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Dawn of Empire (Eskkar Saga #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,270 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Three thousand years before the birth of Christ. An epic conflict is about to begin. The price of victory? Civilization. The price of defeat, a return to the dark ages.The hopes of civilization rest on one man's shoulders: Eskkar, once a barbarian, nowa warrior in charge of defending a small town which lies in the path of a vastbarbarian war party. The last time the invade ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 24th 2008 by Arrow (first published January 1st 2006)
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Nov 08, 2011 Ambre rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I am the only one who got about 100 pages in and realized that he was romanticizing the rape of a child. If the book was historically accurate, it would have been different - but the fantasy of the slave woman who just needs a man with the right moves to find her hidden sexual desires is 100% Penthouse Forum. Making her 14 was just gratuitous.

The fact that so few people were horrified should not surprise me. I wish I could bleach the image from my brain.

Beyond that, the writing is clun
Jul 26, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thumping good read! Probably not historically accurate and I found the romantic portrayal of Eskkar and Trellas relationship quite hilarious but I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read the rest of the series. You do have to suspend disbelief a bit. The main hero goes from drunken soldier to leader of a city in 5 months. What would have taken hundreds of years to develop and understand: moving from nomadic culture to one of settled farmlands, gives rise to the need for protection. T ...more
Jul 30, 2011 Apolla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hmm. A book I would never read unless I was stuck in a remote Irish cottage with no television and dodgy internet with the only other choices left by previous holidaymakers being Jeffrey Archer, some Jack Higgins, one PD James and some stuff in German.

And yet... I didn't hate it. Certainly, I finished it and found myself almost gripped.

On the other hand, it is numbingly repetitive in many ways, and so many things are explained to the n-th degree that I started wondering if perhaps the author jus
Dec 05, 2008 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, war, ancient
I read DAWN OF EMPIRE just when I was getting into historical novels and boy, am I glad I did! It's an absolutely fantastic tale, based thousands of years ago and detailing the clash between barbarianism and society.

At its heart, DAWN OF EMPIRE is a stunning Boy's Own adventure. Siege stories have always been a favourite of mine, and this one does everything right: the action is very well drawn, characters larger than life, the story fast paced with lots of twists and turns. The novel is similar
Paused because of the high amount of historical inaccuracies. I might decide to read on, but I would have to treat it as fantasy.
Robin Carter
May 07, 2012 Robin Carter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
what a brilliant idea, i cant think of anyone else writing in this time period.
Ok so the characters take a little time to develop, but they do develop, and i think thjats the charm, this whole book the whole plot the characters everything, its all about the begining, and development, turning wanderers into a civilisation.
Its a great paced story though and runs the reader along, and you find yourself easily caught up in the plot, you become a warrior defending the walls, a villager building the w
It's weird. I know Barone is some kind of Arizona neo-con who dedicates his books to Bill O'Reilly and is merely a competent writer (as opposed to an actual good one) but I am completely hooked on this series. Maybe it's a dearth of decent, non-religious Bronze Age fiction but something about this book just grabbed me the first time I read it and wouldn't let go. I keep it on my "brain candy" shelf here, which is exactly what it sounds like (terrible for you, no "nutritional" value but still occ ...more
Ben Babcock
Thanks owed to What's the Name of That Book??? for finding this book based on my poor memory of what it was about when I read it the first time years ago.

Dawn of Empire delivers on its promise of an action-filled battle for survival against barbarians from the steppes. The strategy that goes into designing defences for Orak, from its crucial wall to the ditch in front and the archers behind, is impressive. Also impressive is the inherent conflict in the ideologies of the steppes people and the v
Scott Long
This book was a 2.5 star book for me. I was hoping for bronze age historical fiction, what I got was fantasy but not nearly as exciting as the normal fantasy fair. The characters seemed way too modern in their thoughts and actions, and the book really dragged in places. That said there was enough action in parts that I kept reading. It could do without the gratuitous sex, I'm not a prude but I don't really think it did that much for the story to describe the sexual interactions in detail, althou ...more
J. Else
I FINALLY finished this book. The positive points is the fun of getting into the mentality of the ancient way of life before cities were able to survive. How a broken arm on the battlefield can be a death sentence, the role of women and men, and the structure of different classes of people (from roaming clans to farming clans). The negative, there is WAY TOO much talking in the book. First the characters talk about what they're going to talk about, then they talk about it, then they talk about h ...more
Sep 20, 2009 Jerome rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seriously doubt how closely it fits with a realistic vision of ancient history. I know I'm not an expert on ancient history, but there are too many things in the book that seem to be ahead of their time from how I understand what life must have been like in 3000BC (bronze being so commonly used for everything, Eskkar inventing much of castle warfare for the next 4000+ years over a period of 6 months,...). Whatever the case, as I was reading the book, I did not feel part of another time period ...more
Apr 05, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the year 3158 BCE barbarians destroy the small village of Orak. When Orak rebuilds itself, years later, the barbarians decide to return to Orak to keep them from growing too strong. In the meantime, Orak prepares for the barbarian invasion and hopes to repel the invaders.

