The Shadow of Ararat (Oath of Empire #1)
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The Shadow of Ararat (Oath of Empire #1)

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In what would be A.D. 600 in our history, the Empire still stands, supported by the Legions and Thaumaturges of Rome. Now the Emperor of the West, the Augustus Galen Atreus, will come to the aid of the Emperor of the East, the Augustus Heraclius, to lift the siege of Constantinople and carry a great war to the very doorstep of the Shahanshah of Persia. It is a war that wil...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published July 9th 1999 by Tor Books (first published 1999)
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Alexander Rice
Aug 06, 2014 Alexander Rice rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical/military fiction fans, not so much fantasy readers
I really liked this book, it was hard to put down. It walked the line of historical fiction and fantasy very well. It's basically like Rome Total War + Avatar (The cartoon series).

The author does a great job with the military and warfare writing, something most fantasy riders are pretty bad it, in my experience. It almost felt like I was reading a Bernard Cornwell book at times. And battles there are aplenty.

Harlan's descriptions of the magical elements were really cool too, different from anyt...more
I loved the lead utensils being used as a reason for roman conquest. Seriously.
Rome and Byzantium against Persia with magic first round: impressive
Troy Taylor
Jan 12, 2013 Troy Taylor rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy and historical fiction.
Recommended to Troy by: I was familiar with Harlan's short stories from magazines.
A lot of fantasy is epic, and usually involves dwarves, elves and wizards. Well, I can't say The Shadow of Ararat is epic in that tradition, but as the first volume of The Oath of Empire series, it sure has scope.

This is a sweeping tale. If it were less fantastic, it's the sort of thing that would have made a great Hollywood blockbuster sword 'n' sandals picture in the late 1950s or early 1960s. It's got big battles featuring Roman soldiers, subterfuge and a cast of characters written so large i...more
Ward Bond Review

Thomas Harlan's impressive first novel, The Shadow of Ararat, delivers big-screen entertainment. It's an alternate history with babes, battles, and believable magic theory and technology, not to mention political intrigue and major spectacle.

The Roman Empire has reached our 7th century without falling or becoming Christian. Galen Atreus, Emperor of the West, and Heraclius, Emperor of the East, join forces to overthrow Chroseos II, Emperor of Persia. The book follows four majo

I enjoyed the book pretty much. No real complaints except that I thought it was a bit slow at times. That could be because I kept getting interrupted and it took me a while to read. I will be picking up the rest of the series soon.
I am for the most part not a fan of alternate history books but when the back of the book said roman empire and magic I thought it would be a fascinating read. I was unfortunately disappointed, I still love the idea behind this story but I was not drawn to the characters and I found the excessive detail boring.
I am by no means a stranger to series with a large scope and large sets of characters but I was not drawn into this story enough to make the effort of remembering everything worth it.
I m...more
Al Carpenter
I used to say that I have never read a book that I hated. Then I read "Shadow of Ararat." The concept sounded so promising and it was a meaty book, perfect for one of the books I took on my month trip to China. Sadly, this book was so impossibly boring and the characters so incredibly unlikable that I grew to hate turning the page! Avoid at all costs!
I liked parts of the book pretty well, but I was just. so. relieved to finish it. It needed to be cut down by about half its length to improve the ratio of good stuff to stultifying porridge.
good book, want to finish series
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Fantasy, alternate-history and science fiction writer Thomas Harlan is the author of the critically acclaimed Oath of Empire series from Tor Books. He has been twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Author (in 1999 and 2000). In May of 2001, he received the SF^2 Award for Best New Fantasy Author. His first novel, The Shadow of Ararat was selected as one of the Barnes & Nob...more
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