This epic retelling of the legendary Carthaginian military leader's assault on the Roman empire begins in Ancient Spain, where Hannibal Barca sets out with tens of thousands of soldiers and 30 elephants. After conquering the Roman city of Saguntum, Hannibal wages his campaign through the outposts of the empire, shrewdly befriending peoples disillusioned by Rome and, with dazzling tactics, outwitting the opponents who believe the land route he has chosen is impossible. Yet Hannibal's armies must take brutal losses as they pass through the Pyrenees mountains, forge the Rhone river, and make a winter crossing of the Alps before descending to the great tests at Cannae and Rome itself. David Anthony Durham draws a brilliant and complex Hannibal out of the scant historical record' - sharp, sure-footed, as nimble among rivals as on the battlefield, yet one who misses his family and longs to see his son grow to manhood. Whether portraying the deliberations of a general or the calculations of a common soldier, vast multilayered scenes of battle or moments of introspection when loss seems imminent, Durham brings history alive.
"David Anthony Durham knocked me out with Pride of Carthage. He brought Hannibal, his brothers, and the Second Punic War to vivid, bloody life, and established himself as one of the bright new lights of historical fiction. He's doing great work in science fiction as well, as the Campbell Award voters attested when they elected him the best new writer in the field. His epic fantasies make him a triple threat. No matter the genre, David Anthony Durham has serious chops. I can't wait to read whatever he writes next..." (George R. R. Martin)
"Durham's epic is truly a big, magnificent, sprawlingstory complete with a sizable cast of compelling characters, intricately drawn battle scenes, and fluid, graceful prose." (Booklist)
"An epic tale well told, this will be easily understoodeven by those with limited knowledge of the period and may conjure thoughts of Robert E. Lee's battles against the Union in the Civil War. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
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Good but not great
Perhaps, but I doubt it.
I thought the narrator was excellent. He certainly enunciates clearly.
The Punic wars are an interesting period.
I have a fondness for historically accurate fiction, and particularly, well researched historically accurate fiction. This book seemed to be trying to give us a picture of Hannibal, and Carthaginians as sub-Saharan Africans. It's not accurate, and the author seemed to go out of his way to try to indicate that it is. If it were an occasional inference, it wouldn't matter, but after a while, it became evident that he was trying to make it an issue. I thought the narrative suffered from it.