Conn Iggulden and Simon Scarrow.

#1
I know that both authors have a good following and have received excellent reviews but also that their books aren't totally historically accurate.
As someone that has more than a passing interest in early European history and a tendency to be rather **** about it at times I'd like to know whether the Emperor, Conqueror, Eagle and Revolution series would be worthy additions to the library shelves of Chateau Ottar or would they be a waste of a couple of hundred Shekels, a few thousand sheets of paper and an affront to history that would cause me to massacre a village or three?

To compare with the visual arts, are they Braveheart, which made me mutilate children with a marlin spike, or Rome, which I rather enjoyed?
 
#2
I've read most of Simon Scarrow's novels, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Although I can't claim to be an authority on ancient Rome, I'm reasonably knowledgeable on the subject and don't recall any glaring errors.
Definitely more "Rome" than "Braveheart"
 
#4
The Roman eagle series by Simon Scarrow is very good, and easy to read. A good romp through ancient Romes empire, from Britain to the Middle east. The two main characters Cato and Macro are well written and believable enough. Would recommend the series to anyone asking for a good read without having to think too much.

The only Conn Iggulden books I have read were the emperor series, about the life of Caesar. I know they are not 100% historically accurate (mainly Caesar's relationship to Brutus) but they are, nevertheless, very good indeed.

You could do a lot lot worse than to delve into these two authors.

Make the purchase mate. You will not be disappointed.





Cheers N_W.
 
#6
I enjoyed Conn Iggulden's Emporer series and thought they were well written and researched, with the fiction keeping you enticed whilst the fact doesnt overwhelm the story. It was a good series. His new books on Atilla are well written as well.

Simon Scarrows work is similiar to Bernard Cornwells writing and the novels seem to stick to a similiar formula but again are well researched.

As for a wildcard try some of Tim Sverins books they follow the story of a viking to the court of the eastern roman empire and the vangarian guard.
 
#7
ottar said:
I know that both authors have a good following and have received excellent reviews but also that their books aren't totally historically accurate.
I haven't read any of the Conqueror series, but I enjoyed Wolf of the Plains, his first novel about Genghis Khan, and I've just started the second one, Lords of the Bow.

He did take a few historical liberties for the sake of the plot in Wolf of the Plains, but he gave the correct version in the afterword, so that's fine by me.
 
#8
the Emperor series is fantastic for the first 3 books anyway... the 4th was rushed I thought.

Iggulden's new work is also damn good
:D

a worthy buy!

Also the Gaunt's Ghost series by a guy called Dan Abnett is phenominal, I can't recommend anything higher. It's Sci-fi but hell its such a good read :lol:
 
#9
Iggulden takes his research seriously, and at the end of each book he explains where he has diverted from history for dramatic effect.

i find the emperor books far more "serious" than the somewhat Boys Own romps of Simon Scarrow. but i enjoy those too, with a tongue firmly in cheek :)
 
#10
Just finished Scarrow's Centurion over the weekend after devouring the series in the past month. Fantastic stuff. Agreed with CR's assessment of the two series - Iggulden's works in my opinion are of a higher quality & the Conqueror series is promising to be just as good as Emperor.
 
#11
yeah i must confess i preferred the first conqueror book to the second. attila the hun not a historical figure i was particularly interested in prior to reading - he does a very good job of piqueing one's interest.

after all, iggulden is the one who first got me interested in caesar, got me reading lots of books and prompted a fantastic visit to rome last year!
 
#12
I have just read the first two books in the Emperor series and found them to be very enjoyable. If you like your books with wholesome adventure and larger than life action then definately get them. Not read Scarrow, but did almost pick up centurion the other day. Also, you might want to try David Gemmell's Troy series: Lord of the silver bow; Sheild of thunder; Fall of kings. I also really liked Bernard Cornwell's Harlequin (probably more than all the others I've said).
 
#14
Both good authors, easy to read, not too knowledgable on the time period do can't comment on accuracy.

Bernhard Cornwell, the Pale Horseman series, excellent, also the Winter King series, Harlequin and his latest, Azincourt, fantastic reads, most can be read in a weekend they just flow so well.


Just read the Bretheren series by Robyn Young, very good, all about the Crusades and Knights Templar with a bit of Da Vinci code type stuff thrown in.
 
#15
Chinggis. The Genghis books are the Conqueror series. I read all three now. Fantastic read. Going to pick up the Emperor Series now.

Tramlines. Good shout with the Troy series. Also a brilliant read. His wife done a good job of finishing the last one when he died.
 
#16
I recommend the Christian Cameron "Tyrant" series...I now pretend to be the hipparch of a Greek city when walking to work, rather than a Roman centurion...which is ironic seeing as I work in Bath... 8)
 
#17
i've just bought the Revolution books (two that are out so far anyway) by Scarrow - hope will be good.

For those who like the Romans, I have stumbled across a pretty good one-hit wonder: "The Forgotten Legion" by Ben Kane. 2/3 of the way through it, and it's a good read. can't remember why i bought it, might have been an amazon recommendation, but worth a gander. story of four lives intertwining around the time of the first Triumvirate - couple of gladiators, a prostitute and a soothsayer.
 
#18
Milesy said:
Chinggis. The Genghis books are the Conqueror series. I read all three now. Fantastic read. Going to pick up the Emperor Series now.

Tramlines. Good shout with the Troy series. Also a brilliant read. His wife done a good job of finishing the last one when he died.
I was going to point that out as well, especially when you consider the actual username!!!!!

I loved The Conqueror series and have just finished the last book. As has been pointed out, they are not 100% accurate; but just like Cornwall with Sharp most of the inaccuracies are by design rather than error and are covered in the notes at the end.


If you enjoy historical fiction, I can highly recommend The Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom. The setting is very evocative of Tudor times and the detail is excellent, right down to the use of language. In particular I find the descriptions of London and York in Henry VIII's time fascinating, as well as speeds of transport and messaging.
They are not conflict based, but more of a murder mystery, so there is enough evil doing to satisfy most blood lusts!
As with the other books mentioned here, it is worth reading them in order, not so much for plot (as they could happily stand alone), but for the time line covering the rising tension during Henry's reign.
 
#19
CJ Sansom has also written a book about a British intelligence officer in Spain, post-Dunkirk and the Spanish Civil War...which was terrific.
 
#20
Agree with the CJ Sansom comments, all very good books including the based in Spain.

For "Rome" based books I don't think you can beat Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series (do not be put off by her being the author of The Thorn Birds) all very readable and well researched.
 

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