unfamiliar to Darman's work could pick up and enjoy whilst also catering to the serial reader who will enjoy the references to earlier books and story lines.

Darman's characters are multi-dimensional - the 'goodies' have a dark side and the 'baddies' have redeeming qualities. In fact, moving away from King Pacorus has given Darman the freedom to exploit this fully, resulting in a great read with various twists and turns to the plot.

This is a super read, as ever, and hopefully will prove a fruitful direction of travel for future output! Available for £2.66 on Amazon, this is a must-read for fans of military historical fiction.

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