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The Falcon of Sparta

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,925 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Conn Iggulden, the New York Times bestselling author of the Emperor, Conqueror, and Wars of the Roses series, returns to the ancient world with a ferociously violent epic.


401 BC. In the ancient world, one army was feared above all others. The Persian king Artaxerxes rules an empire stretching from the Aegean to northern India. As many as fifty million people a
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Hardcover, 448 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Pegasus Books (first published May 3rd 2018)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,925 ratings  ·  190 reviews


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Will.J.R. Gwynne
My extended review is now on BookNest!

BookNest - The Falcon of Sparta

“Your gold buys my service, pleasure of seeing Spartans in battle. It is a rare gift and worth more than mere coins. After all, most men see it only once and never again.”

I have finished The Falcon of Sparta after two weeks. It took me a lot longer than expected due to a complete lack of free time and events.

This was a great book with an interesting historical retelling of a great adventure set in around 400BC. It is based in t/>“Your
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Emma
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Persian Expedition is an outstanding adventure and by far one of my favourite ancient sources. It's an entirely readable chronicle of war and bravery, clashing princes and thrilling escape that's as stunning today as it has ever been. In this novel, Conn Iggulden follows Xenophon's tale pretty closely, adding a bit of emotional drama but not much embellishment to the original story. His notes at the end of the book give a handy overview of the facts as Xenophon saw them and the extent to which they we ...more
Kate
I don't yet have the words to describe how magnificent this new standalone novel by Conn Iggulden is. The March of the Ten Thousand is an extraordinary tale and Iggulden breathes life into every step of it - he had me hooked by the end of the very first page. This could well be the finest book that this author has written, which would make it very special indeed. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights. A potential top novel of the year for me.
William
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5-stars

Truly fabulous. I know very little about the ancient Greek and Persian conflicts, but they were quite astounding and bloody. This book is Iggulden's fine re-telling of Xenophon "The Persian Expedition".

Iggulden notes:
For the details I could not fit in here, I recommend The Persian Expedition, particularly to any reader interested in how the Greeks thought and acted. It deserves to have survived over two thousand years. The Persian Expedition by Xenophon

As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you.

ARC coXenophon
notes:
For
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Richard
7/10

A tale in 3 parts based on a historical tale of a determined and stranded group of mercenaries trying to flea hostile lands after a rebellion goes south. I didn’t realise that it was based on truth and actually thought it was going to be a retelling of Thermopylae but this is a number of years after that so there was no Gerard Butler shouting “This is SPARTA!!!”

I quickly read the summary on goodreads to get up to speed and it gives away massive plot points throughout
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Adrienne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Johnson
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
4.5 stars
Another fascinating historical fiction novel by Conn Iggulden. He had me glued to my seat reading the Genghis series and this stand alone certainly did not disappoint. Let me state that I know next to nothing about the history of Persia and Greece so the opportunity to read a book set in the 300's was a gift. It even had Socrates.

It is the story of the 10,000 Men March where the Greeks lost resoundingly to the Persians. The Greeks, Spartans, Athenians and Corinthians
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Jane
I was mesmerized from the outset by this loose construction of the Battle of Cunaxa and the journey to the Black Sea with Xenophon leading Greek mercenaries and baggage train. The Anabasis is still the best recounting of this, in Xenophon's own words. The story first covers the author's interpretation of WHY Cyrus is rebelling against his brother, the Great King, Artaxerxes; details of Xenophon's background in Athens; and the muster of Greeks in Sardis. After the battle in which Cyrus is slain a ...more
Sud666
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conn Iggulden chooses a great topic for this superb historical fiction. He "retells" Xenophon's famous work "Anabasis" which entails the story of Greek Mercenaries stranded in the Persian Empire and their epic match home.

Before we begin, since the names can be confusing, let's briefly look at the Achaemenids. The conflict with the Greeks starts with Cyrus the Great (550-530 BCE) who is actually Cyrus II. Cyrus hugely expanded the Empire by conquest and ran into conflict with the Gree
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Fiona
‘The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.’

Conn Igguilden quotes EL Doctorow in his notes at the end of the book, saying it was his intention to do both in this fictional account of The Ten Thousand, a force of Greek and Persian mercenaries who marched with Prince Cyrus against his brother Artaxerxes, King of Persia. Xenophon, student of Socrates and on whose account this retelling is based, is a minor character for the first half of the book but becomes
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happy
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Conn Iggulden is one of my favorite authors of Historical Fiction. With the novel, he breaks new ground. He tells the story of approximately 10,000 Greek Mercenaries and their camp followers who get caught up in a Persian Civil War. Set in the time between the Persian defeats at Marathon and Thermopylae and Alexander the Greats conquest of Persia, about 400 BCE.

