This is the first book in a new series by historical fiction author Ben Kane.The historical details, which you can find at the end of the book in the Author's Note, concerning this wonderful story are very well researched and documented, and these details are superbly implemented within this great historical tale.
At the beginning of the book you'll notice two well-drawn maps of the Kingdom of Macedon and of Asia Minor and the Propontis, both in 202 BC, and besides that there's a short note from the author himself about the two maps at the end papers of the book, front Latin and back Greek.
The book starts with a very interesting prologue situated in the year 215 BC, before the book, which is divided into 4 parts, begins to flourish into a magnificent story that starts in the year 202 BC and will end in the year 198 BC.
Parts 1 and 2 are divided into 4 main streams; the first one being King Philip V of Macedon, who's trying to emulate his forebears King Philip II and his son Alexander the Great, by recapturing all of Greece and beyond; the second being Demetrios, after having been a rower in the army of King Philip is now due to a lucky encounter with Simonides a phalangist in that same Macedonian army; the third being Senator Flamininus, who's doing all he can to become Consul and win glory for himself by defeating Philip and the Macedonians; and finally fourth the brothers Felix and Antonius, who after having defeated the Carthaginians at Zama are dishonourably discharged after falling asleep on sentry duty, and now they've enlisted themselves with the Legions who will invade Greece and will be fighting the Macedonians.
In parts 3 and 4 we find King Philip V of Macedon and his Macedonians, with Demetrios in their midst, in war in Greece against the Roman legions, lead by Consul Flamininus, and with Felix and Antonius in their midst, where battles will be fought to the death, causing lots of casualties.
Kane, much like his peers Simon Scarrow and Bernard Cornwell, is able to structure a well told tale with characters you can sympathise for with dialogue that rips along as well as painting a great picture of a changing world.
Clash of Empires is out in paperback from Orion Books.
My thanks to Compulsive Readers book blog for the review copy.