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The Shadow of Ararat: Book One of 'The Oath of Empire' (Oath of Empire #1)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In what would be A.D. 600 in our history, the Roman Empire still stands, supported by the twin pillars of 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 Pe ...more
Paperback, 816 pages
Published May 15th 2000 by Tor Fantasy (first published 1999)
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Steven Poore
Long, hard work, but massive fun too. Written in a very stylized fashion - there's a lot of brushing of robes and repeated weather motifs, for example - Thomas Harlan builds his world up with steady strength and isn't afraid to kill off apparently major characters. Necromancy plays a large part in the magic system, which is suitably damaging to the caster as much as the target.
Alexander Rice
Aug 06, 2014 Alexander Rice rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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

Fredrick Danysh
In this alternative world novel of the Middle East, the two separate Roman empires work to defend Constantinople. When a young sorcery student is drafted into the legions from Egypt, his master seeks to rescue him.
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
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!
Long, complicated read. Found it rather hard to follow at times with the story jumping around so much. Kinda dreading the fact that there are 3 more books in the series sitting here on the shelf to read.
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
More about Thomas Harlan...

Other Books in the Series

Oath of Empire (4 books)
  • The Gate of Fire (Oath Of Empire Book Two)
  • The Storm of Heaven (Oath of Empire #3)
  • The Dark Lord
Wasteland of Flint House of Reeds The Gate of Fire (Oath Of Empire Book Two) Land of the Dead The Storm of Heaven (Oath of Empire #3)

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