The main characters of the novel are all historical figures. They include the Persian Emperor Artaxerxes, his brother Cyrus,
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Clemens Schoonderwoert
This stunning and amazing book by Conn Iggulden is about the exploits of the Athenian nobleman Xenophon, with also a very main part for Prince Cyrus, and important parts for Hephaestus, King Artaxerxes and not to forget the Spartans Clearchus and Chrisophus.
At the beginning of the book you'll find a couple of wonderful maps, one of the Persian Empire, and the other of the length of the March of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand.
This book has been very well researched and documented with
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Robin Carter
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review:

Falcon of Sparta the latest stand alone novel from Conn Iggulden, As ever with Conn Iggulden you get a blending of fact with immersive fiction, you gain insights and education. For me the 10,000 was always about Xenophon’s struggle to get his people home. As always Conn Iggulden starts it well before that, in fact for more than half the book Xenophon is a bit player, far from the central figure of the plot. The story follows the plight of Cyrus, Son and upon his demise brother
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Wayne
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

So i really only read this as it's about Spartans and while i love reading about them the upcoming AC game set in Ancient Greece made me pick this up.
Im glad i did.
It was a really good read.
Its based on a true story which we know from a first hand account of this campaign.
The author really captures the vibe of that time and its a very vivid account. The world building is really the star of this book. You really do feel like you are there with them.
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David Stringer
I started reading Historical Fiction partly due to the great work of Conn Iggulden many moons ago. His emperor series I loved and ignited my interest in the genre and that time in history, as I did his Conqueror series, but as I've commented before...the genre is saturated now. Swamped with loads and loads of 'same old same old' and I have tired of the genre. So when I got the opportunity to read this earlier then release version, I did hesitate. Even Conn was starting to bore me a little.
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Roy
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical ficiton exploration of the persian expedition. The first 2/3 deals with the brothers squabbles. Of the two we really begin to form a connection with Cyrus. A major twist occurs ( if you know your history you know which twist) and then we begin a shorter part with Xenophon and the troops. The sheer size of the task is amazing, and I still to this day dont understand how this was even possible. Igguldens writing is very good. I loved how he created some very likeable character, and gi ...more
Annette
The style of writing is drawn out and that’s not a style of writing I like to read. Therefore, I’m not the right reviewer for this book.
Paul
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another exciting and very readable historical work from Iggulden. This had a feel of the Conqueror series which I thought were the suprior of his three series to date. Plenty of well written battles while still drawing you into the characters.
Interesting look at the Persian empire, Politics and how an army came together and was sustained.
Very enjoyable with some dark moments
Jypsy
Feb 01, 2019 marked it as to-read
The Falcon of Sparta is a good read for the right reader. Unfortunately, I couldn't connect with this story. I skimmed through a lot of it. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Craig Hingston
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love historical fiction and anything to do with Sparta! So good, I read it in one day!
K A
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend the book. Readers, it may be a slow start, but once you get into it is such good reading. I had to research other sources to understand the timeline of the actions taking place in the book. I was spellbound when Xenophon started leading the Greeks back home from Persia. There were troubles from different sources on this journey. It was amazing that the Greek leader held himself together much less the group of warriors and camp followers. Mr. Iggulden states in his notes that historia ...more
Keith Currie
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘In the army was a certain Athenian, called Xenophon…’

Loosely, very loosely, based on the Anabasis of Xenophon written in the Fourth Century BC, this is an entertaining modern retelling of the march of the Greek mercenary army hired by the Persian prince Cyrus to help him overthrow his brother Artaxerxes, the king of kings.

If, unlike me, you don’t know the story or the period, you will not be irritated by the many historical changes and occasional mistake, nor will you be
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Shannon
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what it is about this book that I didn't like, but I simply was not engaged. I didn't care about the characters, I didn't care what happened in the end. All I wanted to l was to finish and start a new book. This is my first book by this author and I know I'll read at least one more book by him, but I have a sinking feeling that his writing style is just not to my liking.
catherine rennie
Disappointed

Conn Iggulden is one of my favourite authors. However, I found it really difficult to engage with this book. Not the author's usual standard , it felt like his heart wasn't in it.
Charlie Hasler
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conn Iggulden at his best. What a brilliant high octane and fast paced read this was.

Human endurance, bravery, hope and grit, this has it all.

Highly recommend!
Breakaway Reviewers
The Game of Thrones in the ancient Persian Empire

A young soldier far from his home, Athens battled against the king of kings, Artaxerxes of the Persian Empire. Xenophon led the survivors from Greece and Sparta against the legendary Persian army in 401 BC. At the beginning of his young life, the councillor ate dinner with the famous philosopher and tutor, Socrates. He lost his position in the Athenian council which was disbanded after the Spartans were overthrown. Xenophon and Socrate
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Herman
Spartans to the front! Shields up! Step Step thrust, Step Step thrust, and in this manner we walk from the outer reaches of the Persian empire towards the capital then back north towards Greece fighting all the way. As a story it's similar to The Last Panzer" by Wolfgang Faust although the Spartans and the rest of the Greeks are far more likeable than Germans of the Third Reich ever were. It's a good piece of historical fiction interesting and bloody a sword and sandal war trek Spartans march into hell ...more
M.J.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Falcon of Sparta starts with a bang, and maintains a fairly even consistency throughout, until, at about 70-80% it actually sizzles away into repetitiveness and a really disappointing ending. Until that point, I was happy to report that this was my favourite book by the author that I've read to date. (As such I'm trying to overlook the ending and think about the majority of the book when I write this review - I must also point out that I had no knowledge of this event in history until I read ...more
Lindsey
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
As with his fantastic Conqueror series, Iggulden takes an ancient civilization (Persia) and makes its culture and people come alive. I got so invested in Cyrus and his band of Spartans that I was really hoping the outcome could be different. It was amazing what the Spartans and the rest of the mercenary Greek army achieved despite all the obstacles thrown in their way. Now I want to read more about the Persian empire!
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Ancient & Medieva...: SEPTEMBER 2018: FALCON OF SPARTA by Conn Iggulden 30 99 Apr 01, 2019 08:24AM  

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Also publishes under author name C.F. Iggulden.

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in Lo
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“Your gold buys my service, pleasure of seeing Spartans in battle. It is a rare gift and worth more than mere coins. After all, most men see it only once and never again.” 2 likes
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