Dawn of Empire has plenty of heroic action, and great characters. The story follows Eskkar and Trella as they must help the village prepare for its defense in a way the world has never seen.

This is a great book if you are in
Simon Sobo
May 31, 2016 Simon Sobo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eskkar, Go. Eskkar, Go!

Five Stars are really way too few for this book. What an amazing debut novel. Many authors say they write books they'd like to read. In my case I read books I only wish I could write. This book is a homerun, and the best thing is, he's written many more books to enjoy. A fabulous writer truly does justice to a wonderful subject.
May 06, 2010 Liviu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream, read_2010
A little bit unexpectedly I liked this one - the story of Eskkar who rises from a "renegade barbarian mercenary" to the one hope of his adopted settled people against his former steppes tribe and of Trella a young slave of noble origins who teaches Esskar how to lead in peace and not only in war. Exquisite world building and great characters
Not so long since I was reading about Uruk, one of the very early cities in Mesopotamia. Eventually Orak becomes Akkad and the socity becomes the Akkadians.It was fascinating to see how the development of farming altered the way in which people lived, and how society changed.
Paulo Goulart
Apesar de algumas incoerências históricas e de um excesso de "diálogo" entre os dois principais personagens, gostei da construção dos mesmos, desde a bebedeira inicial de Eskkar até fim.
A. Batalha final está muito bem descrita e é excitante.
Blood Rose Books
Mar 13, 2013 Blood Rose Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sam Barone takes the reader to the beginning Bronze Age where the Barbarians rules and those who try to stand against them don't die a swift death, but one Man, Woman and Town are willing to try what no one has tried before, staying to fight.

The people of Orak cherish their peaceful village but it has had a violent past. They has been raided time and time again by the Barbarians. Though these people are not fighter, they have the unique ability of coaxing food from the ground. The Barbarians bel
Jake Parrick
May 06, 2016 Jake Parrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five millennium ago, on the eastern bank of the river Tigris, the course of human history changed forever...

The people of Orak cherish their peaceful village and the life they have made. Though not proficient with the bow or sword, they possess a weapon far stronger: the ability to coax food from the ground. This is why the barbarian leader Thutmose-sin hates and fears them. As his marauding clan of bloodthirsty warriors readies itself for the plunder and the kill, the fate of the vill
Michael Smith
Set in Mesopotamia some 5,000 years ago, the overarching theme of this first novel is transformation -- of a frequently drunken barbarian warrior fallen on hard times into a innovative and charismatic war leader, and of a modest farming village on the banks of the Tigris (ruled by argument among the five leading families) into the first walled city ruled by a beneficent autocrat. It’s also the story of the beginning of the decline of nomadic marauders in favor of a settled, civilized culture. Th ...more
Kevin Grigg
Feb 24, 2017 Kevin Grigg rated it really liked it
A great historical fiction. Loved the central characters, strong male supported even surpassed by a strong female.
Would read this author again.
Nick Brett
I read the second in this series “Empire Rising” some years ago and enjoyed it and have finally got around to reading this one, the first in the series.
Set three thousand years BC this is at a time when setting down long term roots in terms of farms and villages was always at risk from marauding barbarians who would rape, pillage and take slaves. Orak is such a village, under threat from a vast barbarian hoard who will be arriving in a few months, their eyes set on the prosperous village. Rather
Sep 19, 2016 bkwurm rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining read ….if you are prepared to overlook some of the glaring problems with the plot which the author does do a pretty good job of glossing over.

