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Dawn Of Empire (Eskkar Saga, #1)
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Dawn Of Empire (Eskkar Saga #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,320 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Three thousand years before the birth of Christ and the world is dominated by savage tribes of barbarians who despise the first farmers and townsfolk trying to settle the land.

In the Tigris Valley, the first primitive farmers attempt to bring civilization to a dark world. But every few years Barbarians sweep in raping, killing and burning. This time the people of Orak are
Paperback, 496 pages
Published 2007 by Century (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Defense against the siege of a town on the banks of the Tigris by its inhabitants led by a mercenary solder, Esskar, and his [almost too] wise slave, Trella. Interesting novel of Bronze Age times, how farmers defended against nomads. Not "historical" except in broad outlines. Too much sex for my taste--not offensive but I was overwhelmed by how much there was. Was this a male novelist's sexual fantasy? Will only read sequel if is library discard, as this was.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
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 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 rated it liked it
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 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 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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
So this book has the bones of a good story if the author had any idea how history works. There are countless inaccuracies in weaponry, warfare and much of the sail life in general. I applaud the efforts in trying to make a different kind of story but it came off lacking in too many areas. Also the love interest of Esskar was a bit unnecessary with the lady being the age she was. I do understand that people were married at that age in the time period but the way she went from hated companion to l ...more
Hege Fossum
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jeg tror jeg akkurat skaffet meg en ny favorittforfatter!! Dette er noe av det beste jeg har lest på lenge. Jeg elsker historisk fiksjon, og selv om noen hevder at ikke alle detaljer stemte med tiden det var satt inn i, tenkte ikke jeg så mye over det, siden jeg ikke er så bevandret i Mesopotamia på denne tiden fra før. De fleste vil nok ikke synes det ødelegger spesielt for leseropplevelsen.

Jeg likte svært godt hvordan jeg som leser ble satt godt inn i strategien, planleggingen og ikke minst l
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Terrific narrative. Well researched. That great combination of an historical story doubling as an insight into a way of life. Characters well drawn. Attention to detail in daily life. Artisanal, manners and warfare.
Similar to Geradine Brooks,Diana Gabaldon or Wilbur Smith in that respect.
A tremendous sense of insight into the beginnings of urbanisation in the Euphrates, that 'Cradle of Civilisation' which for centuries has been the acknowledged birthplace of 'westernisation'. A worthy companion
Lincoln Thurber
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is fun romp. Is it historically accurate? Probably not, then again we only have scraps of text and ancient ruins to tell us what people of Mesopotamia thought. But since they were genetically speaking modem humans too, they likely thought as we do- loved, hated, found and lost - as we do.

If we can say one thing it might be that the main characters and their city are likely a bit too democratic and a bit too optimistic. If you want to talk about slavery, sexuality, how people go married, what
Kim Oliver
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Hard to Put Down Book

Enjoyed this book even though it is not a genre I read. Rich character development. Always rooting for Eskkar. Good read.
Blood Rose Books
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great historical fiction. Loved the central characters, strong male supported even surpassed by a strong female.
Would read this author again.
Nick Brett
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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 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
Aug 13, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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Ancient & Medieva...: JUNE 2015 (Group Read 1) Dawn of Empire by Sam Barone 22 76 Jun 23, 2015 05:05PM  
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