The Rise of Zenobia : Overlord

  • by JD Smith
  • Narrated by Paul Hodgson
  • Series: Overlord
  • 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

My name is Zabdas: once a slave; now a warrior, grandfather and servant. I call Syria home. I shall tell you the story of my Zenobia: Warrior Queen of Palmyra, Protector of the East, Conqueror of Desert Lands …
The Roman Empire is close to collapse. Odenathus of Palmyra holds the Syrian frontier and its vital trade routes against Persian invasion. A client king in a forgotten land, starved of reinforcements, Odenathus calls upon an old friend, Julius, to face an older enemy: the Tanukh.
Julius believes Syria should break free of Rome and declare independence. But his daughter's beliefs are stronger still. Zenobia is determined to realise her father's dream.
And turn traitor to Rome ...


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bringing the past to life through audio

Would you consider the audio edition of The Rise of Zenobia to be better than the print version?

I have read and loved the print version of this book also, and have to say the audio adaptation really took the story to another level. I think the narrator did a brilliant job with the characters. The voices were just as I had imagined them in my head. And listening to the book, rather than reading it, seemed to transport me to the location.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bamdad! The voice was wonderful, and although he was probably my favourite character when I read the book, I was delighted with the narrator's handling of him. Brilliant!

What does Paul Hodgson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think because for me you listen to longer spells of the story - maybe in the car or on a train journey - than I would if I read - you become much more involved and immersed in the story. The characters become real. I do feel with this kind of historical fiction, audio is a fantastic choice.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed at a lot of Bamdad's parts!

Any additional comments?

Can't recommend this highly enough, the marriage of a talented writer and equally talented narrator has resulted in a real joy here.

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- Gilly

Fascinating, entertaining, & educational!

Zabdas tells us his story, that which is closely entwined with his relative, Zenobia. Palmyra, the jewel of Syria, is ruled by Odenanthus, a client king of the Roman empire. While he guards the frontier from the Persians, Rome refuses to send additional aid. Zenobia and her father, Julius Zenobius, feel it is time for Syria to stand on it’s own.

This is an exceptionally engaging historical fiction. Zabdas’s story was exciting, full of his own plight (going from slave to warrior), strained family relations, and the politics between Rome and Palmyra. His tale is told in a back and forth manner, his present day where he is a grandfather and a respected, aged warrior, and his past told through a memoir he is writing and his granddaughter is reading. I found it fascinating to see the young, unsure Zabdas versus the confident, aged warrior.

Before reading this book, I knew little of the Palmyrene Empire (I could spell it and I knew Palmyra was Syrian) and even less about Zenobia. I had no problems getting caught up in the story and learning as I went. The reader does not have to be versed in the times or area to follow this tale. It was delightfully educational.

Zabdas’s uncle, Julius is an interesting figure, being polite and gentile but also knowing when to be a bit cutthroat. He also has his fair share of secrets. So does his daughter, Zenobia. She is regal in her bearing, but also strong-willed. Various male leaders have a hard time tossing her out of meetings without looking the fool. She keeps her personal political agenda close to her chest until near the end of the book. Since we don’t get to spend time in her head, we must guess her motives, as Zabdas does.

I enjoyed every minute of this book and had a hard time putting it down, like for a few hours of necessary sleep. I am very much hoping Book 2 comes to audio.

The Narration: Paul Hodgson was the perfect fit for Zabdas. He did a great job switching back and forth from the unsure youthful Zabdas to the seasoned war veteran Zabdas. There are only a handful of female characters in this book, it being of a small cast. Hodgson had a nice female voice, but I found that all the ladies sounded alike. If two were talking together, I had to pay close attention most of the time to follow who was talking. Hodgson had a variety of accents that added to the over all flavor of the book.
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- DabOfDarkness

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2014
  • Publisher: JD Smith