The basic premise seems to be that, prior to this event, no one else had thought of building protective walls around a settlement. That was hard to swallow. Surely early settlers would have learnt to build walled enclosures to protect their livestock and it cannot have been that much of a stretch to build a wall around your own home for your o
Feb 08, 2017 Ragne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-series
Helt grei bok.
Det var mye som var urealistisk, som hvor fort Eskkar begynte å stole på, og høre på Trella. Boken kunne også være ganske mye kortere dersom man hadde kuttet en del unødvendige sex-scener, og forklart ting bare en gang. Leseren trenger ikke at personen trekker samme konklusjon flere ganger, over flere sider, med får variasjoner i setningene. Andre ting virket slengt inn som en ettertanke, som da sårene ble vasket og forbundet, og setningen "Ingen visste hvorfor sår som ble vasket m
Five thousand years ago in the Tigris River Valley, farmers and villagers were just beginning to band together in walled enclosures that would become humanity’s first towns. In Dawn of Empire, Sam Barone describes how one of these towns just might have come into existence.

Orak is a prosperous and growing settlement of farmers, traders and craftspeople. But their usually peaceful existence is periodically and violently interrupted when bands of nomadic raiders emerge from the desert to burn, pill
This is the second oldest setting in a historical fictional novel I've ever read, the first being Maroo of the Winter Caves (which I read for class back in 6th grade). And it did not disappoint. And while it's not technically the best written novel, it definitely entertains and kept my interest. The book is nearly 500 pages long, and 3/4 of it is dedicated to the preparations of the building of the wall and training the men against the greatly feared "Alur Meriki," barbarian warriors that take p ...more
Jun 25, 2015 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was okay. As pointed out by other reviewers, there are numerous historical inaccuracies, the most glaring to me were the use of coins, the use of modern measurements for time, and their understanding of relatively current treatments for injuries. Also, much of the dialogue was like listening to today's teenagers. The story lines for the two main characters, Eskkar and Trella, are highly improbable. Eskkar, after settling in Orak, is quickly promoted to one of the top security officers a ...more
Mark D
Sep 12, 2013 Mark D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently re-read this book along with all the rest when I noticed that the latest Eskkar saga book was out (Clash of Empires - book 5).

Man, I never really looked into the history of this time period, I am well versed in Roman time periods and I love Vikings along with early BC time period. But Akkad was a real Empire? Well when found that out I rushed back to reread the series.

2000 years before Julius Caesar, there was Eskkar the Barbarian. In a time when towns and cities barely had walls, and
Dec 27, 2008 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dawn of Empire takes place on the Tigris during the Bronze Age after people have started living in villages. A barbarian who was lucky enough to survive his family being wiped out after his father offended the leader years later is a soldier in a large village on the Tigris. The barbarian's former clan is on the move and in several months time will be at the village to rape, murder, enslave, and burn.
The captain of the guard skedaddled and our hero is asked by one of the 5 village rulers if he w
Gordon Doherty
May 10, 2011 Gordon Doherty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thing I loved about this book is that is both Epic in scale but also highly detailed.
The author paints a vivid scene of despair and hopelessness, with the 'dirt-eaters' (the early farmers of bronze age mesopotamia) who live in rudimentary settlements, accepting their role as sword-fodder for the warbands who still roam the country hunting for food and pillaging for treasure.
I felt engaged really quickly with the protagonist, Eskkar, as he struggled against his own demons and against the st
Mar 07, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By 3160 BC, the hunter/gatherers had transformed into farmers and villagers. Production of large amounts of food enabled these agrarians to multiply at a faster pace than the nomadic tribes. Yet the farmer/villager culture was not based on warfare and thus were easily conquered by the warring tribes who romed the regions, destroying the villages, expropriating the food and carrying away the hapless farmers as slaves. That is, until one village Orak (located north of Sumeria on the Tigris river) ...more
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Dawn of Empire 1 22 Jan 20, 2008 02:24AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Eskkar Saga (6 books)
  • Eskkar & Trella - The Beginning
  • Empire Rising (Eskkar Saga, #2)
  • Conflict of Empires (Eskkar Saga, #3)
  • Battle for Empire
  • Clash Of Empires

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